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Canadian Andrew Nicholson Becomes An NBA Free Agent Again

Canadian forward Andrew Nicholson was drafted 19th overall by the Orlando Magic in 2012 and after a less than inspiring four years, it must have felt like he hit the jackpot when the Wizards signed him as a free agent to a four year $26 million contract last summer.

It all fell apart in Washington, however, as he had only played in 28 games by the All-Star break when he was traded to Brooklyn for Bojan Bogdanovic in a multi-player deal. Only seeing action in 10 games with the Nets wasn’t a good sign either and he’s become trade ballast in yet another deal, this time headed to Portland for Allen Crabbe.

Luxury tax savings was the only thing on the Trail Blazers minds and Nicholson will be stretched and waived for the big time savings.

All this means is Nicholson still gets his money and will be a free agent once again this summer who can sign with any team that will have him in the NBA or overseas.

The 6’9 250 lb forward averaged 6.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 15.1 minutes in 247 games with the Magic and steadily improved his three-point shooting to 36 percent on 2.0 attempts per game in his fourth season.

The move to Washington was a disaster, but someone should give this potential stretch-four a second chance.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 

Team Canada Andrew Nicholson

Wizards Take Canadian Free Agent Andrew Nicholson

The Orlando Magic didn’t extend a qualifying offer to power forward Andrew Nicholson briefly giving the Toronto Raptors the possibility of putting another Canadian player on their bench. However, from an ever shrinking pool of free agent talent, the Washington Wizards grabbed the stretch-four with a four-year $26 million offer for themselves.

Nicholson was on the outs in Orlando last season and for the first time in his NBA career, he didn’t get a single start with the Magic. However, in the 56 games he did play in, he averaged 36 percent from three-point range on a 114 attempts and pulled in a solid 22.8 percent of the available defensive boards.

In the current free agent frenzy, $6.5 million per season for a developing stretch-four actually looks kind of cheap.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.

 

 

 


 

NBA Orlando Magic Andrew Nicholson

Should The Raptors Add Canadian UFA Andrew Nicholson?

So you’d like to add a stretch-four to your roster? Well, they’ve become a hot commodity in the NBA these days, however, the Orlando Magic has just passed on keeping Canadian power forward Andrew Nicholson and if Raptors president and general manager Masai Ujiri believes Nicholson’s improved three-point shooting and rebounding is part of a trend, he’s worth a hard look.

Nicholson has struggled to get minutes and more recently even just crack the rotation on a Magic team that has obviously been moving in another direction for some time now. However, the changes in Orlando have been coming just as Nicholson seems to finally be putting it all together.

The stretch-four only played in 56 games with the Magic last season, but he averaged 36 percent from three-point range on a 114 attempts and except for a brutal shooting month in January, he would have shot better than 39.5 percent.

His defensive rebounding was markedly better than in his first three seasons as well. The 6′ 9.5″ 250 lb forward pulled in a solid 22.8 percent of the available defensive boards.

For the first time in his NBA career, he didn’t get a single start with the Magic. He also played less than 15 minutes per game on average, but his per 36 minutes numbers illustrate significant improvement at 16.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 5 three-point attempts and a block.

Nicholson will be an under the radar free agent this summer. He isn’t likely to be on any team’s priority list to contact on July 1st. However, that means teams with limited salary cap flexibility – like the Toronto Raptors – will have a legitimate shot at signing him to a deal that fits their situation.

Think of Nicholson like Bismack Biyombo last summer. A young big man with four years of NBA experience who isn’t given a qualifying offer by his team and needs to go somewhere he’ll be given a chance to show what he can do. The Raptors don’t have the flexibility to land a big name free agent (unless they are willing to sign at a huge discount), so it’s the lower profile players Ujiri will likely be forced to look at in order to bolster his roster for next season.

 

 

Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.