Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Corey Maggette opts out of Clippers contract

Elton Brand, Corey Maggette opt out of their Clippers contracts - Los Angeles Times

Update: Baron Davis was a surprise opt out of his huge Golden State contract. One rumor is he is headed to the Clippers and the Clips will renounce the rights to Maggette.

A few sources are expecting Davis to end up in LA -- under the assumption that the Clippers renounce their rights to Maggette and offer Baron a five-year deal worth around $60 million. Some, in fact, believe there's an under-the-table agreement, though that was flat-out rejected by one Clippers' source, and contradicts the whereabouts of coach Mike Dunleavy, whom the LA Times is reporting met with free agent guard Beno Udrih in New York on Monday night.
So Maggette could wind up signing somewhere other than back to the Clippers.

Other Interesting Free Agents

Five-minute guide to 2008 free agency period - Marty Burns - SI.com

Magic are most likely to look in the bargain bin for players, here are three from SI.com

Three potential bargains

1. James Jones: The 6-8 forward quietly put together a strong season last year for the Blazers, finishing third in the NBA in three-point shooting (44.0 percent) while bringing other intangibles that helped that young team blossom. He opted out of the final year of his contract ($3.1 million), but he probably could be picked up for only slightly more.

2. Pietrus: Once considered a rising star in Golden State, he has been buried on the bench in Nelson's system. But the 6-6 swingman is a terrific athlete who can defend and shoot the three. With a change of scenery, Pietrus just might live up to his potential and turn out to be a steal at the right price.

3. Chris Quinn: The second-year guard from Notre Dame was one of the few bright spots for the Heat last season. Filling in for the injured Jason Williams, he averaged around 15 points and six assists down the stretch with a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Quinn is restricted, and the Heat will probably match any offer, but it might be worth a shot for a team seeking a hard-nosed guard who can shoot with range.

Since all three shoot the 3 pointer they would probably fit with SVG. I also would love to have James Posey of the Celtics who is likely to opt out. Posey has been a key bench player for two of the last three champions.

Let the Daily Rumors Begin!

Orlando Magic may make move for Maggette -- OrlandoSentinel.com

Orlando dumped Maggette after a pretty good rookie year to make room to sign all-time Magic favorite Grant Hill whose durability and loyalty have come to represent just what the Magic organization stands for. Since the trade Maggette showed steady improvement to become a 22 point, 5.6 rebound guy shooting .384 from 3 point range.

The Sentinel "reports" today that they know a guy who knows Corey who may also know someone who works for the Magic (a ball-boy perhaps? Or one of those hot dancer chicks?) And that Maggette wants to leave Clipperland and come to Orlando. If this is remotely true, Maggette must formally opt out of his contract for $7 million next year.

Of all the rumors out there, this one could actually work. Maggette would be a very good swing man providing a big improvement over Bogans or Evans at the 2.

Of course, the Magic would have to either sign & trade or use their entire mid-level exception to get the deal done. This could prove too complicated for the staff to accomplish, and besides the Magic have not had four quality players on the team since the Finals years of Shaq, Penny, Horace and Nick.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Report: Howard incurred stress fracture during playoffs

Here are excerpts from an article from espn.com which reported Saturday night that Magic C Dwight Howard suffered the injury in the second round against the Pistons:

Dwight Howard was forced to sit out practice Saturday due to a stress fracture of his sternum, an injury he sustained during the Orlando Magic's second round playoff loss to the Detroit Pistons.

"It's a six to eight week recovery time, and this is the sixth week," said Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, who expects Howard to be fully healed by the time the team reconvenes for training camp July 21.

Still, the injury is worrisome for the Americans, who are planning to go to Beijing with just three big men -- Howard, Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer. If Howard were to aggravate the injury, that lack of front-line depth could become a major issue.

Howard said he sustained the injury when he collided simultaneously and was sandwiched between Jason Maxiell and Arron Afflalo of the Pistons. Doctors told him it is an injury typically incurred by hockey players.

"It hurts. I haven't been able to really do anything since the playoffs, but it'll be alright," Howard said. "I should be fine by the time we start training camp. That's what the doctor said. So there's no worries for me or the staff."

If any U.S. players are injured prior to the Olympics, they can be replaced on the roster up until Aug. 9th -- but only if the injury is verified by authorities from the International Olympic Committee and the USOC.

For the complete article, the link is: sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3465434

Friday, June 27, 2008

With the 22nd pick in the first round, the Magic select...

SG Courtney Lee (6'5", 200 pounds) of Western Kentucky, who averaged 20.4 PPG on 47.7% FG shooting, including 39.7% on 3 PT FGs this past season. He scored 20 pts or more in 19 of the 36 games he played in, including 3 games of 30 pts or more with a season-high of 33 pts.

Here is a scouting report on Lee from Yahoo.com:

Lee has dominated the Sun Belt for the last few years with his efficient and versatile style of play. He is able to score a number of ways from the outside, whether it be via his silky-smooth three-point shot or pull-up jumper off the bounce. He has a high basketball IQ and rarely forces the issue, letting the game come to him while keeping a calm demeanor at all times on the floor. He rebounds the ball well for a shooting guard and has shown nice court vision when creating for others. Defensively he has established himself as one of the top shooting guards in this draft, and does a very nice job of getting in the passing lanes for deflections.

Lee is not an incredibly explosive athlete, and is not very creative off the dribble, leading one to question whether or not he will able to create his own shot in the NBA. Lee has shown the tendency to get somewhat passive at times, and has somewhat small hands and average height and length.

Lee might be the most versatile shooting guard the draft has to offer and projects as an outstanding complementary player in the NBA.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Magic pick #22...Draft Thursday!

Who should the magic take with their first pick? It might be smart to take a wing player who can fill in at both guard and forward seeing as how mo evans and keyon dooling arent for sure locks to return. Otis has said he'll take the best player available,at that time in the draft a host of shooting guards will be available and probably grade out as the top picks available still on our draft board. Courtney Lee and Chris Douglas-Roberts have both worked out for the magic and are expected to be on the board when the magic pick at #22. Lee is the more outside shooting oriented player being able to hit the three point shot with good size at 6ft 5. Douglas-Roberts is the slasher who can get to the basket at will with a very good mid-range game and has even better size at 6ft7. It's been rumored that otis likes lee the most out of the two. The magic dont have a second round pick but are supposed to trade for one,so who do they pick in the second round? They probably will take the best banger available. We also shouldnt be surprised on draft night to see us be a part of some deals,JJ could be on the move for better positioning within the draft if there's a player otis really wants.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Congrats to the NBA champion Celtics and former Magic coach Doc Rivers

The Boston Celtics completed one of the most amazing turnarounds in one season in NBA history, going from 24 wins last season to 66 wins this season and the NBA championship with their dominant 131-92 thrashing of the Lakers in Game 6.

The turnaround started in the offseason, as the Celtics acquired two proven stars in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to go along with their own star Paul Pierce. The "Big Three" were complemented by a solid and underrated supporting cast and a solid defensive philosophy from coach Doc Rivers.

I have to admit I thought the Lakers would win the series, based on the fact they had only played 15 playoff games to 20 playoff games for the Celtics. In addition, the Celtics had to sweat through two grueling 7 game series against the surprising Hawks and the Cavaliers, while the most games the Lakers had to play in a series was six against Utah; but with their suffocating defense and the dominance of the "Big Three", the Celtics proved they were the best team in the NBA without question.

Hopefully someday, our Magic can be where the Celtics are right now.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Magic's Report Card

Magic's loss to Detroit was embarrassing especially in the way they blew late leads and faded away in closing seconds. After loosing the fourth game by a close margin at home, Magic players were seen at bars and nightclubs instead of spending time in the gym getting ready for the next game. Dwight was, and has always been, an exception. The team leaders, coach, GM and captains alike, ought to establish strict rules on how players spend their times in between games as play-offs roll in.

With that prelude, I would like to summarily grade the players, the coach and the GM (not in that specific order) for the 2007-08 season:

Otis Smith:

Pros - Hiring Stan Van Gundy, signing Rashard Lewis and staying away from public speeches, if he could help it!

Cons - Billy Donovan's fiasco, mishandling the need for a legit starting PF, signing an unproven PG to a long term contract unnecessarily, failure to engage in trades to address the deficiencies partly due to bad signings (untradable players) and partly due to the lack of weight and clout.


Stan Van Gundy:

Pros - Consistent coaching style, maximum implementation of assets available with minor exceptions, passion and integrity, excellent players' relations and communication.

Cons - In-explainable use of players or lack thereof, average skill in developing new talents and occasional judgement lapses in game time situations.



PGs - Keyon has been the most consistent of the three PGs while Jameer and Carlos had many ups and downs. GRADES: Keyon - B+, Jameer - C+, Carlos - C.

SGs - The differences between Mo and Keith were insignificant, and none could be considered starting quality SGs. Mo performed above all expectations (credit goes to the coach), and Keith was solid in 3-point shooting. J.J. was not given enough opportunity to show what he is made of (knock on the coach). GRADES: Mo - B+, Keith - B+, J.J. - could not be rated due to the lack of playing time.

SFs - Hedo was outstanding and Mo fitted in nicely, as well. GRADES: Hedo - A-, Mo - has been graded before.

PFs - Rashard was as impressive as expected although out of position which had uninevitable effects for the long season. Brian overachieved and Marcin was hardly used. GRADES: Rashard - A, Brian - B, Marcin - could not be rated due to the lack of playing time.

Cs - Dwight was spectacular as he took his game to a new level (Patrick's influence could not be underestimated). Adonal was average and performed as expected while James was hardly used. GRADES: Dwight - A, Adonal - C+, James could not be rated due to the lack of playing time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Magic's Foyle opts out -- Not expected back

Magic's Foyle opts out | floridatoday.com | FLORIDA TODAY

Adonal Foyle has decided to opt out of his deal and become an unrestricted free agent. He was said to be upset over lack of playing time in the playoffs after playing 82 games at 9 minutes per during the season. He is not expected back with Battie and Cook expected to be healthy and Gortat emerging a bit in the playoffs.

Keith Bogans can opt out of the last year of his contract this summer, but is not expected to. He will earn $2.9 million next year. His inexpensive one year contract could still be traded.

Effective July 1

Magic unrestricted free agents:
Keyon Dooling,
Maurice Evans
Carlos Arroyo
Pat Garrity

Restricted free agents:
James Augustine

Currently Signed for Next Year:
Center: Howard, Battie, Gortat
Forward: Lewis, Turk, Cook
Guard: Bogans, Redick, Nelson

The above nine have salaries of about $54 million. Luxury tax, which is a hard cap for teams like the Magic is around $65 million so the Magic are going to either sign six players for a total of $11 million, or work out a trade of anyone but Howard, Lewis or Turkoglu to improve the roster.

Most likely trade bait: 1. Redick, 2. Cook, 3. Nelson 4. Bogans It is possible (if unlikely) the entire back court could turned over before the start of the season.

Six openings, two draft picks, July should be busy. I would guess the Magic will take a run at resigning Dooling and Evans but there is no guarantee they will be back. Arroyo and Garrity are surely gone. Augustine could be a cheap resign to fill out the roster.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Twardzik Gets Extension -- Why?

Magic GM gets extension, covets NBA title | floridatoday.com | FLORIDA TODAY

John Denton, our area's best scribe covering the Magic has a good wrap up on the Magic today, but buries the horrific lead:
Assistant general manager Dave Twardzik, who handles much of the team's scouting duties, also received a contract extension Monday.
I have a post in me waiting to come out about the horrible catastrophe that is Dave Twardzik. Hey Otis, here's a sound idea. As long as Twardzik is on the payroll trade the draft picks. It's the only way you'll get any value for them.

Donovan, Van Gundy saga happened one year ago this week

Compared to last year at this time, things are really quiet with the Orlando Magic now.

Last year, after the much-anticipated firing of Brian Hill in late May, a week later on May 31st, the Magic hired University of Florida coach Billy Donovan and signed him to a big contract. Stunningly, three days later, reports were that Donovan changed his mind, and wanted to get out of his contract to go back to UF. The Magic released Donovan from the contract on June 4th.

The search was on again for a new coach. On June 7th, former Heat coach Stan Van Gundy was hired.

There was also much talk about what would happen with Grant Hill, and would the Magic be able to sign free agent Rashard Lewis when the free agency signing period began on July 1st.

Now, one year later and after a second round playoff elimination to the Pistons, the only buzz around the team is who they might pick with the 22nd pick of the draft, and how many of their free agents might they try to re-sign.

This is the first new blog post here in almost two weeks. Last year, on June 4th alone, there were four brand new blog posts on just that day.

This year, things aren't as exciting, but this will still be a very important off-season for the Magic as they try to put the right pieces in place so that next season's team can legitimately contend for the Eastern Conference title.