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Frankel’s 2014-15 per 36 projections
Luke Ridnour played just 36 games in Milwaukee during the 2013-14 season (starting 12 of them) before being shipped off to Charlotte in a deal at the trade deadline involving Gary Neal, Ramon Sessions, and Jeff Adrien. It was a tough year for Ridnour, who played the least amount of minutes and games (not including the lockout season) since his rookie year back in 2004. He started just 14 of his 61 games, and averaged a little under 19 minutes a night.
Ridnour’s .452 True Shooting percentage wasn’t pretty, but his 327 field goal attempts weren’t exactly an adequate sample size, especially as that number sits below his career percentage (.519). His 9.0 PER wasn’t any better — it was below replacement-level and way under his career PER (14.0).
His 2012-13 campaign — Ridnour’s final year in Minnesota — would likely be a better representation of his abilities, and of what he can bring to Orlando this season. Quietly back then, Ridnour was one of the league’s most prolific midrange scorers — he shot 55.7 percent from 10-16 feet and 48.7 percent from 16-23 feet, while having one of the more intriguing shot charts in the league. He sported a healthy 13.0 PER and his .532 True Shooting percentage was right at the league average.
Passing was, and is, another notable strength of Ridnour’s — he averaged 4.5 assists per 36 minutes in 2012-13 despite playing a majority of his minutes at shooting guard alongside Ricky Rubio. He boasts a career average of 6.2 assists per 36, and put up passing numbers just under that last season (5.6 assists per 36) despite his inconsistent play.
It will certainly be interesting to see what the Magic get out of Luke Ridnour next season. He’s 33 years old, and unquestionably past his prime, but he provides a veteran presence that Orlando seemed to miss on the floor last year, particularly in late-game situations.
It’s tough to estimate what sort of minutes he will play, but the Magic have shown that while they’re clearly all-in on the development of their younger guys, they’re still going to play the vets, as was seen with a 31-year-old Jameer Nelson starting in every game he appeared in.
There’s also the possibility of Ridnour’s addition pushing Victor Oladipo to shooting guard full-time. With Ridnour’s signing coinciding with drafting Elfrid Payton, we could see an end to the point guard experiment that Oladipo went through last season, especially if Ridnour’s minutes per game get back to normal (he averages 26.7 minutes per game for his career).
Whatever happens, not too much can go wrong with the Ridnour signing. He’s a proven player on a two-year, $5.5 million deal with only one year guaranteed, who — as GM Rob Hennigan said — “is well-respected as a teammate and competitor.” Even if this season doesn’t pan out for him, adding an NBA veteran to a roster with 10 players under the age of 24 is a good move, and can hopefully help oversee the growth of some of the younger guys.