Posted by Scott Anez
WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET
With the signing of Polish center Marcin Gortat, General Manager Otis Smith checked off the final task on his summer to-do list this week. So, with 14 contracts heading into 2007-2008, what you see on the current roster is what you're gonna get come September 29.
Coach Van Gundy, it's up all up to you now brotha!
Let's take a snapshot of this Magic team as we head toward training camp.
Point Guards: Jameer Nelson, Carlos Arroyo and Keyon Dooling.
Magic brass believes that Jameer will rebound this season under Coach Stan, who hopes to take pressure off his point guard with his early offense. We need Jameer to take over a leadership role with this club. Coach Van Gundy is a Keyon fan, having coached him at Miami. Expect to see Keyon playing more of a role as a backup point. Carlos is a great talent. The hope here is that the new coaching staff is able to tap into consistency from Carlos. The point guard spot is definitely a concern heading into camp. We need more heady play, play-making and on-ball defensive pressure from our point guards this year.
Question: Can Jameer start creating for his teammates?
Shooting Guards: Keith Bogans, JJ Redick, Trevor Ariza.
If the glass is half empty in your world, you view two guard spot as a potential problem area. If you're Joel Glass, well, you look at this position as being stocked with versatility. Bogans had a falling out with Coach Brian Hill last year. But he's another guy who gets a reprieve under the new coaching staff. Bogans is a tough minded defender who could be the starter come Halloween night. JJ's gonna get a lot more love this year but I just don't see him becoming a full time starter. Trevor will see some time at the 2 as well because, frankly, he's our best defender. Hedo Turkoglu may also get some p-t at the two, but I have my doubts about him defending that position. The two guard spot has great versatility, but with Grant Hill moving west, this is have to be gonna be shooting guard by committee this season.
Question: Can JJ become the offensive weapon we think he can be?
Small Forwards: Rashard Lewis, Hedo Turkoglu, Trevor Ariza, Pat Garrity.
Without a doubt, this is the most fortified small forward position in the NBA. Lewis is the guy, but again, there's much versatility here. Lewis and Hedo can play the power forward position if need be. Lewis can also play the 2. Depending on matchups, so can Ariza. Hedo was on the trading blocks over the summer but will be back after a down year last season. This position will certainly be a strength.
Question: Can Rashard become the go-to-guy we desperately crave?
Power Forwards: Tony Battie, James Augustine, Marcin Gortat.
I have a lot of respect for Tony. He is a warrior. But, he's not cut out to play 30-plus minutes per game anymore. With Darko now in Memphis, the pickup of free agent Adonal Foyle was huge. Foyle will back up both Battie and Dwight down low. Augustine is young and energetic but still has a long way to go. Gortat brings the bulk. But, again, he's young, green and will have to learn the NBA game on the fly. As good as Dwight is, the power forward spot is more than adequate.
Question: Can we keep Tony Battie healthy and relatively fresh this season?
Centers: Dwight Howard, Adonal Foyle.
Have you seen Dwight in the FIBA Americas tourney yet? He looks like a monster! Granted, Dwight is still shooting bricks at the free throw line. But, playing alongside the likes of Jason Kidd and Kobe Bryant will undoubtedly rub off on the young 21 year old phenom. The addition of Foyle adds a much needed low-post defender and shot blocker to the club.
Question: Coach Ewing, can you help Dwight develop an 8-10 foot jumper to keep defenses honest?
So, there ya go. A snapshot of the 2007-2008 Orlando Magic.
Coach Van Gundy, win or tie, we're with you....
But…there still is a chance the Magic could make a deal.
As reported, the Denver Nuggets waived veteran point guard Anthony Carter on Wednesday.
Carter was signed to a two-year deal last season and he wasn't eligible for league assistance with his minimum salary of over $1.1 million. Therefore, if he's waived and not claimed by another team, the Nuggets can re-sign him to a one-year deal and get league assistance that will save the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Nuggets are hopeful he won't be claimed by another organization, and if that turns out to be the case, the team will likely re-sign him.
However, if another team picks up Carter, the Nuggets will be only left with Chucky Atkins and AI at the point guard position. AI often doesn’t run the point, which is why we saw Steve Blake and Carter playing the position a lot. So if someone picks up Carter, the doors for the Magic/Denver trade could be reopened, as they might really need a player like Dooling or Arroyo.