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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ariza wants to stay

Newsday.com: "Magic grateful to Isiah

According to an NBA official familiar with details of the Knicks' trade with Orlando for Steve Francis, Magic officials were pleasantly surprised that Isiah Thomas didn't force them to accept another contract along with Penny Hardaway's expiring contract and Trevor Ariza.

It was the perfect opportunity to dump Maurice Taylor's remaining two years. The Knicks could have taken back a player or two with expiring contracts and saved themselves Taylor's $9.75-million salary next year.

'How could that happen?' the executive said. 'It's unbelievable.'

Ariza likes Orlando

Ariza will be a free agent this summer, but he'd like to remain with the Magic. 'I definitely think I could be here,' he said. 'We have three guys 20 years old. If we all grow together, it will be good for the organization.'"

31 Comments:

  • At 11:32 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Isiah's clear stupidity should not generate a credit to Otis, on the other end. Just wanted to be clear on that.

     
  • At 1:05 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Matt,how can you be sure that within negotiation's isiah didnt try and force other players on otis,you could only be "clear" if you were in the negotiating room b/c otis may have turned down MTaylor's contract,in my opinion otis gets all the credit b/c he didnt accept any other players regardless of who or who wasnt offered,so we dont even have to debate that,we can agree to disagree right now,obviously in isiah's opinion it wasnt "clear" stupidity so that means someone had to get over on the other,and otis was the winner in this case,otis could mess up in every other deal he does,but he damn sure got over on the knicks!

     
  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Remember,we could have had JCrawford and or DLee,b/c they were thrown into some of those deal scenario's,so i like what otis eventually agreed too!

     
  • At 2:09 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I'm glad we have Ariza! He's shown that he is a promising young player, and hopefully will continue to see more playing time in the final month of the season, and will show that he's worth signing to a long-term deal.

     
  • At 4:04 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    How bout this, maybe Otis just got lucky on this one? He's gonna have to pull-off a couple more of these kinds of deals before I'll be totally convinced he really knows what he's doing. Let's see how he does with free angency and can he land us a big name player....

     
  • At 4:34 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Isiah had not shown much of a smart in blowing up Knicks to a balloon that may explode any second. His clear stupidity was that he wanted to mix Francis with Marbury, and that doesn't take much to be ruled as foolish. The crock of the deal between Magic and Knicks was Steve Francis. If Otis could have got Richardson, I would have applauded him. Ariza has been a pleasant surprise, but his contract is so low that they had to throw him in to make the numbers work. What I mean is that there was no intentional push to get him. Now, as far as what I know or don't know, I know this ... the only sure thing in this world is death. Logical people draw conclusions based on what is available to them. Big Figure, you think Otis is smart, good for Otis and you. A GM who cannot exert any influence on a low profile coach does not get any credit in my system. Short of beating on a dead horse, The incompetence of BSH and Wise Otis was the primary cause of Francis' fiasco. Since we are paying his salary this year (via waived Hardaway) the front office should have been smarter in handling the situation (don't ask me how b/c it is all there in prior postings) to have the full potential of his services, and possibly make to the play-offs. Even if eliminated after the first round the experience could have been priceless for our young players.

     
  • At 6:12 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Matt,i challenge you to find where i said otis was smart,and furthermore everything you said after that was opinion(except for the mention of salary)so i'll say "opinion's taken",but whether i agree with them or not,i said i give him credit for getting over on the knicks,never said that i thought a guy that has never been a gm was smart,those are two totally different things,i posed some ?'s like how can you be sure? and i also said otis "may"? have turned down players,but facts are facts none of us were in the room,i could care less what a journalist says,dont start assuming things matt,lets not do that,lets stick to the debate only,which is one that i've given my opinion on for a second time now!

     
  • At 6:28 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Oh,and you were wrong about the only sure thing in this world,you cant change your race so me,you,and everybody else will be forced to stay their race and die,in my case i'm african american,never mentioned that before,but in this case it's needed to school you a little,a little thing i always say "two things that are sure in this world is that i'm gonna stay black and die",i'm surprised i had to take you there matt!

     
  • At 6:35 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Unless you've heard of new developements,michael jackson may have purchase some caucasian dna on the black market to go with his skin tone,hahahahaahahahah,if anyone could do it he'd be my first guess,he already did it to the outside of his body!

     
  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    I kid,but the bottom line is,you can say in "your" opinion "isiah's clear stupidity shouldnt generate a credit to otis",but everybody in here may not agree,making that something that isnt clear,the only thing that is clear is they got steve,and we got trev & penny! In my personal opinion i think otis is somewhere in between smart and what omar said "lucky",otis & dave have the ability to do good for us for a change,but at the same time him/dave could fuck it all up b/c of lack of experience,their on a deal to deal basis in my book,and so far so good,maybe not great,b/c i agree richardson would have made him look like a genious,which he's probably not,but that's my actuall opinion on whether i think otis is smart or not since you did put the assumption out there!

     
  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Big Figure, with all due respect you went back and forth, including taking me to school on the other non-reversible matter, and rightly so, and challenged me in not paying attention to your postings, word-by-word, but you did not respond to the crock of the matter being incompetence in Magic's front office. Are you telling me that I cannot grade the Magic's officials and if I do, it would be all personal opinion? well, how about this my friend? We do not deal with a lot of absolute matters on daily basis. We all strive to get as close as possible to "absolute" but majority of the inferences that we make are all relative. So if you want let's debate it as to why we don't have the services of Steve Francis (for which we are paying)? Could the fiasco be avoided if the coach and the front office were smarter in communication, as well as in handling the situations that they were faced with? Why would a coach in his right mind order a top player to go in for mop-up time? Couldn't they sit Francis down and have a heart-to-heart conversation on what was bothering him when the first signs of tanking were witnessed?

     
  • At 8:34 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    Well, weather it was luck or intentional, the important thing about the deal is that it was GOOD for the Magic, BAD for the Knicks. Unless you are born into a basketball managment enviroment I'm sure there has to be a pretty good amount of on-the-job-training, some deals are gonna go your way and others aren't. I'm certain that everyone was just trying to do what they thought was best for their individual teams.

    I don't know what this has to to with the conversation, but remember John Gabriel? He did a great job accumulating all those first round draft pick. But look at the players he wasted them on. He was certainly no judge of talent. And he was the GM that let Shaq slip through our fingers. For every 1 thing Gabriel did well, he screwed up 2.

     
  • At 8:51 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    The problem with this organization is that the ownership doesn't know diddly do about the basketball and yet they want to be in full control. As a result their GMs are limited in their decision making authority. Gabriel didn't loose Shaq, ownership did by putting a price tag on a priceless player.

     
  • At 9:51 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Matt,i didnt go back and forth,i made two points,that your statement was opinion(which it is),and that the one thing you said that wasnt opinion was incorrect,while "questioning you" on where i said otis was smart,all four posts stay right on topic while those points were made,and they were very relevant,thats not back and forth,thats making two points at the same time if anything,while challenging you! But to answer the question,you can grade whatever you want,whether we deal with absolute or not,its still your opinion if you think otis sucks,bottom line!And i'm not gonna debate the last half of your post,b/c its obvious to me that jameer and carlos are better than steve at this point in his career,steve hadnt won anything before he got here for that matter,even if magic management screwed things up with steve(which they did),i'm still glad he's gone,b/c steve was never a guy that made others better like jameer and carlos do! I'm not sure what "the crock of the matter means" but if your asking do i think there's incompetence in the magic's front office,the answer is OF COURSE I DO,duh,dont we all?

     
  • At 9:51 PM, Blogger Ken said…

    You are right about the ownership matt, and it dosn't help that they are absentee owners at that. I was shocked to see RDV sitting behind the Magic bench at the last home game. I know the guy is old and workin with someone elses heart, but to me, he just looked miserable being there. Like this was some mandatory meeting with regional amway dealers that he had to sit through...

    Thats true that RDV put a price tag on a priceless player, but i think Shaq was going to leave anyway. It wouldn't have mattered what they offered him. He already had his sights set on the land of the looney and the Lakers. But i at least thought there was gonna be a negotiation process instead of just a lowball offer and then saying screw it..

     
  • At 9:59 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Matt's 8:51 post was exactly right,when you offer the best player in the league 50 mill,thats an insult,especially b/c a guy like jamal mashburn had just signed the biggest deal in nba history at about 80 mill over something like 11 years,the magic "HAD" to spend that kind of money to keep shaq,look what LA eventually game him 100something mill!

     
  • At 11:09 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I think we're all in agreement that the Magic front office did not handle the Steve Francis situation well at all before he was traded. But let's face it, despite all of Steve's talents, he is a very erratic, enigmatic player who has never led one of his teams to the NBA playoffs, and he continues to struggle mightily with the Knicks.

    Something had to be done, and the Magic realized they had to trade him. And they got a heck of a promising young talent in Ariza in return.

     
  • At 9:16 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    While I am in agreement with many of the negatives about Francis, let me reiterate my view that nobody, including the management, knew much of the negativities until it blew in their faces due to their own incompetence. Bottom line, a Francis of last year's commitment could have led Magic to the playoff thus buying a priceless experience for the young players. Let's not forget that Francis would have been a plus to the pieces that we have right now (minus Ariza). Having that said, what is done is done, and the only reason that I may bring it up is to keep the management and coach's incompetence a fresh issue.

     
  • At 3:03 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, do you think we ever could have had a Steve Francis who had last year's committment, to lead the Magic to the playoffs this season? It's like, so many things were bothering him (as we know, some of that was the Magic's doing). What would you have done to appease Francis so that he would give 100% effort every game? He's just so enigmatic and a head case, I don't think that anyone could have said or done anything to make the situation better.

    Steve's habit of turning his play "on" and "off" depending on how he felt was maddening to the team and fans.

    I think Jameer and Steve would have made a really good combo at point guard and shooting guard, respectively, but for some reason, Steve seemed to resent the success that Jameer was having, and that affected his play.

    As much as I respect Steve-O for his talents, he never has led a team to the playoffs, and I'm glad the trade was made.

     
  • At 6:36 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Steve was never the same after cuttino was traded,i blame the incompetence of ownership/JWeisbrod & JDavis for everything that happened in steve's future from that point on,they didnt give that starting five long enough to play together,look at cuttino with the clippers,when it come's to steve there was just to much going on with him to try and make it work now,it was screwed up since last year,JWeisbrod,Jdavis & BSH have all given us reason's to not like their efforts,but so far so good with the double headed monster GM's,knock on wood!

     
  • At 8:25 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Yeah, you're right Big Figure, that's how everything bad started with Francis, with the trade of Cuttino Mobley. That really blew up in Weisbrod's face, and Steve was never quite the same after that. Steve just wasn't mature enough to deal with the loss of Mobley. The fact that clubhouse cancer Doug Christie was obtained made everything that much worse.

     
  • At 9:19 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    I agree that Steve was badly hurt by the sudden trade of his buddy. But he got over it, at least on the surface, and played pretty good towards the end of the last season. I guess that at the back of his mind he was thinking that if Cuttino was here the team would have been more successful and all those losses wouldn't have piled up on his psyche. As a competitor he resented losses. As we all know, it was obvious that the lack of a SG with range hurt Magic a lot, and still does.

    Then came the new season and the new coach with so much promise that never materialized. Grant's injury and a system that was inept on offense and required a grinding game on defense (like Jeff Van Gundy's) that Steve resented was frustrating. Steve was never a good defender. I never believed that he was envious of Jameer's success. Probably all he expected from the coach was respect in deferring to him. I think I pretty much cataloged all there was except for any other problems or issues that we were not privy to.

    In response to Mike's question about what I would have done with Steve, I would say the same that I would have done with a troubled employee when I wanted it to work out ... constant communication to collect as much info as possible to be better equipped in dealing with him. I also be cautious in touching issues of sensitivity, especially respect which is quite a grand issue in dealing with superstars in sports. I honestly think Steve is not a bad guy, but you are all correct that he needs to grow up. Regardless, as is the case in business world, you take the employee that would like to keep round, and work at getting him or her to perform day after day. There is not a one size fits all solution. You have to work at it until you find the right formula.

     
  • At 2:02 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Well,that truely IS how to deal with a player/employee,but it doesnt make that player/employee better at what they do,that player/employee has to take pride in their job,and thats one thing about steve that i CAN question with statement's like "MY GAME MIGHT CHANGE,BUT IT'LL DEPEND ON IF I'M TRADED OR NOT",with statement's like that you have to question "whether steve WANTS to improve his game"? Matt i know you were just answering mike's question,but i thought a little perspective on who we were actually debating needed to be given,i mean i had to ask myself "what were we really giving up with trading steve"?In steve's mind he's always been a great player,which is his biggest problem,but the truth is he's never won anywhere,and career averages of 15pts,5reb,5ass are only good if your a small forward who doesnt turnover the ball alot,point guards night in and night out should be getting close to double double numbers with points and assists,but for a point guard to average only one more reb & ass than turnovers sucks BADLY,dwight already averages 4 turns a game,so we dont need another 4.5 turns from one guy (steve),with jameer and carlos being so solid it drastically cuts down on our team turnovers when their playing well,but steve even when playing well he's good for his usuall 4.5 turnovers,seems to me steve has never been someone to take improving his game seriously,so no matter how well steve's situation was handled,he still isnt a championship type player!

     
  • At 2:55 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Just to clarify, here are Steve Francis's career numbers:

    Games: 513
    PPG: 19.1
    Assists: 6.3
    Rebounds: 5.9
    Turnovers: 3.7

    Let's compare Steve's numbers in his 2 seasons with the Magic (2004-05 first, followed by 2005-06):

    Games: 78 (46)
    Minutes: 38.2 (37.7)
    PPG: 21.3 (16.2)
    Assists: 7.0 (5.7)
    Rebounds: 5.8 (4.8)
    Turnovers: 4.1 (3.4)

    In virtually the same amount of minutes this season (not including NY), Francis's numbers dropped dramatically in every category, except TOs, which were about the same. As Big Figure has noted, Steve-O's TOs are much higher than what a good point guard should have.

    He certainly has good career stats, but the fact his stats have dropped off so dramatically from one season to the next should sound an alarm with other teams who might be interested in him. Francis is only 29, he should be in the prime of his career now instead of seeing his numbers drop so dramatically.

     
  • At 4:51 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Those turnover numbers prove that even when steve's at his best,he's still a turnover prone guard who will never win anywhere unless he changes that,i personally dont think steve has it in him,he'll just go down as one of those good players who never won anything!

     
  • At 10:37 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    Those numbers are irrelevant to where I am coming from. I am saying that we could have Steve in addition to all we have at this time and probably on our way to the playoffs as a bonus to the young players.

     
  • At 1:03 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    "That we could have steve",matt you just aint getting it,nobody wants steve,and if you can say that you do,i BET your alone in that,mike and i have given very good reason's why not to keep steve,why houston let him go for tracy,and why his career is in the toilet! And "probably going to the playoffs"? with steve still here?,matt i cant beleive you even said that,you used the word probably b/c you didnt even beleive what you were about to post,who are you trying to fool,everyone in this blog will agree (maybe accept you by that post)that this team with steve wasnt going nowhere,and it's not b/c of management,its b/c steve isnt a winner bottom line,read the sentinel's article,the players are quoted as saying "they think they have a chance to still make the playoffs b/c philly is just playing horrible",its like these guys actually like playing basketball again playing free,sharing the ball,without one guy pounding the ball 50 times,these guys like playing with each other minus steve,everyone of them has said "they like steve as a person",but you can read between the line's and interpret that as,"we dont really like playing basketball with him though",jameer and carlos pass so much more with so many less turnovers,you know the rest of the guys are happy with them running the show,i dont see how you cant see that!Steve's gone and the players are happy thats fact,but it doesnt mean these guys arent in the playoff hunt just b/c steve's gone,its totally oppostite,were IN the hunt b/c he's gone,these guys arent eliminated yet so i dont think you should start giving up on them now,or what kind of fan would you be,it dont cost us any money to keep believeing untill mathematically eliminated,especially when they are playing so well together,its like a puzzle thats finally coming together,sorry but thats minus steve!

     
  • At 3:01 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Well said, Big Figure. It just wasn't working for Steve in Orlando, the Magic management recognized that, and made the trade. As I've said, he is a talented player, but we don't need a player who decides to play hard only when he wants to, and doesn't play hard if something's bothering him.

    It's hard to make an argument that the Magic would have made the playoffs this season with Francis, because he has never led a team to the playoffs in his 7 year career. Of course, he has the talent, but he needs to be in the right situation to have a chance. And it wasn't the right situation in Orlando, even if the front office had handled his situation better. Steve just wasn't happy with the offensive and defensive strategies of BHill.

    The offense is looking the best it has all year now with Nelson and Arroyo running the show. Four games in a row over 100 pts and shooting over 50% is testament to that.

     
  • At 6:15 PM, Blogger Matt said…

    You are blinded by you bias that you are not paying any attention to where I am coming from. Steve Frnacis played well last year even after Cuttino's trade. How soon we forget that he was almost there to be nominated by the coaches for another All-Star appearance. This year BS Hill happened to him and that's a virus that is not easy to shake up. Look, I am not shedding crocodile's tears for Steve, all I am saying is that with some competence in the coach and the front office, we didn't have to forfeit the services of a player that we are paying for, anyway. Don't forget that the coach and the front office failed to communicate with Steve before it got out of control. Don't forget that the moron of a coach ordered Steve to go in for mop-up time. Having all that said why should anybody rile up that I have a realistic view of what is typical in business world. If that is minority view, so be it.

    By the way, Houston made to the palyoffs, either the last year or the year before last while Steve was there. Additionally, Houston traded Steve to get McGrady. Who wouldn't?

     
  • At 7:02 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    What "bias",we're going on numbers,and the numbers say jameer is better for the team,the only place i would play steve is at the two b/c numbers show he's too turnover prone to lead a team to a championship,you bring up last year as if we won 50 games or something,our record sucked last year,and steve was the biggest reason with all the turnovers even when playing well,we'll take less points for less turnovers,any coach would,the virus you speak of is in new york,funny how jameer doesnt have any of steve's problem's on the court,and its the same coach in question,the only thing in that post that was worth something was the statement "we didnt have to give up a player that we're paying for anyway",and i totally agree,matt you couldnt be more right if that player was "SOMEONE WORTH KEEPING",and the fact that you cant realize/see that we're better off without steve is baffling to me,shaq is a guy who has played at the highest level,in the biggest games,and played with great guards,his opinion is one i would value,he told dwight that "he'll never win as long as steve's is in ORLANDO",why do you think shaq and everybody else feels that way? You dont have to agree or value shaq's opinion,but fact is even with steve at what you call him playing well,we only won 36 games,thats not good!

     
  • At 12:25 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Matt, thanks for correcting me. You are right, Houston did make the playoffs in the 2003-04 season, Francis's last year with the team, with a 45-37 record. However, they were eliminated by the Lakers in the first round 4 games to 1.

    Let me amend a previous statement I made. Steve Francis has only led a team to the playoffs once in 7 seasons, and they promptly were eliminated in the first round.

    Not exactly a ringing endorsement that Steve ever could have led the Magic to success in the playoffs. Matt, I respect your opinion though.

     

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