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.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Stan Van Gundy undecided on who the fifth starter will be

Here are excerpts from an article on orlandosentinel.com by Josh Robbins about how Magic coach Stan Van Gundy thinks the opening night starting lineup might look like:

Van Gundy said four players — Vince Carter, Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson — "would have to perform pretty poorly to play themselves out of the starting lineup."

For now, however, Van Gundy said he doesn't have his mind made up on the fifth starter. The competition for that spot will begin when the Magic begin training camp on Sept. 29. Probably the only guys who won't contend for a starting role are reserve point guard Anthony Johnson and Gortat because of the positions they play.

Last season, the Magic relied on an unorthodox formula offensively, with Howard surrounded by four strong perimeter players who were comfortable shooting from 3-point range.

But this upcoming season, that formula could change a bit if Bass cracks the starting lineup and Lewis moves to small forward. At 6 foot 8 and 240 pounds, Bass should offer a physical presence and additional offensive rebounding, but he also would give the Magic a more conventional look.

"I think we certainly have that option to play that way, but I think at the same time, we've still got very much the ability to spread people out and play the way we've played in the past," Van Gundy said.

"Brandon certainly gives us a chance to play more conventionally at times and get a more physical presence, but at the same time, I think we also can do even more in terms of keeping the floor spread out."

Van Gundy added he was excited about (Matt) Barnes' signing. At 6 foot 7 and 225 pounds, Barnes is best suited to small forward, but he has played on occasion at power forward.

The Magic's top remaining priority is to add another point guard, but unless they can work out a sign-and-trade deal with another team, there are fewer options. Already over the salary cap, Orlando can only offer free agents minimum salaries because it used its entire mid-level exception of $5.854 million to sign Barnes and Bass, and used its biannual exception last year to sign Johnson.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

One NBA columnist who does not like what the Magic did this off-season

In a column today from espn.com Bill Simmons recaps the NBA offseason, which includes his take on the Magic:

To Marcin Gortat, who parlayed one "little hit" (a solid playoff performance) into a $33 million deal that, if you're a Dallas fan, you should be happy isn't clogging up your cap right now. I liked Gortat heading into the summer as a great value risk in the "four years, $17.6 million" range. Nothing higher. Dallas offered him nearly double, which made sense because this is the same team that inked Raef LaFrentz, Shawn Bradley, DeSagana Diop and Erick Dampier to more than $225 million in "Why the hell did we do that?" deals. Then Orlando shocked everyone by matching … you know, because any time you can pay $7 million a year for someone who plays 10 minutes a game, you have to do it.

So what now? Poor Gortat is being stalked by the ghosts of Jon Koncak, Jim McIlvaine, Jerome James, DeSagana Diop, Luc Longley, Todd MacCulloch and every other free-agent center who was overpaid in the $30-33 million range and immediately turned into a stiff. Dallas had to go to Plan B: throwing away $4.5 million on a goofball like Drew Gooden. As for Orlando …

So Orlando makes the Finals with an unconventional lineup and a style that confounded just about everybody. The Magic flip three backups for Vince Carter, seemingly solving their hole at shooting guard that Kobe exploited so brutally. (I had them as the favorites in the East after that trade.) What possessed them to spend $50 million on Gortat and Brandon Bass over just bringing back Turkoglu and making another run at the title? Now they're just a conventional NBA team with conventional guys in conventional positions … um, that's not how you made the Finals, fellas.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Rich are Getting Richer

Magic to sign Barnes, bolster bench
In an aggressive summer of spending, the Orlando Magic have agreed with Matt Barnes(notes)

on a two-year, $3.2 million contract, a league source said Monday night.

Barnes, 29, gives Orlando a versatile forward on its reshaped bench. He leaves the Phoenix Suns, where he averaged 10 points and 5.5 rebounds a season ago. The deal includes a player option of $1.6 million in 2010-11, the source said. Barnes will sign the agreement on Tuesday.

Barnes is 6'7" 226 lbs. Averaged 27 minutes for Phoenix last year in 77 games. Barnes will back up both forward positions and gives the Magic a versatile defender with decent range offensively.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The House That Dwight Is Building

Drove by it this morning and the walls are starting to be attached.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Magic may be on the verge of signing Warriors' backup PG to offer sheet

Excerpts from an article in Sunday's Orlando Sentinel by Josh Robbins:

The Orlando Magic could be making progress in their search for another backup to starting point guard Jameer Nelson.

The Web site Fanhouse.com is reporting that the Magic are "close" to signing restricted free agent C.J. Watson to an offer sheet.

Watson averaged 9.5 points and 2.7 assists per game and made 40 percent of his 3-point attempts last season for the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors would have seven days to match any offer sheet Watson signs with the Magic.

In addition to a point guard, the Magic are looking to add another big man and a wing player to their roster.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This One's For Matt

When Mavs raise the stakes on Marcin Gortat, Magic turn the tables - ESPN

John Hollinger of ESPN on Otis Smith's pick-pocketing Dallas for Brandon Bass:

We saw a perfect example Monday, as a spectacular piece of card playing by Magic general manager Otis Smith left the Mavericks slack-jawed, while once again illustrating the dangers of signing offer sheets early in the free-agent period.

Smith shocked nearly everyone by matching Dallas' five-year, $34 million offer sheet to Marcin Gortat, the Polish backup center who is unlikely to play more than 10 minutes a game next season because he's backing up all-world center Dwight Howard. Fans haven't seen much of Gortat because he's stuck behind Howard, but the dude can play -- he's mobile, rebounds well and can score. But between salary and luxury tax, Gortat will cost the Magic close to $12 million this year, which is nearly a maximum salary.

When Dallas presented the offer sheet, Smith said he wanted all seven days to make up his mind and would have taken eight if he could have. But don't believe him. He knew exactly what he was going to do all along.

Every good team does -- in preparation for free agency, it runs through all the scenarios of what another team might offer its players, and if so whether it would match. The Magic almost certainly knew on July 1 whether they were matching this deal; they just didn't let everyone else in on the secret until today.

In fact, it's quite likely they sprinkled some leaks indicating that they wouldn't match; surely it was believable given their status as a luxury-tax team in an old arena in a small market. Why pay so much more for a secondary piece?

But if they already knew they were matching, it was a brilliant stroke, because it allowed them to get a second player at a discount price. Remember, Gortat isn't the only big man Orlando inked this week -- the Magic also signed Brandon Bass to a four-year, $18 million deal. And Bass, you'll surely remember, played for the Mavericks last season.

By making Dallas believe that they wouldn't match the offer for Gortat, they were able to throw the Mavs off the scent of Bass. At the time, the Mavs were thinking letting Bass go to the Magic would eliminate any chance of losing Gortat. Here's what The Dallas Morning News reported at the time: "The Mavericks stepped aside in negotiations for Bass, allowing him to sign with the Magic. His presence with the Magic virtually guarantees that Marcin Gortat will be a Maverick. He signed an offer sheet … and Orlando has until next week to match the offer … The Mavericks are no longer worried about that possibility."

Psych! This is Lucy pulling the football out from Charlie Brown, folks. Orlando created the impression that it was going to let Gortat leave, the Mavs fell for it hook, line and sinker, and as a result the Magic got to sign the player they coveted at power forward (Bass), in addition to keeping Gortat like they always knew they would.

The only drawback is that their clever little ruse was darn expensive. Gortat and Bass combine to put the Magic about $10 million over the luxury tax; next year, that figure will be closer to $20 million. For wee little Orlando to fork out that kind of money is a serious commitment, especially since its new arena is still a year away from completion. Clearly, owner Rich DeVos and team president Bob VanderWeide are willing to sacrifice a chunk of their bank account over the next two years to win a title, and the people of Orlando shouldn't take this for granted -- many owners wouldn't do the same.

And in case you get any sneaky ideas, remember that Gortat can't be traded until Dec. 15, can't be traded without his consent for a full year, and can't be traded to Dallas at all until next summer. So don't think the Magic are holding Gortat for ransom -- the rules on offer sheets are set up to avert those kinds of shenanigans. This is strictly a buy-and-hold maneuver.

Orlando is a mid-market area at best. The new arena will be moved into sometime in 2010. No one believed this would happen, because the Magic have been so conservative (read cheap) with their money. But here is from the wikipedia site on Rich Devos:

Richard DeVos, Sr., (born March 4, 1926, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.) is an American billionaire and co-founder of Amway (restructured as Alticor in 2000). In 2006, Forbes magazine listed him as the 73rd wealthiest person in the United States with an estimate net worth of USD$ 3.5 billion. In 2007, Forbes ranked him as the 249th richest person in the world. [1] (at one point he was in the top 10 of wealthiest Americans).

So Devos is real old, a recent heart transplant recipient, rich as hell, and just made a lot of extra money on the Finals run. He can't take his money with him, why not spend some now and win a championship.

It's about time.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Holy Crap! Did the Magic just keep Gortat?

It's all over twitter. Otis not waiting to Wednesday. Is keeping Gortat.

By matching he would not be allowed to be traded to Dallas for a minimum of a year. And could not trade Marcin without his permission for one year.

Wow. (if true)

Update: Sentinel Says It's True!!

2nd Update: Magic reportedly have called major sponsors to inform them of the move. Must be asking them for more money!

3rd Update: NBA.com Magic match Mavericks' offer to retain Gortat

This is an All-In move for winning it all in 2010. Now they are ten very flexible pieces! Four all-stars, 7 guys with Finals experience. And still holding that trade exception for January insurance.






Sunday, July 12, 2009

What will the Magic do for a backup center?

Here are excerpts from an article published in Sunday's Orlando Sentinel, written by Josh Robbins and Brian Schmitz:

By signing Brandon Bass on Friday to a four-year, $18 million deal, the Orlando Magic acquired one of their top targets this free-agency period, a young power forward who can rebound, shoot effectively and run the floor.

But the Magic still have work to do on their front line especially if, as expected, they don't match the Dallas Mavericks' five-year, $34 million offer sheet to restricted free agent Marcin Gortat. When and if Gortat is allowed to leave for Texas, the Magic will need someone who can spell Dwight Howard at center during games and man the position if Howard gets hurt. After all, that was the role that made Gortat so valuable during the Magic's run to the NBA Finals.

"It's important for us to look at our front line," Magic General Manager Otis Smith said. "We just didn't have a lot of size once we traded away Tony [Battie] and we lost a couple of guys in free agency. So, we didn't have any size. Getting some size [that Bass provides] — he may not be tall, but he's got broad shoulders, and he's a wide body — that was important to us. And we still have some work to do, obviously, as it relates to bigs. So, we're nowhere near done because you still lack size."

Orlando used part of its mid-level exception of $5,854,000 to sign Bass and can use the remainder to lure more free agents.

That said, money is starting to get tight. In addition to a backup big man, the Magic still want a wing player and another backup point guard. Yet even with just nine players under contract, the Magic's payroll now has risen to about $72 million and into luxury-tax territory. Any amount above $69.92 million is taxed dollar-for-dollar, and that's one reason why re-signing a backup like Gortat for so much money would be painful.

So, any remaining free agents the Magic will target likely will be relative bargains. Some of the free-agent centers still available are Jason Collins, Francisco Elson, Ryan Hollins and Theo Ratliff. The pool of wing players is deeper and includes former FSU player Von Wafer, Orlando native Marquis Daniels and former Magic player Keith Bogans. Wafer's agent said the Magic are an attractive option for his client.

Bass gives the Magic options for their starting lineup. Both Smith and Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy acknowledged that Bass could crack Orlando's starting lineup at power forward and allow Rashard Lewis to move to the small-forward spot, Lewis' more natural position.

Van Gundy said: "One of the things I think Otis has done in the past and is doing again is giving us a roster not only with talent but one with versatility where we will have a lot of options in terms of the kind of lineups we put on the floor."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gortat Disappointed That Magic Might Match Mavs' Offer Sheet -- NBA FanHouse

This is getting interesting:

Gortat Disappointed That Magic Might Match Mavs' Offer Sheet -- NBA FanHouse

"I have a feeling now they (Magic) are going to match it,'' Gortat said Friday between Summer League Games. "That's what I'm hearing, they will match. We'll have to see, but I'm kind of down right now. Either way, I'll end up on a pretty good team.''

The Magic agreed to a four-year, $18 million deal with Bass, hoping he gives them more of a physical presence to complement a lineup mostly of shooters. It will allow
Rashard Lewis to spend more time at his natural position of small forward.

Although Gortat's contract would seem excessive for a backup, the Magic still view him as an asset, and there are plenty of teams looking for centers. They would have to wait at least 90 days before they could trade him.

"I've said all along, I think the number (his contract) is a little high,'' Smith said. "But that doesn't change how we think. One thing (signing Bass) doesn't have anything to do with the other (matching Gortat). I'm still working on a few other things, and until those transpire, it's kind of premature to say what we're going to do.''

Smith still would like to add another wing player, another center/forward and a third point guard to the roster. Regardless of who else is signed, they still expect a starting lineup of Howard, Lewis, Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter and Mickael Pietrus.

"He (Smith) is like an iceberg,'' Gortat said. "You just never know about him. He can laugh. He can smile, and at the end of the day, it's no, no, no, they aren't going to match, and all of a sudden I'm finding out they might match.''

Sentinel - Magic agree in principle to a 4-year deal with Brandon Bass

OK, everyone take a sweet sigh of relief -- the Magic are now a 9 member team!
Orlando Sentinel - Magic agree in principle to a 4-year deal with Brandon Bass by
The Orlando Magic have met their No. 1 goal in free agency this off-season: adding a big man. An NBA source has told the Orlando Sentinel that the Magic and free-agent power forward Brandon Bass have reached an agreement in principle for a four-year deal.

At 6 feet 8 and 250 pounds, Bass shores up Orlando's frontline, which had only three players under contract as of Thursday: Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Ryan Anderson.

Bass, 24, averaged 8.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season for the Dallas Mavericks. Bass was an unrestricted free agent.

Bass averaged 19.4 minutes per game last year and was the primary backup for PF Dirk Nowitski.

Sticking with the total minutes meme of below, he played 1,574 minutes last year.

Last years Magic top 5 front line played about 10,491 minutes (out of roughly 11,808 available) and had an average age of 27.75 October 1, 2008.

Rashard Lewis -- 2859 (29 years old)
Dwight Howard -- 2821 (22 y0)
Hedo Turkoglu -- 2815 (29 yo)
Tony Battie -- 1202 (32 yo)
Marcin Gortat -- 794 (24 yo)

Current Magic front line played 9,895 minutes last year and is considerably younger with an average age of 25.49 on Oct 1, 2009. What remains to be seen is if management believes either Bass or Anderson is capable of filling in at Center for 12 minutes per game.

Rashard Lewis -- 2859 (30 yo)
Dwight Howard -- 2821 (23 yo)
Mickael Pietrus -- 1329 (27 yo)

Brandon Bass 1,574 (24 yo)

Ryan Anderson 1,312 minutes (21 yo)

Magic Look Everywhere to Sign Cheap Backup PG, SG

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The Big Risk Summer of Magic

I've been trying to figure out for myself what the Magic need to finalize the roster. We now know the Luxury tax is $69 million, and the eight signed players already take up about $67 million in payroll. The Magic will clearly be tax payers, but are likely to want to limit their exposure. My point of this post is not to editorialize if I think the Devos family should spend a lot more and win a title.

Sometime after the Finals I wrote something about hoping for a non-boring summer. The Magic have certainly delivered an adventurous summer so far by losing 5 of their top 11 players in exchange for two quality players.

The Magic are incomplete at the moment with 8 contracts and need somewhere between 5 and 7 more contracts. Of the probable 6 players, 2 to 3 need to contribute and the others need to bring it to practice.

I decided to look at this question as a matter of minutes. I do this with the belief that it is minutes that show the significance of a player to Coach Van Gundy. Regardless about what he says in the papers, the numbers don't lie. Players he relies on to win games get a lot of minutes. Other don't. Things change in the playoffs, but since we are currently worried about the upcoming regular season I decided to only look at last regular season.

Make what you will of the fact that Gortat was 11th on the team in minutes played during the regular season.

Last Season 16 players logged 19,730 minutes for the Magic. The Big 3 logged 2800 minutes each with Turkoglu now gone. Jameer was on pace for 2500 All-Star minutes before his injury. I never would have guessed that Grandpa Johnson was 5th on the team in minutes played. For that matter, I don't remember the great Adonal Foyle playing a single minute.

Ranked by Regular Season Minutes Played:

1. Rashard Lewis -- 2859
2. Dwight Howard -- 2821
3. Hedo Turkoglu -- 2815
4. Courtney Lee -- 1939
5. Anthony Johnson -- 1481
6. Mickael Pietrus -- 1329
7. Jameer Nelson -- 1309
8. Tony Battie -- 1202
9. J.J. Redick -- 1111
10. Rafer Alston† -- 856
11. Marcin Gortat -- 794
12. Keith Bogans† -- 787
13. Brian Cook† -- 146
14. Tyronn Lue† -- 129
15. Jeremy Richardson -- 93
16. Adonal Foyle† -- 59

Currently gone or not signed are 10 of those 16 with a total of 8,820 minutes played, or 44.7% of last years Eastern Conference champs:

3. Hedo Turkoglu -- 2815
4. Courtney Lee -- 1939
8. Tony Battie -- 1202
10. Rafer Alston† -- 856
11. Marcin Gortat -- 794
12. Keith Bogans† -- 787
13. Brian Cook† -- 146
14. Tyronn Lue† -- 129
15. Jeremy Richardson -- 93
16. Adonal Foyle† -- 59

Players 12-16 did not log any playoff minutes due to trade or inactivity and are easily replaced. Alston's minutes will be replaced by Jameer Nelson assuming he is fully recovered.

So far the Magic have added back 4,258 minutes played from last year:

Vince Carter 2,946 minutes
Ryan Anderson 1,312 minutes

Carter would have led the Magic in minutes played. Not bad for a 32 year old. Anderson would have been 7th on the Magic in minutes played. If you look at the NJ trade in terms of minutes, The Magic traded 3,997 minutes and got back 4,258. If Nelson stays healthy and assumes all of Alston's minutes next year, this trade amounts to Carter and Anderson for Lee and Battie. Lee (nearly beloved but missed the damn shot) is a loss, but this is clearly a lopsided trade for the Magic in regards of production.

The question now becomes how to replace:

3. Small Forward 2,815 minutes
11. Backup Center 794 minutes
12. Backup SG/SF 787 minutes

plus 3 pieces of well dressed sideline artwork: 427 minutes.

It's not as bad as it looks. Pietrus is likely to join the 2500 minute club next season all at SF. Anderson is 6'10" and can take some of the backup center minutes when the Magic go small. Right now SF backup solution is Carter/Redick or Lewis/Anderson on the floor when Pietrus sits. Clearly Otis Smith must deliver two more key pieces before the summer is over.

Current Roster:

Backup Open: 794 minutes


Backup Open



Looks like the Magic are in need of a backup Center to play 10 minutes a game, and a SF/SG wing to also contribute 10 minutes a game.

And my guess is they are going to spend about $5 million total to deliver both.

Magic Trade Turk to Toronto

The Magic were part of a 4 team trade that brought Shawn Marion to Dallas, and sent Hedo Turkoglu to Toronto. The Magic receive a very large trade exception in return.

In one of the truly random delights of NBA trades, Orlando receives a sizeable trade exception as the fourth team involved in the trade, according to two of the sources with direct knowledge of the deal. Thus, the Magic send Turkoglu to the Raptors in a sign-and-trade as opposed to Turkoglu signing straight up with Toronto. Those two sources said Turkoglu does not get a sixth year in his deal, which Orlando could have given him as part of the sign-and-trade.
Trade exceptions are good for one year. It basically would allows a team with a bad cap situation to send a player to the Magic without having to take any salary back. Of course, it would be a net gain in salary to the Magic so will likely not be used anyway. Ideally, the Magic hold onto this chip and use it at the trade deadline to get the last piece they need to win it all.

Anyway, they at least got a little something for losing Hedo. We should find out how large the trade exception is in a few days. It is probably worth a bit more than $7 million. Last year they used the trade exception they got from NJ for the Keyon Dooling trade to facilitate the Rafer Alston trade. Without that exception, they would not have been able to add as much salary to their cap as Alston's contract cost.

Link explaining the whole trade is here

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Worldwide recession affects NBA salary cap for 2009-10

NBA.com: Worldwide recession affects NBA salary cap for 2009-10

The NBA could not escape the economic reality of a world in recession.

The league announced late Tuesday night that the salary cap for next season will be set at $57.7 million, a drop of almost $1 million from last year's figure of $58.68 million. It is only the second time in the history of the modern cap that there has been a drop from one year to the next (the cap fell from $42.5 million in 2001-02 to $40.27 million in 2002-03). But the drop, while expected, wasn't as bad as many teams had initially feared, with many teams struggling with ticket sale renewals.

The drop occurred even though overall revenues increased this past season. But over projecting the amount of expected revenues in past seasons, according to a source with knowledge of the auditing procedure between the league and the Players Association, meant an adjustment had to be made this year.

The Luxury Tax threshold also dropped, however, and that may have a chilling effect on many more teams than the drop in the cap. The tax threshold will go down next year from its current $71.15 million to $69.92 million. Teams with salaries in excess of $69.92 million will pay a $1 tax for every dollar they're above the threshold; in effect, paying double once they're above it. That will impact the decision making of teams that may have expected to be comfortably below the tax and now find themselves close to or above it, making them pass on potential free agent signings and/or trades that bump up their bottom line even by a few thousand dollars.

Despite the drop in the cap and tax, however, the mid-level cap exception--the average salary paid in the league--will increase next year, to $5.854 million from its current $5.585 million, because average salaries increased last year. The mid-level is a primary means by which teams can sign veteran free agents who otherwise might have to take veteran minimum salaries to stay in the league during their prime playing seasons.

Players like Ron Artest (Lakers) and Trevor Ariza (Rockets), that have agreed to new deals with new teams using the mid-level, and will receive annual eight percent raises from their new teams, will make $33.738 million on five-year contracts.

I believe that Dallas has offered Gortat the whole MLE.

Also note this article here about the 2008-09 Salary Cap

Seven teams overall were subject to the tax, which totaled more than $87 million overall. The 23 teams below the tax threshold of $71.15 million last season will each receive payments of $2,911,756 (1/30th of the total tax).

So you don't just pay the dollar for dollar penalty, you also don't share in the 1/30th of the tax paid in which was almost $3 million last year. It also points out that each team is receiving about $6.8 from an NBA escrow account because of overall lower player costs last year. Between the big playoff run (maybe as much as $20 million playoff revenue?) and $9.7 million check from the NBA the Magic definitely have some found money to spend on the payroll this year.

Dave Twardzik Award

Orlando Sentinel - Update on Fran Vazquez by

Minnesota's new President of Basketball wins this years "Dave Twardzik Award" and will be a charter member of the Dave Twardzik Hall of Fame for drafting a Spaniard he had never talked to with a high draft pick that can't see playing in the NBA into the distant future. Congratulations to David Kahn for surpassing even the great Dave Twardzik!

While we are on the subject, congratulations are in order to Otis Smith for providing Dave the opportunity to draft ZERO players for the Magic this year, thus keeping Dave's name out of the local papers.

As to Dave's greatest move -- drafting a Spaniard he had never talked to with a high draft pick that can't see playing in the NBA into the distant future -- we have an update from the Sentinel:

Don't get your hopes up that Fran Vazquez will join the Magic for the 2009-10 season, Magic fans. Vazquez, the 6-foot-10 Spaniard who spurned the Magic after he was picked 11th overall in the 2005 draft, still has another year on his contract in Europe, Magic General Manager Otis Smith said moments ago.

Dave Twardzik in the 2009 Magic Draft Room

Anderson continues to impress in early Summer League play for Magic

Here are excerpts from an article written Wednesday by the Orlando Sentinel's Josh Robbins along with Brian Schmitz:

Ryan Anderson has played in just two summer-league exhibitions for the Orlando Magic, but already one thing is clear: The 6-foot-10 power forward can knock down open shots from the perimeter.

Acquired in the draft-day trade with New Jersey that brought Vince Carter to Orlando, Anderson put on an impressive performance Tuesday in the Orlando Pro Summer League. He scored 33 points on 11-of-15 shooting and added 14 rebounds in the Magic's victory over the Boston Celtics.

The trade to Orlando caught Anderson by surprise, but he said he's over that shock.

"If anything, I'm just really happy," Anderson said. "It's a great move for me, because I feel like this team fits my game really well with the way I shoot the ball."

Anderson's 33 points Tuesday bode well for the future, no question.

"His shooting is impressive,"(Otis) Smith said. "With the way we play, with the floor spread, you still want to see him be able to do those types of things and rebound the ball. Those things are big."

"If anything, I'm just really happy," Anderson said. "It's a great move for me, because I feel like this team fits my game really well with the way I shoot the ball."

"When he's playing at a high level with his confidence, you'll see a lot of great things from him," Carter said. "I think he's going to spread the floor with the team we already have."

Yet even Anderson suggests his outing should be put into the proper perspective. The 21-year-old envisions himself as a role player when the 2009-10 season rolls around, helping to spread out the defense and provide some rebounding when starter Rashard Lewis is out of the game.

"It's summer league," Anderson said. "During the regular season, I don't expect to score 30 or 20 a game. I expect that's not what my role's supposed to be, especially with Vince and Dwight [Howard]. I'm not coming in thinking I'm a go-to guy or anything."

As of Tuesday, Orlando had eight players under contract for the upcoming season. One guy who might fill out the roster is Jeremy Richardson, a guard/forward who played in 12 games last season. Richardson said he expects to sign a contract with the Magic in the coming days.

Richardson spent part of Tuesday teaming with Anderson on the Magic's summer-league team, and when Richardson left the game with a sprained right ankle, Anderson picked up the scoring load.

Today is the first day free agents can sign with new teams, and Smith has said he doesn't plan to make any immediate signings. In the meantime, Hedo Turkoglu is expected to sign a deal to go to the Toronto Raptors while backup center Marcin Gortat plans to sign a lucrative offer sheet to play for the Dallas Mavericks.

Because Gortat is a restricted free agent, the Magic would have seven days to match any offer, and Smith said Tuesday that he'll take the full seven days to make a final decision. By waiting, Smith could increase his leverage in talks with potential free agents. Smith has said, however, he wouldn't pay more than $5 million a season for a backup to Howard.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Orlando Summer League Starts Today

TrueHoop By Henry Abbott - ESPN

Starts at 3:00 PM today.

Click Here to Watch

Orlando players to watch:
  • Ryan Anderson Until recently, he was always referred to as a talented Nets big man with potential, but he got a new uniform in the Vince Carter trade.
  • Jeremy Pargo Jannero's little brother, who made a name for himself at Gonzaga, gets to try his hand playing against NBA talent.
  • C.J. Giles Giles has long been considered a player with NBA potential, but he has had a disappointing string of off-court trouble. Was kicked off the Kansas University team last November over an incident with a girl who wouldn't leave his apartment.
Link to Entire Roster Here There are two project European tall guys Milosevic and Rakovic

Magic really need Anderson to deliver this year. One of the others could wind up filling out the end of the bench. If Otis' plan to wait and sign quality players at a bargain fails, we could see a few of these guys on the roster.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

The latest on Hedo Turkoglu and Marcin Gortat

Here are excerpts from an article Saturday night from the Orlando Sentinel's Brian Schmitz regarding Hedo Turkoglu, and also Marcin Gortat:

The Magic are braced to lose Turkoglu, the 6-10 small forward who apparently --- and we now stress apparently --- has agreed to sign with the Toronto Raptors after jilting the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.

Various media outlets had reported that Turk had agreed to sign with the Trail Blazers. But the romance unraveled after the Raptors committed to make moves to give him more money, reports indicating that the deal will be more than $50 million over five years.

Turkoglu's might not be signed on Wednesday, considering the Raptors might want to trade players to receive compensation instead of renouncing their rights. And that could take a while.

The Magic are prepared to close their five-year history with Turkoglu. General Manager Otis Smith told the Sentinel late Friday that the team would not be involved in a sign-and-trade with the Raptors in order to receive compensation for Turk.

Smith said Saturday that he didn't expect to receive an offer sheet from another team until Wednesday for center Marcin Gortat, who apparently has committed to sign with the Dallas Mavericks. "No, I will not until signing day," Smith said, adding, "if it's true."

Orlando has the right to match any offer because Gortat is a free agent, but Smith has said that the club likely will pass if the offer climbs above $5 million per season.

Reports indicate that the Mavs are offering Gortat --- a 6 foot 11 second-year player out of Poland --- $5.8 million to start his contract.

Smith is hoping that the Magic's emergence as a contender can work as a tiebreaker in competing with other teams for players. "I think we have an attractive situation here," he said.

The Magic will be going into the tax, perhaps as much as $10 million.

Smith's top priority is find a big man after losing Tony Battie in the Vince Carter trade and, apparently, Gortat. Smith has contacted the agents for power forward Rasheed Wallace and Brandon Bass, but is no hurry to sign players. "There's more players than money," Smith said.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Hedo to Toronto?

HoopsHype - NBA Rumors

Hedo has reportedly turned down a 5 year $57 million offer from Portland and is headed to Toronto for $60 million or more? That is a lot to pay for one year with Chris Bosh. Also cuts Toronto from resigning Marion and Carlos Delfino.

Does this open a possibility for a sign and trade for some combination of Anthony Parker (34 y.o. SG), Carlos Delfino (26 y.o. SG) and Shawn Marion (31 y.o. F)? Toronto either has to trade them or renounce them in order to sign Hedo.

Marion is better than Battie, could fill a PF/C role (as he did for Phoenix). Add either Gortat or Brandon Bass and the Magic have a very good bench.

I am definitely hoping for something like this. Marion could either start and push Lewis to SF, or be a true game changing 6th man.

It's probably too good for the Magic to pursue.

Friday, July 03, 2009


Everything is a rumor until the league sets the salary cap in 5 days or so and players can actually sign.

Lakers lose Ariza, get Ron Artest, still trying to resign Odom. Great short term upgrade for the Lakers if they sign Odom. Not very good if they lose Odom.

Rockets lose Artest, gain Ariza, Yao to have probable season ending surgery in a week. Likely will trade T-Mac's one good knee either now or at Feb trade deadline.

Portland needs to sign Turk to keep up. Toronto is also rumored to be considering an offer for Turk.

Orlando has not given up on somehow signing Turk. Has talked to Bass of Dallas, and has an appointment with 'Sheed.

Boston sent it's owner, Danny Ange, Doc Rivers, plus its three superstars to Detroit to offer Sheed the full exception amount. He did not sign immediately like Boston hoped and is keeping appointments elsewhere.

Cleveland has missed out on Artest and Ariza. Is talking sign and trade with Toronto for Anthony Parker. They may also be interested in a sign and trade with Denver for Linas Kleiza. Regardless, Cleveland seems limited to working out sign and trade deals to improve their chances against Boston and Orlando.

Boston has let Leon Powe go. He was regarded as their best big off the bench last year prior to a major knee injury. Orlando was one of many teams to immediately call his agent. Big Baby Glenn Davis is being courted by Spurs, Knicks, Pistons, although he is a restricted free agent. Boston could have trouble matching an offer.

Otis Smith declared yesterday that he will match any offer for Marcin Gortat. Both Dallas and Houston are said to be interested. However, declarations such as Smith made often kill offers to restricted free agents. Dallas may move forward anyway, possibly with a sign and trade with Orlando that offers Brandon Bass. Should know more on this soon.