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.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Magic make a move for Mikael Pietrus; Keyon Dooling unsure of future

The latest from the online Sentinel from Brian Schmitz on the situation:

The Orlando Magic are moving closer to signing shooting guard Mickael Pietrus as a free agent while waiting on Corey Maggette to make a decision.

Acknowledging that it's a gamble, the Magic might be willing to wait on Maggette's decision, but they apparently have Pietrus in hand.

"It's risky," Magic General Manager Otis Smith said. "He doesn't have to be in a hurry, so we can wait. But it's a risk we take or any team takes." Free agents can begin signing contracts today with their new teams.

Pietrus, 6-6, 198 pounds, is described as a strong defender and accurate 3-point shooter. He averaged 8.6 points in five seasons with the Golden State Warriors.

Smith reiterated that he thinks the Magic are a long shot to land Maggette with a few other teams having enough salary cap room to sign him.

While it's likely now that Pietrus will fill the Magic's vacant shooting guard spot, Keyon Dooling concedes he doesn't know where he fits in his former team's plans.

"I don't know. I'll have to wait and see now. Everything is all over the place," Dooling said while fishing Tuesday. "I figure I'll fit in somewhere. I just don't know where. There are still teams interested."

Dooling, who played for the Magic for the past three seasons as a point guard and shooting guard, said it appears if he returns at all it will be as a point guard.

"The Magic have had their priorities. They got their 2 position. Pietrus will help us at the 2," Dooling said, still using the term "us" when speaking of the Magic.

Dooling said the Magic have not handed him an offer sheet.

UPDATE: According to Brian Schmitz of the Sentinel, the Magic are expecting to sign Pietrus to a four-year contract worth about $24 million on Wednesday or Thursday.

Magic President Bob Vander Weide and Coach Stan Van Gundy were thrilled with the chance to land Pietrus.

The Magic were toying with the idea of waiting on Corey Maggette to make a decision, but Vander Weide acknowledged that it would have been too risky to lose Pietrus.

Vander Weide and Van Gundy said they want Dooling to return but Vander Weide is concerned with butting up against the punitive luxury tax. Dooling can be signed outright by the team, without using any exception.


  • At 8:01 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Well, now the Magic will have four SGs... Bogans, Lee, Redick and Pietrus; but no backup PG as of yet because of the uncertainty of the Dooling situation.

    If Dooling and Carlos Arroyo sign with someone else, looks like the Magic will have to sign either Jason Williams or Anthony Carter for the minimum as the backup PG.

    Even though I still like Courtney Lee, I kind of wish now the Magic would have focused more on drafting a PF.

    Who knows, maybe things will work out, though. I'm willing to wait and see. I do think Pietrus will be a good addition to the team.

  • At 8:48 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…


    I'm didn’t expect to hear myself saying that, but I'm pleasantly surprised.

    I don't see why the Magic need to rush for another big? Turk and Lewis will still command the majority of the minutes at the forward positions. Next season we'll have Cook and Battie coming back from injury. Add Gortat who showed that he can be a serviceable big man off of the bench. I think the forwards are set for now.

    Same goes for the shooting guards. Pietrus will start, and will fill a much needed void. He's athletic, can shoot the 3-ball, and most importantly he's a defensive player. If he can come in and get stops, this signing will be great for Orlando.

    As for his backup, we have 3 options. I'm guessing Lee will end up getting some of those minutes. During the first 2 summer league games, he's basically looked like a more athletic stronger version of Redick.

    Both Bogans and Redick are now expendable, but I imagine they will keep at least one of them for insurance.

    The Magic still need a backup point guard. I really hope some kind of agreement can be worked out with Dooling. If not Arroyo, Williams, and Carter are all serviceable; but I would much rather have Dooling.

  • At 10:48 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    I can't really argue against anything you're saying, OVERWADED.

    This does give the Magic a lot of flexibility now. The starting lineup next season could be Nelson/Pietrus/Turkoglu/Lewis/Howard, with Battie, Cook, Augustine or Gortat as the bigs off the bench. Or might the Magic start Lewis at SF and Battie at PF, with Turk coming off the bench as the sixth man.

    Pietrus does have the ability to average 12-15 ppg at SG, to go along with his fine 3 point shooting and good defense, which will fit well in SVG's system.

    As much as I admire the job Mo Evans did as the starting SG last season, Pietrus will be an upgrade as the starting SG.

  • At 12:21 AM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Is he really 6'6"? He sounds like an upgrade, ESPN calls him "Bruce Bowen like." That would be nice to have a defender to play the better point guards in the league.

    As for the other SGs I can't count to four.

    Redick is a bench stiff, not an NBA SG.

    Lee is a rookie. We won't even know how much he sucks for a few years.

    Bogans turned into Evans caddie last year and will be the backup to Pietrus this year.

    Now the Magic almost have four good players. They can trade any of the rest to find a good PG to either replace or back up Nelson.

    I'm still guessing that Jason Williams signs for the $2 million veterans exception. He has claimed he wants to play in Orlando in the past.

    It will be interesting to see if Dooling comes back or follows the money elsewhere. Same with Evans.

    I am happy the Magic have improved (however modestly.)

  • At 12:37 AM, Blogger Matt said…

    It's nice to hear from OVERWADED. My takes are slightly different while I admit that, where we are, there are no clear cut answers to our deficiencies, and no matter what we do there will be some trade-offs of some kind.

    1 - While we have real issues with the back-up PG it is unwise to think of an upgrade to SG position. As such, I will move to secure Keyon's signing with a behind the scene agreement (may be the case as we speak). Since he is our own free agent that would cause no problem if the Magic does not care much about the luxury tax, and they shouldn't if they are serious about becoming a contender.

    2 - If I am faced with a choice between strengthening the SG or PF positions, I will choose for the PF position because: a) We can't impose long term wear and tear on two highest paid , and arguably most valuable, players on the team in Rashard and Dwight by not providing them with proper support; b) I disagree with using Rashard at PF because banging with bigger and stronger players may have long term effects on him. Additionally, by moving him to SF, we could use Hedo, whose stocks has gone up in the league, to trade for upgrades in PF, or even go after some great PFs available in this free market. In my view, a top level PF would do to Magic what the addition of Rasheed did to DET.

    3 - As for the SG position, we have a glut of Keith, J.J. and Lee and adding another SG is not warranted. It is only warranted if the upgrade is as clear as Maggette, and even as that we have to deal with the glut later on without any clear trade value being attached to any of the SGs on the roster.

  • At 1:39 AM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    Good point, Matt, about the Magic having the ability to sign Dooling for as much as they want; however, it would count toward the luxury tax, but if the Magic are serious about being contenders, it shouldn't matter, like you said.

    I also agree with you when you said that using Lewis at PF may have a long-term detrimental effect on him, as he will be banging against bigger and stronger players. Should they think about trading Turk for a top-flight PF then? It has to be given strong consideration if they indeed could get a legit PF.

    Even if Otis does nothing in this situation, I believe the Magic would still be a contending team in the East with Turk starting at SF and Lewis at PF or Lewis at SF and Battie at PF and Turk coming off the bench.

    I agree that Redick will most likely be traded now; it will be interesting to see what Otis could get for him.

  • At 5:46 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    WeRDevos, Pietrus is a definite 6’6, with a longer wingspan. Search anywhere, and you’ll get that response. Here should be a great fit for our team.

    As for our four shooting guards, who cares? A few years ago we were complaining about our four point gurards. It all works out eventually. I expect at least one of them to be traded.

    Just a thought WeRDevos, I think we’re going to see Lee on the floor this year playing significant backup minutes. He looks like a stronger athletic version of Redick.

    WRD again, Williams would be a nice backup PG for a year or two, however I’d still prefer Dooling.

    Matt, unfortunately, the Magic (Bob specifically), has stated the team is not planning on spending into luxury tax.

    I too want Dooling back next season.

    Okay Matt, you are the GM and you want a PF, who do you go after?

    Still in my opinion, our guards were in much more need of a makeover. Pietrus; without a single game under his belt is already better than anything we can put out on the floor at our shooting guard position. He’s everything we loved about Trevor Ariza, yet he can shoot the 3-ball and truly defend the 2 spot.

    Again, nice move Otis...

  • At 3:15 PM, Blogger Big Figure said…

    Good signing getting pietrus! Bye bye mo evans. Hopefully we can get keyon back,but even if we dont jason williams would be just as good,he did drop 34 pts on us last year (with seven assists).

  • At 11:04 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Ah fungus.

    I just lost a long comment thanks to Marriott's blinkered internet service.

    This one is a test, then I'll try again.

  • At 11:21 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    OK, attempting to remember whatever the hell I rambled on about in the brilliant comment that I lost.

    In no particular order.

    Pietrus may be a better signing than Maggette. Maggette = offense, little D and more a 3 than 2. Pietrus may = good D and 3 pointers plus shorter contract.

    I saw two key games at the end of the year. New Orleans at home, and the Detroit playoff win. Starting 3 dominated both games. Guards were owned by competition. Seen from nosebleed seats you get an idea of just how dominated Magic guards were by Detroit during every freekin possession. Just owned. Guard play lost the New Orleans game, which should have been won by the Magic.

    Magic need better guard play more than anything.

    Nelson: short. stout. Defense is abysmal. Half court offense not run well by short. stout. PGs.

    Dooling: athletic but frequently looks like he's playing without a brain. When on, he's great. When off you'd like to shoot him to put the team out of its misery. There's nothing worse than seeing him dribbling in circles while the other four guys are giving him a "what the f.. are you doing?" look.

    Evans: is. o.k. The definition of average, and a weak defender. He really looked good last year, mostly because his back court mates are so bad.

    Bogans: See Evans, but slower.

    Arroyo: bye

    Redick: Europe is calling. It's too bad there isn't a Canadian Basketball League. He'd be one of its biggest stars.

    Not one Magic guard from last year belongs on a Finals team.

    The front line subs are just as below average. But in the playoffs Howard Turk and Lewis are going to play about 43 minutes a game anyway. Improving over Gortat, Bogans, Cook or Battie isn't as likely to help Orlando get by Detroit.

    If Jason Williams / JWill / White Chocolate / whatever is healthy and signs with the Magic he could really be a big help even if only for a year or two. JWill & Pietrus in the back court backed up by some combo of Bogans, Nelson & ?? (Dooling maybe) might give the Magic a better chance.

  • At 11:23 PM, Blogger WeRDevos said…

    Oh, and I promise to stop saying Lee sucks until sometime in December.

    But I refuse to believe a rookie is going to help this team improve next year. Particularly one that was drafted by Twardzik at 20.

    Hope I'm wrong by my history book preaches otherwise.

  • At 5:17 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    I honestly don't know what will become of Courtney Lee. But after watching him for 5 games in the summer league, he definitely belongs in the NBA. He is a patient, smart player. He has a nice touch. He has NBA range. As the games went on, he got more and more aggressive. He pretty much looked like a stronger more athletic version of Redick. So while I don't know what will become of him on our roster, I do believe he belongs in the NBA.


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