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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / July 16.
  • Orlando Magic sign former Kentucky guard Isaiah Briscoe

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    It appears that Isaiah Briscoe is getting another shot in the NBA.

    The New Jersey native and former Kentucky guard has agreed to a deal with the Orlando Magic and will play with them in summer league, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi. The deal could be partially guaranteed for the 2018-19 season, per the Orlando Sentinel.

    The 6-foot-3 Briscoe, 22, spent last season in Estonia with BC Kalev, where he averaged 22.0 points, 4.0 assists and 3.4 turnovers per game..

    “Great country, great people,” Briscoe told the Orlando Sentinel. “I enjoyed my time there.”

    Briscoe, who led Roselle Catholic High School to the 2015 New Jersey Tournament of Champions title, has always been a tough, gritty guard, but there questions about his outside shot at Kentucky and he went underrated in 2017. Yet he shot 72 percent from the foul line and 37 percent from beyond the arc in Estonia last season.

    “I always take criticism the right way and try to use it and help my game as much as possible,” Briscoe told the Sentinel. “But that was what I heard for the most part: work on my point guard skills. That’s what I did. I had a year away from all distractions — away from a lot of people — for me to actually focus and learn more about myself and work on my game and just polish myself up.”

    Magic assistant coach Pat Delany, who is serving as the team’s summer league head coach, said he’s been impressed with Briscoe.

    “Toughness, competitiveness — that’s stuff that, as coaches, we can’t even teach,” Delany told the Sentinel. “It’s in his DNA. You can see that in him.

    “Is it perfect all the time? No. But he’s a willing listener. He’s willing to get better. And that type of tendency … just accentuates itself to everybody else on the team. He’s been a leader, another tough guy. His game has continued to grow even in the short time we’ve had him.”

    Kentucky coach John Calipari Tweeted support for Briscoe, who left campus after his sophomore season but couldn’t stick with an NBA team and then went overseas.

    “Now I’m back in the States,” Briscoe said. “I’m glad to be back.”

    Photo: USA Today

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.