To better make sense of the madness that is free agency, especially considering their historical ramifications within the framework of the NBA, I’m going to aggregate any facts and rumors that pertain to the Orlando Magic into a notebook-type post. The posts will be constructed daily at 12:00 PM EDT and updated throughout the day. Make sure to check back when updates are made available. I’ll post a time-stamp at the beginning of the posts to make it easier for you, the reader, to know about the latest news. I’ll make notifications on Twitter, too. As the free agent period begins to wind down and the Magic fill out their roster, the notebooks will be posted sporadically — every few days or so. I know my friend and former colleague, Ben Q. Rock, is doing a similar thing at Orlando Pinstriped Post (without the updates, I believe) so I’ll try to mix things up as much as possible to avoid redundancy.
Also, if you happen to come across any free agent or trade news related to the Magic, feel free to pass it along in the comments section and you’ll get a hat tip in the post for the scoop.
With that said, let’s get to it.
UPDATED as of 6:34 PM EDT.
– Matt Barnes, last update at 4:16 PM EDT on July 1
Barnes is an unrestricted free agent and Orlando must make a decision regarding his future with the organization. He has spoken with Magic general manager Otis Smith about a new contract and the ball is now in the team’s court.
“Yes, we spoke,” Barnes told HOOPSWORLD on Wednesday afternoon. “At this point in time, I know that there is interest as far as me wanting to be back and them wanting me. Those first tier guys are going to draw all of the attention for the first few weeks so I’m just sitting back like everybody else and waiting to see where they go. But there definitely are some teams interested. The way I feel, I’m Orlando’s to lose. They know I want to be there and if they step up and make something happen then I’ll be back.”
One player that may not find a deal is free agent Matt Barnes, as much as Matt wants to return, there does not seem to be any urgency from the Magic to sign him and Barnes has said repeatedly, as much as he’d like to stay in Orlando, he will take the first long term deal offered his way.
– Steve Blake, last update at 1:11 PM EDT on July 1
Sources close to the Orlando Magic peg Clippers’ guard Steve Blake as the team’s primary free agent acquisition. Sources say the Magic could offer a similar package to what was given to Brandon Bass last summer ($4 years roughly $16 million). Blake is expected to have several suitors this week and may make a a visit to Orlando early in the process.
The Los Angeles Lakers are smitten with signing free-agent point guard Steve Blake, but sources believe Blake would have to take less money than the Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic and New York Knicks could be willing to offer.
Add Steve Blake to the list of unexpectedly hot properties. The Lakers seem to be interested in him as well as the Magic. It seems like his market looks to me MLE at the minimum. Can’t imagine anyone would go more than that, but you never know.
Yes, Steve Blake is in Orlando. But before Magic fans start getting excited by these sightings, his visit has nothing to do with basketball. He is in town as the best man of his friend’s wedding and it’s a total coincidence. This isn’t a business trip, though sources say Orlando would like to meet with the point guard in the next few weeks
– Carlos Boozer, last update at 4:16 EDT on July 1
[Dwight] Howard has become very close with Utah’s Carlos Boozer. Boozer has stayed at Dwight’s house during the playoffs for the last two years, and the duo even trained together this summer with Rocket’s legend Hakeem Olajuwon.
Howard has made it clear he’d like to see Boozer in Orlando, and sources close to the situation say that if Boozer cannot reach a deal quickly to re-sign with the Utah Jazz, he’d push hard for a deal in Central Florida too.
Boozer is expected to meet with the Bulls, Knicks, HEAT and Nets in the next 48 hours and could have more than enough offers to make Utah sweat losing him for nothing, so if the Magic want to get Boozer, there seems to be a window if the Jazz don’t pony up a new six-year offer.
Jazz free agent Carlos Boozer was bombarded with calls Wednesday night. The Jazz, Bulls, Heat, Nets and Knicks all made their calls. The Nets and Heat are considered the frontrunners for Boozer as far as teams with cap space go. But don’t be surprised to see Boozer heading to a team like the Orlando Magic. The Jazz would like to re-sign Boozer. But if they can’t, they’ll actively pursue a sign-and-trade to get something back for Boozer.
The Magic have been offering Marcin Gortat, Brandon Bass, the expiring contract of Vince Carter to interested teams. The Jazz may also have interest in a sign-and-trade for J.J. Redick. They still need a shooter to replace Kyle Korver.
One rumor that seemed to be picking up steam involved Carlos Boozer to Orlando in a sign-and-trade. Vince Carter, Marcin Gortat, and Brandon Bass were mentioned as possible pieces that have been discussed. But just as outlets like ESPN and the Deseret News picked up the story, sources close to the situation are starting to doubt if the rumor has any legs. Tony Dutt, who represents Brandon Bass, doesn’t buy the rumor involving his client. “Nothing is there. It’s absolutely nothing,” Dutt told HOOPSWORLD on Thursday afternoon. Whether or not the rumors are true, don’t expect any moves out of Orlando in the coming days.
There are “no legs” to reports that Bass could be sent to Utah in a sign-and-trade for Boozer, a person with knowledge of Orlando’s strategy said. But given Howard’s preference for Boozer, it’s too early to completely dismiss the scenario.
There has been a lot of talk over the past 48-hours about Carlos Boozer landing in Orlando…
Sources close to the situation said they just do not see it happening, saying that GM Otis Smith does not believe Magic coach Stan Van Gundy wants to change the Magic’s style of play, a style that’s won 59 games in each of the last two seasons, and he’s not going to push Stan like that.
The belief from Central Florida is that the Magic will be “value” shoppers and try and add pieces after the initial “overpay for talent” rush ends.
– Keyon Dooling, last update at 8:40 PM EDT on June 30
Sources close to recently released Nets’ guard Keyon Dooling say that he is planning a return to Florida, his first choice is to re-sign with the Orlando Magic, a team he has not stopped following since leaving the Magic in 2008.
Sources says Keyon is not looking for a huge payday, but feels confident he can land with the Magic or the HEAT, even if that’s for less than market value.
– Chris Paul, last update on 4:14 PM EDT on July 1
The Hornets no longer need to trade Paul for financial reasons. The trade they made on draft night with the Oklahoma City Thunder got them out of the luxury tax, so that’s no longer the issue.
The issue is whether Paul is now unhappy enough to force a trade. The Blazers believe he is and will continue to pursue a Paul deal. They won’t be alone.
The Magic also have been pursuing Paul and Okafor, offering expiring contracts and Jameer Nelson. And there are two other teams that could offer the Hornets even more.
The Magic are quietly exploring sign-and-trade scenarios that would rid the team of Vince Carter and his $17.3 million contract for next season, sources say. Short of that, team officials have indicated that they’re willing to further explore more playing time for power forward Brandon Bass, who languished on the bench much of last season. The move would involve moving Rashard Lewis back to his natural small-forward. In addition to elite point guard Chris Paul, who tops his offseason wish list, Dwight Howard has told management he wants the team to pursue a post-up scorer at the power forward position. If GM Otis Smith is unable to acquire Howard’s choice for that role, Carlos Boozer, the Magic could counter by utilizing Bass more than they did last season.
– Amar’e Stoudemire, last update on 10:30 PM EDT on June 30
After opting out of his contract on Wednesday, Stoudemire is set to meet with several teams, sources said. The Suns have offered him a five-year maximum contract with injury protections in the fifth year. Nevertheless, Stoudemire has been slow to commit to Suns owner Robert Sarver, whose financial commitment to compete with the Western Conference elite has been unclear.
Several teams without salary-cap space, including Cleveland, Orlando and Houston are interested in making presentations to Stoudemire. They hope to acquire him through sign-and-trades.
– J.J. Redick, last update on 9:36 AM EDT on July 1
Wallace has yet to file retirement papers, so the $6.32 million owed him next season and $6.79 million in 2011-12 would come off a team’s books after Wallace is traded to them. They could do a deal and not take on his money. Ainge is trying to use the Wallace contract to bring back a power forward or center to replace Wallace and the injured Kendrick Perkins.
The Celtics could then use their midlevel exception for a different player. Several sources believe that Ainge’s target is Orlando’s J.J. Redick, who is a restricted free agent.
Sources close to the Celtics say that while bringing unrestricted free agent Ray Allen back is important, if the price tag gets too high the C’s may go younger with those dollars and have zeroed in on Orlando’s J.J. Redick.
Word is the Celtics may have made initial contact last night and could offer Redick a full Mid-Level Exception deal if things with Ray Allen don’t come together quickly.
The Magic issued Redick a $3.8 million Qualifying Offer sheet last week, so they would have the right to match any deals Redick receives on the open market, and would not be tied to any salary restrictions in keeping him.
If a team makes an offer, the Magic would have seven days to decide whether to match the deal or pass.
– C.J. Watson, last update on 6:34 PM EDT on July 1
Upgrading the depth behind standout point guard Jameer Nelson is a major point of emphasis. Golden State restricted free agent C.J. Watson is a target of the Smith’s as is veteran Steve Blake. Smith admitted that the team was active just after midnight Thursday, the start of the free-agent courting period, expressing “interest to the guys that we really like.”
Check back for updates throughout the day.