Tag:Orlando Magic
Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:18 am
Edited on: December 7, 2011 10:48 pm
 

Free Agency Buzz 12.7.11: Lakers-Dwight stalled?

 

Posted by EOB Staff

On a shortened schedule with the conclusion of the NBA lockout, free agency is going to be fast and furious. To keep track of all the wheelings, dealings, rumors, and reports, check Eye on Basketball daily for the Free Agency Buzz. 

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011


10:47 p.m. ET

TSN.CA reports that the Toronto Raptors have "agreed to terms" with free agent center Jamaal Magloire, 33, who played sparingly for the Miami Heat last season. 

10:24 p.m. ET

9:23 p.m. ET
  • CSN New England reports that the Celtics have interest in Mike Dunleavy Jr.. Dunleavy is the most Celtics-type player on the market. Veteran guy who is a pure role player. He shoots. That's about it. But he's capable and can still give the Celtics a lift off the bench. If the Celtics swing out in trades or other pick-ups, this might be their guy. 
8:59 p.m. ET
7:39 p.m. ET
  • SI.com reports that New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul realizes that the New York Knicks do not have sufficient assets to acquire him and now considers the Los Angeles Lakers his "new favorite destination."
6:37 p.m. ET
  • Yahoo Sports reports that the Los Angeles Lakers will sign free agent forward Jason Kapono to a 1-year contract at the veteran's minimum when free agency opens on Friday.
  • CSNBayArea.com reports that Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry says that rumors concerning a trade with the New Orleans Hornets that would involve him and Chris Paul are "predictable" and that the team's GM and coach told him he is "safe and secure" in the Bay.
  • Bobcats head coach Paul Silas told the Charlotte Observer that unrestricted free agent center Kwame Brown expressed a desire to return to Charlotte in a recent meeting. Brown's agent, though, told the paper that his client is looking to get paid, with a decision coming in "the next few days."
4:38 p.m. ET
  • Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: "Hornets willing to let West go in sign/trade if it will get him to contender and bring back an asset or two, sources say ... In addition to Pacers, who've spoken with David West's reps, several non-room teams have inquired about FA forward: Dallas, San Antonio, Miami and Atlanta."
3:37 p.m. ET
  • Tracy McGrady appears to be headed to Atlanta, according to multiple reports. Unless the Bulls were to jump in with a better offer, the veteran scorer would likely sign for the minimum with the Hawks.
  • The Spurs will reportedly amnesty Richard Jefferson, which means he's eligible to go somewhere else. Where? The Clippers, Bulls and Heat are all supposedly in the mix, with the Nets also likely interested.
3:00 p.m. ET
  • The New York Post reports that the Heat will not amnesty Mike Miller, which is a bit of a shock. Miller had even mentioned Tuesday being amnestied, but apparently the Heat will keep him on board. If so, that dramatically alters their positioning in free agency, though it does not remove their ability to offer the Mid-Level Exception, which is their biggest tool anyway. As for why Miller wasn't amnestied, a blogger recently made an excellent case for that decision, citing chemistry as the biggest hindrance to the Heat last season. Starting over with someone else given the Heat's injuries last season does seem a bit odd. 
  • ESPN reports Caron Butler's options are San Antonio or Chicago for the MLE at $5 million, or New Jersey or the Clippers for $7 million annually. You would assume that the Clippers would want Butler only if they pull off a trade for Paul that includes Eric Gordon, but you never know. Once again, the Nets are linked to a report of them overpaying for a free agent. 
11:00 a.m. ET
  • The L.A. Times reports that the Lakers held "cursory" conversations with the Magic on Tuesday regarding a trade for Dwight Howard, but that no offers were exchanged and that a deal is "not close." That phrase gave me flashbacks to the lockout. ESPN reports that the Magic have yet to come up with a "wish list" for Howard. It would appear that as opposed to New Orleans, which is taking the Utah "make the deal before it becomes too much of a headache" approach, the Magic are opting for the "Ujiri Technique" which models what Denver did last year. Denver suffered through the discomfort of the Melo situation but ultimately got a better deal by waiting for the Knicks to become desperate. With a playoff roster in place and a few moves left in this bag, Otis Smith can afford to be patient before pulling the trigger on a move to restart the franchise which could ultimately cost him his job.
  • CSN Chicago and HoopsWorld report a possible sign-and-trade could land Jamal Crawford in Chicago. The deal would send Ronnie Brewer to Atlanta in exchange for Crawford under the Bird rights that Atlanta enjoys as his previous team. Brewer does nothing to replace Crawford's offense for Atlanta, but he is a step-up defensively, even if Crawford played pretty decent defense in the 2011 playoffs. Crawford is a natual fit for the Bulls, giving them a perimeter weapon for Derrick Rose on the drive-and-kick. He could single-handedly push the Bulls into a higher tier offensively.
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 3:50 pm
 

Magic targeting Deron Williams or Chris Paul?

Posted by Ben Golliverdwight-howard

Hours after Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide stepped down after admitting he drunk dialed All-Star center Dwight Howard, reports have surfaced in Orlando that the Magic are exploring their trade options in hopes of acquiring a second All-Star to placate Howard.

BHSN reports that Magic have lofty goals.
Source in Magic front office confirms the Magic are attempting to acquire Deron Williams from the New Jersey Nets to help Dwight Howard. Magic front office source confirms Chris Paul and Monta Ellis are on team's radar. Howard confidante told me Paul and Ellis were on Dwight's wish list. Magic will try to acquire another superstar to help him out. 
Vander Weide said similar things to the station before the door hit him on the way out.
He told BHSN he believes the Magic might be able to cater to Howard's needs and acquire another NBA superstar. "It is certainly possible, teams like our assets," said Vander Weide in regard to a question about the potential to acquire either Chris Paul of the Hornets or Monta Ellis of the Warriors.
As Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported Tuesday, Howard has not formally told the Magic whether he would re-sign with the team or elect to pursue his options by requesting a trade or entering free agency after this season.

What to make of these rumors? Well, first, they are a desperate attempt by the Magic organization to shift the discussion from the unprofessional conduct of one of their chief decision-makers during a critical time in the franchise's history. The sooner everyone starts talking about rumors -- any rumors -- the more quickly everyone forgets that the guy employed to keep the only player worth more than a damn happy was too busy drinking wine and "paddling" to remember the basics of the boss/employee relationship. The bigger the name in the rumor, the better right now. Anything to restore some element of hope following a lockout and prior to the start of the 2011-2012 season.

Once the dust settles, the Magic will find themselves where they've always been: in a ridiculous cap situation with mediocre talent and a small market that doesn't appear to be enough to satisfy Howard's demands. Recently, Magic GM Otis Smith admitted that he is open to entertaining trade offers for Howard. That's smart. Put that all together and we should expect the Howard outbound rumors to replace these All-Stars inbound rumors in no time. Given how weak the Magic look right now, we should also expect the volume and velocity of Howard outbound rumors to increase dramatically over the next few weeks.
Posted on: December 6, 2011 12:08 pm
Edited on: December 6, 2011 3:03 pm
 

Magic CEO Vander Weide resigns

By Matt Moore  

The Orlando Magic announced Tuesday that Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide has stepped down as CEO. From the Orlando Sentinel
Alex Martins has been promoted from team president to CEO.

Vander Weides decision to step down was reported first by WKMG.

Vander Weide has been Oralndo Magic President/Chief Executive Officer since 1994. He began his career with the Magic in 1992 as Vice President of Basketball Operations. According to the Magic’s website, his responsibilities included player planning and procurement, long-term strategic planning and new business initiatives.
via Bob Vander Weide: Bob Vander Weide retires as Orlando Magic President - OrlandoSentinel.com.

That's a long time for someone to run an organization and then suddenly step down. Magic center Dwight Howard has been linked to a series of trade rumors over the past two weeks, centered around Chicago, Los Angeles, and New Jersey. An afternoon press conference has been scheduled. The reason for Vander Weide's departure is not known at this time. 

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that Magic executives were "taken aback" when they were informed of Vander Weide's resignation, and that it is considered retirement. Notably, Vander Weide admitted Tuesday to a reported call to Howard at 1 a.m. earlier this week after what he described as called "a couple of glasses of wine." 

Because, really, that's the best time to call the superstar who may or may not be seeking a trade and/or departing in free agency which would wreck your organization. From CFNews13: 

Vander Weide confirmed that he made a 1 a.m. phone call in recent days to Magic superstar Dwight Howard, and Howard thought Vander Weide may have been intoxicated. On that call, Vander Weide told Howard how much the Magic wanted to keep him in Orlando.  "I was playing paddle with friends and had a couple of glasses of wine," Vander Weide told BHSN.  "Maybe Dwight thought it was inappropriate to talk business after a couple of glasses of wine... Maybe I should have waited until the morning."
via Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide to retire, Alex Martins promoted - Central Florida News 13.

Vander Weide also said that he had a "very good" relationship with Howard. 

Vander Weide serves on the NBA's Board of Governors. Orlando is set to host the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend in their brand new, publicly-funded Amway Center.
Posted on: December 5, 2011 4:12 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 4:55 pm
 

Bulls consider trade package for Dwight Howard?

Posted by Ben Golliverrose-dwight

Almost as soon as the NBA and its players reached a tentative agreement to end the lockout and play a 2011-2012 season, Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard, who is eligible to sign an extension or hit free agency next summer, saw rumors engulf him. An offer from the New Jersey Nets was floated out there and word of his interest in the Los Angeles Lakers hit last weekend.

A new suitor has emerged for Howard, the man who should have been the 2011 NBA MVP, and it's the team with the man who won the 2011 NBA MVP, Derrick Rose.

Yahoo Sports reports that the Bulls, 2011 Eastern Conference finalists, are in the mix for Howard.  
The Chicago Bulls are still a sleeper for Howard, several league executives believe. “Chicago may tell Orlando to take any two players – or three – besides [Derrick] Rose,” one GM said. Howard isn’t keen on the cold weather, but the Bulls would have the best point guard-center combination since Magic and Kareem.

The Bulls have Omer Asik developing fast as a potential replacement for Joakim Noah should the Bulls include Noah in a package. Noah would have to be a part of it, but would a combination of Noah and Luol Deng or Carlos Boozer – bringing back Howard and one of those bad Orlando contracts – be enough? The Magic need a force to replace Howard, an anchor.
Howard should salivate at this possibility. He gets a major market, prestigious franchise and a great fanbase. He gets arguably the best point guard in the game to set him up and a chance to compete for the next four NBA titles, at minimum. He has the ability to pursue a ring, increase his already considerable starpower and avoid the Shaquille O'Neal comparisons that would go with a move to the Lakers. Most importantly, he would get to transition to a contender that wouldn't need to over-extend and cripple its core to acquire him. It would be a step up, without question.

Sacrificing a piece -- or two, or three -- to upgrade from Noah to Howard is absolutely a worthwhile play for Chicago. Noah remains one of the league's most underrated players, given his rebounding prowess and defensive intelligence, but Howard is simply a two-way force unlike any other in the NBA. The Bulls lost to the Heat because they over-relied on Rose for scoring, couldn't exploit their advantage in the interior and couldn't keep up with the potent wing combination of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Howard solves the first two of those problems and his interior presence even helps out on the third. Swing a trade for Howard and add the right wing role player, and all of a sudden Eastern Conference supremacy is Chicago's and not Miami's.

While such a move is totally logical for Howard and from Chicago's side, it's nothing but question marks for Orlando. Taking back Boozer and the $60+ million owed to him through 2014-2015 in a trade is just about the dumbest thing anyone in the NBA could do. Sure, Magic GM Otis Smith traded for Gilbert Arenas last year, so impossible is nothing, but losing Howard to a major conference rival shouldn't require receiving one of the most overpaid players in the league in return, especially if your salary cap is as jacked up as Orlando's is. The best possible combination that Chicago can muster, from Orlando's perspective, is something like Deng and Noah (plus a salary to match plus cash and/or picks) for Howard and Turkoglu.

This is where philosophy comes into play. That proposed trade with the Bulls would prevent Orlando from taking three steps backwards but it wouldn't necessarily provide the type of starting-over flexibility that, say, the Net's package centered around Brook Lopez and multiple first round picks would. The Bulls' package would keep Orlando as a lower-seeded playoff team for the foreseeable future with a core of Noah, Deng, J.J. Reddick and Jameer Nelson. The Nets' package would likely require a stepback into the lottery but could mean a better shot at landing the next franchise player. For Orlando, this boils down to: try to rebuild on the fly or take it all apart?

For now, there's no huge rush on Orlando's part. Waiting allows a team like the Lakers, with either Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum to dangle, to get seriously involved to provide a better "on the fly" offer. It also allows teams with cap space or young assets to top New Jersey's "take it all apart" offer. Let the vultures swarm and carefully wade through their offers.
Posted on: December 4, 2011 5:01 pm
 

Howard's agent hasn't spoken with the Magic yet?

Posted by Royce Young

First step to keeping Dwight Howard in Orlando: Getting Magic general manager Otis Smith on the phone with Howard's agent Dan Fegan. Because that evidently hasn't happened yet.

According to the Orlando Sentinel
, Fegan has not yet spoken with Smith about Howard's situation.
Smith and Fegan could speak with each other this weekend. And even if they don't, there might not be any immediate reason for concern from the Magic's perspective. Howard and Smith will have the chance to speak Dec. 9, the day training camps are scheduled to open across the league.
Yeah, could be nothing, but still, you'd think there would've been at least contact. Then again, there's probably not much to talk about. Howard's not signing an extension in Orlando so really, what's there for Smith and Fegan to discuss.

Of note: Fegan also represents Jason Richardson and is advising Gilbert Arenas, so that means he hasn't talked to the Magic about those guys yet either.

Smith's big decision with Howard isn't really about the extension though, because that's not happening. It's more about feeling out Howard about whether or not it's worth the risk of not trading him. Arenas is a likely amnesty candidate and Richardson is an unrestricted free agent that the Magic are probably fine with watching walk to another team.

Teams and agents were allowed to start talking last Wednesday and can start talking directly on Monday. Maybe that's what Smith is waiting for. Or maybe, he just doesn't have anything to say.
Posted on: December 4, 2011 10:07 am
Edited on: December 4, 2011 10:13 pm
 

Free Agency Buzz: 12.4.11: Heat want Oden?


Posted by Royce Young

Sunday, December 4, 2011

9:58 p.m. ET

6:29 p.m.

2:34 p.m.

10:24 a.m.

  • The Heat are making a run at Greg Oden, according to ESPN.com: "The Heat are considering making a run at restricted free agent Greg Oden, league sources said. Oden, who hasn't played in nearly two years after suffering two different knee injuries, has a key doctor's examination this week when he could be cleared to resume contact practices."

10:06 a.m.

  • Via Yahoo! Sports, the Heat are in hot pursuit of Shane Battier: "Battier has been a primary target in free agency for the Heat, and sources say the pitch of Riley, coach Erik Spoelstra and key Heat players could ultimately confirm Battier’s strong feelings about chasing a championship in Miami." How could the Heat get him? By using the amnesty clause on Mike Miller and freeing up their full mid-level exception. Also of note: The Thunder aren't pursuing Battier as of now, a team many expected to.
  • Also via Yahoo!, the Heat aren't after Samuel Dalembert as of now, mainly because other teams can offer more.
  • Dwight Howard's agent Dan Fegan has yet to talk with Magic general manager Otis Smith, as of Friday evening, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "Smith and Fegan could speak with each other this weekend. And even if they don't, there might not be any immediate reason for concern from the Magic's perspective. Howard and Smith will have the chance to speak Dec. 9, the day training camps are scheduled to open across the league."
Posted on: December 2, 2011 5:53 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 5:57 pm
 

Preview: NBA sets 5-game Christmas slate

Posted by Ben Golliver

nba-christmas

The NBA made its full 5-game Christmas Day slate official on Friday, releasing the opening night schedule in advance of Tuesday's full 2011-2012 schedule release. Here's a full game-by-game rundown for your holiday planning purposes. It's probably best to just ask for a divorce from your entire family right now.

Game 1: Boston Celtics at New York Knicks 12 p.m. ET TNT

A rematch of the 2011 Eastern Conference series that saw the Celtics rudely show the Knicks the door in four games, New York enters with homecourt advantage and, presumably, a return to full health. Amar'e Stoudemire's back should be better, Carmelo Anthony underwent offseason elbow surgery and veteran point guard Chauncey Billups who went down in the playoffs has had more than six months to get right.

The Celtics bring back their core four All-Stars in Rajon Rondo, Paul Piece, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, but there are plenty of questions as to who will make up the supporting cast. Be prepared to hear the words "last stand" for Boston and "Chris Paul" for New York ad nauseum on the broadcast. 

Game 2: Miami Heat at Dallas Mavericks 2:30 p.m. ET ABC

The Big 3 and company must travel to Texas where the Mavericks will get to celebrate their 2011 NBA Finals victory over the Heat on opening night. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban couldn't have asked for anything more. Despite loads of roster questions and taking to the road on Christmas, Miami should enter the game as favorites, given that Vegas is convinced they are clearly the odds-on pick to win the 2012 title. Given how much time and energy LeBron James and Dwyane Wade spent working out and playing hoops this summer, it's a fair mantle to give them.

The big question for Dallas will be how much of last year's title-winners return? The roster is littered with free agents, including the staple of the defense, center Tyson Chandler, a major wing, Caron Butler, and key role guys in guards J.J. Barea and DeShawn Stevenson. The free agency period will be a flurry of activity in Big D. 

Game 3: Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers 5 p.m. ET ABC

A marketer's dream: two supersize markets and storied franchises with two of the biggest names in the game head to head in the dream time slot on the league's showcase day. It was worth ending the lockout just for this game.

The Bulls will begin their quest back to the Eastern Conference Finals, hopefully with a new rotation piece or two to make the life of 2011 MVP point guard Derrick Rose easier. The Lakers usher in a new era under first year coach Mike Brown, who will have just a few weeks to learn that All-Star guard Kobe Bryant is in charge and his job is mostly to just push the right buttons when it comes to headcases Andrew Bynum (violent outrages), Pau Gasol (heart ache) and Metta World Peace (just about everything). 

Game 4: Orlando Magic at Oklahoma City Thunder 8 p.m. ET ESPN

The biggest question mark on the schedule: What will the Orlando Magic look like on Christmas? With rumor after rumor swirling around All-Star center Dwight Howard, and GM Otis Smith admitting that he is now open to trade possibilities, Orlando will carry a massive media storm into Oklahoma assuming that Howard isn't already dealt. Guard Gilbert Arenas will likely be shown the door with the amnesty clause and the Magic figure to be players on the trade market given their mediocre, overpriced roster parts.

If the Magic figure to be engulfed in turmoil, the Thunder should be just the opposite. Oklahoma City returns every important member of its rotation, including All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. A solid sleeper pick to win the 2012 NBA Finals, Oklahoma City has a carefully constructed top-8 that covers just about every base there is to cover. Playing in front of a raucous home crowd should make this a great coming out party for the maturing Thunder.

Game 5: Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors 10:30 p.m. ET ESPN

The nightcap will be headlined by All-Star forward Blake Griffin, the league's most explosive up-and-coming inside force. Griffin's still-underrated sidekick, Eric Gordon, will get a nice opportunity to reintroduce himself to a national television audience.

Golden State has undergone a major makeover from the ownership level on down over the last 18 months and new coach Mark Jackson will make his professional debut. The Warriors figure to trot out their excellent backcourt one-two scoring punch in Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry and may even have a revamped post presence if they are able to get something done during free agency. The fifth game on the NBA's Christmas slate has shootout written all over it. Staying up late will be worth it.
Posted on: December 2, 2011 1:44 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: Back in the habit

By Matt Moore



In this week's edition of 
the Friday 5, we ask KB about what the Hornets and Magic should do, what the Bulls are looking for, and when things will pick up for free agency. You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @KBergCBS

1. Good gravy we started fast, didn't we? If you were going to tell the Hornets and Magic one thing that you learned from the Melo Debacle, what would it be?

Ken Berger, CBSSports.com:  Don't panic. Nuggets VP Masai Ujiri's best trait during the Melodrama was patience. He surveyed the landscape, recognized what cards he was dealt, and let everything play out until he extracted the best deal he could get under the circumstances. He also cultivated a positive relationship with Anthony so there was mutual trust. Otis Smith must do this with Dwight Howard, and Dell Demps with Chris Paul. But having said all this, the time pressure on the Magic and Hornets will be exponentially greater than it was on the Nuggets, who always knew they held the key to Anthony getting a max extension with the team of his choice. My reading of the new rules is that Orlando and New Orleans can't risk their stars playing this out and getting to free agency. If they do, there will be considerable angst and even more considerable risk that their stars will leave and they'll get nothing in return. One more thing, while we're on the subject: The Magic and Hornets have the benefit of a shortened season, which would make the short-term ramifications of a blow-it-up-and-start-over trade fairly fleeting. Plus, cap space in a better free-agent market next summer and a superb draft could speed the reloading process.

2. What are the Bulls looking for in a two-guard?

KB:  They're looking for more offensive production, but aren't willing to break the bank to get it. They'd like to upgrade, but they did win 62 games with Keith Bogans and Ronnie Brewer at the two. Not a catastrophe if they don't make a major upgrade, and they're definitely not going to overpay. Jason Richardson is the best fit basketball-wise, but not sure how he'd otherwise fit -- and the Bulls may want someone younger who can grow with Derrick Rose.

3. Nene's clearly the biggest name out there. But sussing out his motivations has been tricky. Is he looking for the money? The ring? Some combination of the two?

KB:  Well, if he pushes for a trade to Miami (no assets) or Dallas (some), he'd be signaling that he wants to win. But this might be the only chance he'll get in his career to get a max deal. Only in this free-agent class could a guy who averages 14 points and seven rebounds get a deal starting at more than $17 million.

4. Players are reportedly going to vote on the deal on December 8th, with training camps starting December 9th. Do we always have to cut these things so damn close? (Marty McFly'd)

KB:  Yeah, it's going to go down to the wire. It's going to be a marathon for the lawyers to get this deal in shape and resolve all the B-list issues in time to vote. Same thing happened after NFL lockout, when players essentially voted as they reported to camp. Once all the heavy lifting is done over the next few days, the voting process for both sides should be a formality -- with one exception. Do dissident agents have enough support from clients to get Billy Hunter ousted as executive director of the NBPA as a condition of ratification? My overwhelming opinion is no, but the way this process has gone, expect another flareup of drama before it's over.

5. How much of a scramble are front office executives in to try and figure out this deal which isn't even done yet?

KB:  That's why there's been so little real activity; agents and teams are trying to digest what players are worth under the new rules, what the new rules are, and what impact they will have on their books/strategy for the next few years. I think you'll begin to see teams begin to make firm offers over the weekend, and the activity will pick up starting Monday.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com