- George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel: “All of these are ancillary moves in the big-picture scheme of Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, [Rashard] Lewis and [Vince] Carter. They are the nucleus of the Magic roster that has to wrestle with the James Gang in South Florida. You can’t rip [Otis] Smith because James bolted for Miami. Smith put together the best team possible — in his estimation — to compete and win an NBA title. Stuff happens along the way. The Magic regressed by not advancing to the Finals again last season. Will they regress again in 2011? At least they are in the conversation of teams contending in the East, joining The Other Big Three — coming back to Boston — and the Heat in the preseason shuffle. Holding onto [J.J.] Redick or plugging in [Quentin] Richardson for [Matt] Barnes will not shift the odds in Orlando’s favor, but it will keep Smith’s game plan intact for the most part. It appears that will have to be enough.”
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Otis Smith insists he hasn’t made up his mind whether to match the Chicago Bulls’ three-year, $19 million offer sheet for shooting guard J.J. Redick. Smith has been known to misdirect the media on player personnel moves, so take that with a grain of salt. But one thing is certain: If Smith decides he wants to retain Redick, he’ll have to receive approval from Owner Rich DeVos and the team’s president and chief executive officer, Bob Vander Weide. After all, re-signing Redick would add significantly to the Magic’s already hefty luxury-tax hit.”
- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Because the Magic are already a luxury-tax-paying team, Chicago reportedly front-loaded its contract offer to Redick to make it more difficult for Orlando to match. The deal calls for Redick to make approximately $7.5 million in the first year, $6.5 million in the second season and $5 million in the third. Smith admitted that those figures were somewhat surprising, but not surprising considering the improvement that Redick made this season and the toughness that he played with during the playoffs. [...] The Magic must make a decision by Friday, and Smith plans to use all of his allotted time to make that decision. Richardson, 30, is primarily a small forward, but he can play shooting guard as well. Because Barnes is still considered in play, the decision for Smith could come down to Redick or Barnes. Whichever one it is will be the 12th player on the roster with only a minimum-salaried third point guard left to still add.”
- Quentin Richardson stays with a contender.
- Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse: “Instead of sitting behind James in Miami or Paul Pierce in Boston, Richardson will likely be starting at small forward for the Magic, who were looking to replace free agent Matt Barnes. That role will make him the guy assigned to slow both James and Pierce — the Magic’s Big Show stopper. In replacing Barnes, who is expected to sign elsewhere, Richardson is giving the Magic a better shooter, bigger scoring threat and a defender who is about the same. And like many around the league, he is more curious about Miami’s Big Three — and how they will come together — than worried about them.”
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post has notes from Richardson’s media availability.
- The top 25 dunks of the decade, featuring Vince Carter, Dwight Howard, and others.
- Daniel Marks of Dime Magazine rates the Orlando Magic as the second-best team in the Eastern Conference behind the Miami Heat: “While the Magic will finish second in their own division, they will also be second in the conference. With two straight trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Magic have a ton of talent still on the roster. If they trade Marcin Gortat for some wing help (in addition to signing Quentin Richardson), they will probably be back there. Also, the roster has had a year to gel, and with no major changes like last offseason when Hedo Turkoglu left and Vince Carter was brought in, they should be ready.”
- A must-read Q/A with Rony Seikaly.