Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Derrick Byars Watch: Day 2

Vanderbilt alum Derrick Byars is looking to earn a roster spot with a NBA squad after spending the past season overseas.

The 2007 SEC Player of the Year was drafted by Portland in the second round (No. 42 overall) and was immediately traded to Philadelphia before being waived in late October. He ended up playing overseas in Germany and then in France for defending French League champion Chorale-Roanne.

Now, he's playing with the Magic in the Orlando Pro Summer League. After scoring 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting, including 3-for-7 from downtown, in yesterday's opener, Byars scored seven points on 3-for-5 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds in 20 minutes today.

Western Kentucky's Courtney Lee went off for 27, but the Magic still lost 100-77 as Oklahoma City featured Kevin Durant (22 points), rookie Russell Westbrook (19 points) and Vanderbilt fan-favorite Jeff Green (28 points).

The Magic have five unrestricted free agents -- Carlos Arroyo, Keyon Dooling, Maurice Evans, Adonal Foyle and Pat Garrity -- and one restricted free agent in James Augustine, which means they currently have 10 players signed for next season.

However, they are expected to sign former Golden State shooting guard Mickael Pietrus to a 4-year, $24 million deal. The Magic are also looking to re-sign guard Keyon Dooling, although ownership does not want to pay the luxury tax, which is actually good news for Byars.

There is a chance that Orlando will simply look to sign a few free agents for the league minimum to fill out its roster. Hopefully DB makes enough noise the rest of the week to warrant consideration.

Photo [USA Today]

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