Good news for the Magic. Terms not announced yet but Ariza is athletic and should have been signed for cheap. Ariza remains the second youngest player on the roster and is a year younger than JJ Redick. He is long and explosive and he is capable of growing into a defensive stopper role. If he gains a jump shot he is a steal.
This may be the last we hear of the Magic before the training camp roster is announced. They went into the offseason needing to re-sign or replace Ariza, Stevenson & Kasun plus add shooting plus a backup big without breaking the bank and ruining options for next offseason. Unless Otis has something up his sleeve the 2006/07 team will pretty much be this:
Gone for Sure: (-3) Kasun, Stevenson, Augmon.
New guaranteed contracts: (2) Bogans, Redick
Non-guaranteed additions: (2) Augustine, McNamara
On the bubble: (2) Travis Diener, Bo Outlaw (unsigned), McNamara, Augustine
Next year: Marcin Gortat
The season ended with the starters plus four bench guys (Darko, Arroyo, Dooling, Ariza) playing the bulk of the minutes plus occassional help from Augmon & Outlaw. Kasun, Hill & Garrity were inactive the last 2 months and Diener's work was limited to greeting various childrens groups before the game.
When the team breaks training camp the team will probably look like:
PF/C: (6) Howard & Darko & Battie account for 90+ minutes per game. Camp will determine if Darko starts or plays 6th man role. Garrity (ack!) & Outlaw limited minutes and Augustine 15th man unless he finds an aggressive streak in camp.
SF: (3) Turkoglu starts, Ariza first off bench, Hill in the mix or on the shelf with an ailment nobody can predict.
SG: (3) Bogans, Dooling & Redick all seeing time. Starter determined in camp all three averaging more than 12 minutes a game.
PG: (3) Nelson starts, Arroyo gets 18 minutes a game, Dooling gets spot minutes at PG. Diener is 14th man on the bench dreaming about his stellar summer league performance.