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NBA PM: Marcus Georges-Hunt’s Busy Offseason

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Marcus Georges-Hunt said in April that he wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity to spend a summer working out in an NBA gym.

Based on his successful Summer League play, it appears as though his time in the gym is beginning to pay off.

Georges-Hunt signed with the Orlando Magic in April for the remainder of the 2016-17 season. The contract he signed contained a non-guaranteed salary for the 2017-18 season, so he’ll enter training camp with a chance to make the team’s final roster.

Georges-Hunt spent most of last season with the Maine Red Claws of the G League. He averaged 15.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.5 assists and one steal in 45 games for Maine. He was named a G League All-Star and played a key role in helping the Red Claws earn a playoff berth.

One benefit of remaining under contract with the Magic this offseason has been the opportunity to work out at the team’s practice facility. Georges-Hunt has hit the gym twice a day for four times a week for most of the summer and has had a chance to work with the coaching staff. He also had some friendly competition with Elfrid Payton as well.

“It was great that I had one-on-one time with the coaching staff and free access to pick their brains a little,” Georges-Hunt told Basketball Insiders. “I got into the weight room and got my body transformed a little bit. Those coaches put in the time and gave me the time to elevate my game, get me ready for the Summer League and then I took it to the weight room. They got me right.”

He believes his hard work this offseason in the gym can greatly help his chances of making the roster next season. In addition to the on-court workouts he would participate in, he would also lift weights, do yoga, box and work on his conditioning.

“I kept working and they saw my progress, so I feel like I kind of earned their trust a little bit,” Georges-Hunt said. “I feel like the work you put in, you have the confidence and you feel comfortable when it comes time to come out there and perform. Behind the scenes, you did all of the dirty work to get to the point where you are and I feel like it helps. They saw it.”

As he attempts to earn a roster spot this season with the Magic, a successful Summer League performance may help his chances of sticking around as well. Aside from rookie Jonathan Isaac, Georges-Hunt may have been the team’s most productive player during the Orlando Summer League.

Georges-Hunt averaged 14 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals in five Summer League games. He shot 50 percent from the field, including 42.9 percent from three-point range. He led the Magic in total points, rebounds, assists and steals. For a team that has been desperately searching for outside shooting, Georges-Hunt could prove to be a solid option.

Summer League was a real opportunity for Georges-Hunt to show the coaching staff the improvements that he made over the summer. He appeared in just five games for the Magic in April and his sample size was rather small so Summer League gave him an extended opportunity he didn’t get during the regular season.

“I think my defense has gotten better,” Georges-Hunt said. “My IQ of the game; understanding of the game has improved. Just little things for the most part. The Summer League was like my first test to show my versatility being that I can play one through four and guard one through four. Summer League was a great time to showcase that because I know the coaches haven’t seen me play as much as I did in Summer League. Being able to showcase my versatility and the way that I play was pretty big.”

Standing at 6-foot-6, Georges-Hunt gives the Magic a lot of versatility on the court. The Magic experimented with Georges-Hunt at a few different positions during Summer League and he appeared to play well at each position. The team even played him at point guard and gave him the task of running the offense.

It’s that sort of versatility teams are looking for and it could help Georges-Hunt earn a permanent role with the Magic. The idea of playing point guard was fun for him and a challenge he embraced.

“I put that pressure on them that I can handle the ball and they know I can handle the ball,” Georges-Hunt said. “It just helps me a lot more. I can go into the game and play four different positions. They see me and they trust me to a certain extent and it creates a lot of mismatches as well.” 

For the Magic, they will soon have 16 players on the roster, with 14 of those spots guaranteed. The team is expected to officially sign Arron Afflalo and Marreese Speights in the coming days. Georges-Hunt’s contract is one of the two that are not guaranteed for next season.

Even though he’s on a non-guranteed contract, he’ll be approaching training camp just like he would a game.

“I approach it like it’s just a game,” Georges-Hunt said. “I’m a competitor and just stay in attack mode. That’s all I can do. Put in the work now and then when training camp is going on, I just have to handle my business.”

If Georges-Hunt can continue to improve and show the coaching staff he’s worthy of a spot, don’t be surprised to see his name on this young Magic roster next season.

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About Cody Taylor

Cody Taylor

Cody Taylor is an NBA writer in his fourth season with Basketball Insiders, covering the NBA and NCAA out of Orlando and Miami.