- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The [Orlando] Magic could try to offer [Matt] Barnes some of their mid-level exception and split it with another player. They also could use it on another free agent in their search for another wing, such as former Magic small forward Mike Miller, Josh Howard or Travis Outlaw. Point guard Jason Williams, who backed up Nelson last season, is a free agent. Word from his camp is that he would return for the biannual exception. The Magic might be open to that. Some of the other point-guard candidates for the Magic could include Chris Duhon, Raymond Felton, C.J. Watson (restricted) and Jordan Farmar (restricted). Keyon Dooling was waived by the New Jersey Nets. Kenge Stevenson, a representative for Dooling, told the Sentinel that Dooling would welcome a Magic return after playing here from 2005-2008.”
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel elaborates on a possible shift of power in the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Bulls, the Miami Heat, and other teams.
- Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel suggests you shouldn’t believe everything you hear, read, or see concerning this summer’s free agent class.
- Marcin Gortat is styling.
- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “With the exception of not winning the championship that he so desperately wanted to bring back to his native Central Florida, Vince Carter said that his return home to play for the Orlando Magic was everything that he had hoped for and more. Now, with the start of free agency just a few hours away and trade rumors typically flying around, Carter is hoping his stay in Orlando and with the Magic extends for another season. With the free-agent class never more star-studded, the Magic could make a bold move toward acquiring an elite power forward or small forward this summer. Doing so would have to come via a sign-and-trade deal and such a transaction could very well include Carter, who is about to enter the final fully guaranteed year of his contract. But Carter, who spoke from the Orlando Sports Center where he is hosting his Orlando Magic basketball camp for 250 local boys and girls, is hoping to play out his contract here with the Magic and remain near his roots in nearby Daytona Beach.”
- Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com: “There’s no question that if Daniel Orton stayed in school longer he could have eventually ended up in the NBA Draft lottery. But after leaving school following his freshman year, the former Kentucky Wildcat finds himself as the premier Magic draft pick in the 2010 Summer League. Orton possesses a good base and legs, which make him a very strong player and phenomenal post defender, both on and off the ball. He’s an above average rebounder and a tremendous shot blocking presence. Although most first round picks usually end up being the go-to offensive player on their team’s Summer League squad, expect Orton to have a different role. While he has a nice natural touch on his right-handed jump hook, he’s still developing his offensive post game. Look for Orlando to provide ways for him to flash his strengths on the defensive end.”
- Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk analyzes J.J. Redick‘s value in free agency: “The days of mocking J.J. Redick are over, the guy has worked hard to fit his game into the NBA. He can shoot the three, defends well enough and hustles. The Magic may be where he ends up, but when the big names come off the board someone will come looking to fill out their roster with him.”
- Ditto with Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie: “Mock the guy all you want, but Redick has worked his way into a sound all-around player that could really destroy opponents offensively if he had the luxury of playing anything more than spot minutes. He can still be beaten defensively, but it won’t be for lack of effort, as he held his own matching up against Ray Allen in this year’s postseason.”
- The Orlando Magic rank No. 2 in ESPN’s Ultimate Franchise Standings, up from No. 18 last year. The New Orleans Saints are the only team ahead of the Magic in the rankings.
- Chris Broussard of ESPN Insider with his “advice” on how to improve the Magic: “Vince Carter showed during the playoffs that he’s not going to be able to carry you in the postseason, so shop him hard, as well as Jameer Nelson. Rashard Lewis will be hard to move because of his severely overpriced contract, but you can give it the old college try. Let’s offer Carter to New Orleans for Paul, hoping that Carter being in the last year of his deal ($17.3 million next year, team option for 2011-12) will persuade the Hornets to act. Then let’s try to move Nelson to Memphis, which is looking to upgrade at point guard, for O.J. Mayo.”
- Looking back at a time when Shaquille O’Neal was in LeBron James’ shoes.
- Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “Would Paul help the Magic? Undoubtedly. That’s just as terrifying a combo as you’re going to find in the league, and the way Paul used Tyson Chandler in the pick and roll for alley-oops means that he and Howard could set the record for most alley-oops in a season. It would be an unstoppable combo. Paul’s also a better shooter than Nelson, and Nelson’s really good. Before injuries started to hit him last season, Paul was on pace for a 45-50-95 season, which is, to be honest, freaking absurd. Working with the kind of perimeter options the Magic have to create space for him would make Paul somehow more lethal than he was before. But if the Magic can’t find a package the Hornets find enticing financially or basketball-wise before Shinn’s sale is complete, they’ll probably be left without Paul, and the repercussions on a locker room that now could start tearing apart instead of drifting. Pushing for progress is a good thing. But it comes with its price if you fail.”
- More commentary on Howard’s desire to play with Chris Paul.
- Make sure to visit Magic Basketball tomorrow at 5:00 PM EDT, as I’ll be having an hour-long CoverItLive chat with Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post to kick off the free agent festivities.
The Magic can't afford Anthony if he were to become a free agent next season. Orlando is going to be over the salary cap for the foreseeable future, which means they can't offer anything more than exceptions.