DeAndre Liggins is the newest ex-Magic player. Sad face.
With the E’Twaun Moore signing, the writing was on the wall for DeAndre Liggins. Despite having a training camp invite from Orlando, the free agent UK grad decided to instead sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder as a training camp invitee.
The defensive specialist, who was drafted 53rd overall by former GM Otis Smith, looked to be a promising piece in the future. Unfortunately, a defensive specialist doesn’t have a lot of value to a team that is trying to rebuild.
In OKC he will battle against Andy Rautins, Hollis Thompson and former Magic big man Daniel Orton for the final Thunder roster spot. In Orlando he was facing a much tougher opponent, guaranteed contracts.
While Liggins may have been a valuable piece, the team roster is sitting at 17 and the team is trying to shed two guaranteed contracts to get to max level of 15. In order to keep Liggins, they would have had to shed three contracts – a very difficult and costly move to make. The Magic tried him out some at PG this summer but he didn’t have the ball-handling, vision or experience to play the position at the NBA level.
Looking at his competition, it would be very surprising to not see Liggins land on the final Thunder 15-man roster. He’ll then get the chance to learn from the great defensive stopper – and pure crazyman – Tony Allen and hopefully continue to fulfill his dream as an NBA player. Tony is actually a role model of DeAndre’s who knows him going back to their days as fellow Chicago-ans and he even cited advice that Allen gave him during his introductory draft press conference.
DeAndre’s back story is tremendous and he is a genuine, hard working guy. I was looking forward to watching him get a chance on this “revitalized” Magic roster but unfortunately the business of basketball is not as concerned with my basketball fandom as i’d like it to be.
Even if it doesn’t work out for DeAndre Liggins in OKC, he’ll make it somewhere. Guys with his tenacity and devotion to defense don’t stay unemployed for long. Add another to the Magic alumni list.