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