According to a report from MLive, former Michigan guard Derrick Walton has found a landing spot in the NBA. The report indicates that Walton has signed a free agent deal with the Orlando Magic and will get a shot in this year’s NBA Summer League.
Walton spent four years in Ann Arbor as a college player for the Michigan Wolverines. He averaged 11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game during his career and 15.5 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game as a senior. Notably, he shot 42.2 percent from three-point range during the 2016-’17 season.
Many of the biggest highlights of Walton’s career came late in his time in Ann Arbor. He was a huge part of Michigan’s impressive finish to the 2016-’17 season, when Michigan went 6-2 to end the regular season, won the Big Ten Tournament, and made the Sweet 16 before falling in dramatic fashion to the Oregon Ducks.
Admittedly, Walton will have an uphill battle if he is going to make it in the NBA. While his 6-foot-0 height isn’t incredibly small for an NBA point guard, it is on the smaller side. That also adds onto the fact that Walton isn’t incredibly athletic and will likely have trouble getting to the hoop at the next level.
But even if it will be challenging for Walton to make it to the next level, there are some reasons for hope. To start, Walton is a really effective passer and became much more consistent as a shooter last season. Those skills will translate to the next level, even if he has more difficulty at developing his own shot.
The NBA Summer League play begins on July 7, 2017.