Chris Duhon In Town Today, But Wants Magic Money
His astute agent, Kevin Bradbury, is saying all the right things.
It's the way you play the free-agent wheel of fortune.
How Duhon wants to play on an up-and-coming team like Orlando's. How he'd love to play with Dwight Howard. And how, just a few years ago when Duhon was a restricted free agent, that he and the Magic made eyes at each other.
"One of the things Chris wants to do is play for a championship contender," Bradbury told the Sentinel. "This is one of the teams he is serious about. There's been interest both ways for some time."
Bradbury also said Duhon would be excited about playing for the New York Knicks, whom he visited on Tuesday (although why he'd go to that cuckoo's nest is beyond me.)
Here's the thing:
Duhon wants more than what the Knicks and the Magic are offering.
He wants all or a majority of the mid-level exception, worth about $6 million a season. But like the Knicks, the Magic want to split it up between two players almost evenly.
So unless Duhon comes down a little -- hey, it's early in the bargaining process --- he and Orlando can't marry.
Duhon is just playing the game. He knows that even though he has been a back-up most of his career in Chicago, the point-guard free agent class is weak. (Now you know why Magic GM Otis Smith signed Jameer Nelson to a five-year, $40 million extension before the start of last season. Nelson would be the runaway No. 1 point guard as a free agent this summer.)
Duhon would be a nice addition to the Magic because he can play defense and is listed at 6-1. With the return of Keyon Dooling expected, the club could have some more defense at the point. (Also the same goes with Dooling: If he wants to get heavy into the mid-level exception, he might price himself out of the Magic's thinking.) Bschmitz