On Wednesday afternoon, the Orlando Magic announced via their official team PR account that they signed BJ Johnson and Gabe York to the team. Although the terms of those deals weren’t technically announced, Orlando Sentinel writer Josh Robbins later reported that the contracts for both players featured an Exhibit 10 clause. That Exhibit 10 means that the Magic could eventually sign them to two-way deals. If that doesn’t happen, they would get an additional $50,000 if they spend two months with Lakeland, their G League affiliate.
For G League fans, York should be a familiar name as he spent the 2016-17 season with the Erie BayHawks. During that season, he stood as one of the lone bright spots on an otherwise terrible Erie squad as York averaged 15.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals on 44% from the field and 36% from beyond the arc in 6.7 perimeter attempts per game. That run included a marvelous game where he put up 38 points, 4 assists and 4 steals on 12-19 from the field and 10-13 on perimeter jumpers. As evident in the clip below, York was able to light it up no matter how far he was from the basket.
That level of perimeter shooting has been a significant part of York’s offensive arsenal since he shot 41% during his four-year career at Arizona. More recently, the 6’3 guard put up 15 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists while shooting 42% from the field and 39% on 7.1 perimeter attempts per game for Medi Bayreuth of the German Basketball Bundesliga League and Basketball Champions League.
In addition to his knack as a long-range threat, he’s shown himself to be a solid facilitator no matter which country he was playing in. During his prior G League stint with the Erie BayHawks, he averaged 3.7 assists with a 2.1 Ast/TO ratio. Those solid numbers are due to his ability as a drive-and-dish facilitator as he can use a quick first step to get into the paint and then throw precise passes to open teammates.
Although he’ll get an opportunity to spend training camp with Orlando, it’s extremely likely that he’ll be starting the upcoming season with Lakeland. That should be a good opportunity for the 25-year-old guard as he’ll have a chance to share the backcourt with Orlando two-way prospect Troy Caupain. Those two should be a fine pairing as Caupain’s skills as a pass-first guard that’s also solid at driving to the paint could give York a lot of open perimeter looks. In addition to that, he’ll have some solid front-court players to work with as he’ll have a chance to either work the pick-and-pop with B.J. Johnson or pick-and-roll with Magic two-way prospect Amile Jefferson.
If he can mesh together with those teammates and even grow under the tutelage of head coach Stan Heath, there’s a chance that he we’ll be seeing Gabe York hit long-range bombs in the NBA in this upcoming season.