- Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “Stan Van Gundy likes that the Orlando Magic have the right to match any offer sheet restricted free agent SG J.J. Redick could sign with another team. Because Redick has played four consecutive seasons with the Magic, he’s considered a “Bird” free agent, meaning the Magic can pay him up to a maximum salary even though they are well above the NBA salary cap. Right now, the Magic seem inclined to bring back Redick even though it would plunge them further into the luxury tax. ‘I’m not worried about what J.J. might get from somebody,’ Van Gundy said Wednesday between games of the AirTran Airways Pro Summer League at RDV Sportsplex. “That would simply leave us with a decision, but the ball rests in our court. We’ll just have to make the decision when the time comes. Our intention is — and I know that from talking to [General Manager] Otis Smith — our intention is to match.’ ”
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Free agents were allowed to start signing binding contracts at 12:01 this morning, but Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh already ended the speculation surrounding them. On Wednesday, Wade announced he’ll remain with the Miami Heat. Bosh declared he will sign with the Heat. ‘I don’t think there’s any doubt that they’re instant contenders to win an NBA championship,’ Van Gundy said. ‘It makes them very, very good and they still have a lot of money to fill out that roster.’ Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers expects the Bosh-Wade tandem will make his job tougher. ‘It just makes the East that much better, which is in some ways good and in some ways bad,’ Rivers said. ‘Listen, last year everybody chased Orlando because they were the defending champs. Now, this year, everyone will be chasing us. And everyone is fortifying their teams very well to do that.’ ”
- Against the New Jersey Nets in Summer League, Daniel Orton showed more effort.
- Head coach Stan Van Gundy raves about Chris Duhon‘s passing and defensive ability, as well as his youth.
- Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Magic’s goal the last two seasons has been to compete with the Lakers, Cavaliers and Celtics for the NBA championship, but now they must first Beat the Heat to even win a Southeast Division title. Hate to say it, Magic fans, but with Chris Bosh announcing Wednesday that he is joining Dwyane Wade in Miami, the Heat are now the new Beasts of the Southeast. They finished 47-35 last season — 12 games behind the division-winning Magic. Seems to me that adding Bosh, one of the top 10 players in the game, makes them at least a dozen games better than last season. And let’s not forget, the Heat still have cap room and flexibility to do even more during free agency. […] Magic fans better hit their knees and pray that LeBron isn’t the final and fatal piece of the Heat’s free-agent windfall. If the ridiculously egotistical “King James” announces during his hour-long State-of-the-LeBron address on ESPN tonight that he, too, is joining the Heat then the Magic’s championship window of opportunity may have just slammed shut on GM Otis Smith’s poor little pinkies.”
- Dennis Scott is skeptical about the Miami Heat’s new superstar pairing.
- Head coach Doc Rivers jokingly wishes that all the major free agents signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.
- Kevin Durant has been a breathe of fresh air at the 2010 Orlando Pro Summer League.
- More from Van Gundy: “If he went anywhere but Cleveland I’d be shocked, but I’d be doubly shocked if he went to Miami. [Wade and James] both want to be the man. I think Chris Bosh was a different story. I think he had tried to be the man. It didn’t work. I think he’s willing to be a very, very good second fiddle. I think he’s seen what happened to Pau Gasol. Teams that are good but couldn’t win the playoffs to being the second guy in L.A. and it’s worked well for him. I’m sure Chris Bosh envisions something pretty much the same. All those guys would love to be the man but it’s not that easy as a lot of them have found. I think it’s great for the Heat and good for him.”
- Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus takes a look at the shooting guards in free agency, a group which includes J.J. Redick: “Though Redick’s stats had been terrible before 2009-10, it was evident during the 2009 postseason that his work behind the scenes was paying off. Redick has made himself into a positive at the defensive end of the floor and a capable ballhandler, and when he got regular minutes last season his shots started falling. I’m a little more concerned that last year might have been Redick’s high-water mark, but it’s a pretty nice mark.”
- More from Pelton: “The itinerant [Matt] Barnes shows up on this list year after year, and has climbed considerably–he was ranked 10th in 2008 and 11th in 2009. Barnes has established a nice little niche for himself as a role player who will provide toughness and defense without hurting you on offense. Mario Elie and Rick Fox, Barnes’ two best comps, are probably the patron saints of this group. All Barnes is missing is the ring. Would he be crazy enough to chase it as part of a super-team? That would be about the best pickup realistically possible at the minimum. If Barnes walks from Orlando, which looks likely after the Magic spent a good chunk of its mid-level exception on Chris Duhon, he’ll be missed.”
- Jameer Nelson is one of the top sidekicks in the NBA, according to Daniel Marks of Dime Magazine: “Nobody expected Nelson to be an All-Star caliber point guard when he was drafted out of St. Joe’s, but that’s what he has proven to be. Nelson can score, but also knows when to give the ball down low to Dwight Howard. Nelson beats out Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter for this position because he knows how to best play off of Superman.”
- A number of teams in the league are interested in Redick.
Alston is washed up. And I wouldn't label Nelson, Carter, or Lewis as superstars. Bosh is a fringe superstar at best, even though he's a top ten player in the NBA. Yes, the Magic will have the better bench but that advantage won't last long. It might not matter, regardless, given that the Heat have three of the top ten players in the league.
Chances? Low, in my opinion. Player upgrade? Doubtful.