- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “If I were a betting man, I’d wager that the [Orlando] Magic will match the Chicago Bulls’ offer sheet and keep shooting guard J.J. Redick. The club has until Friday to match the Chicago Bulls’ three-year, $19-million offer sheet for the restricted free agent. Things could change in the next 24 or so hours, but it’s unlikely. General Manager Otis Smith is fielding trade offers from other teams for other Magic players and likely another shooting guard to replace Redick, but the climate in the Magic organization does not suggest Smith is letting go of Redick unless he lands a sweet deal.”
- Tomorrow, Matt Barnes makes an announcement.
- Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse: “The Orlando Magic have decided to retain restricted free agent guard J.J. Redick, matching the three-year, $19 million offer sheet he received from the Chicago Bulls last week. The Magic will make their intention known Friday – the last possible day — but NBA sources familiar with the front-office thinking of the Magic confirmed their decision Thursday afternoon. [...] The offer sheet from the Bulls includes a first-year salary of $7 million, which will cost the Magic $14 million next season because of the punitive, dollar-for-dollar luxury tax threshold the Magic will exceed.”
- Eric Freeman of The Baseline comments on a dormant rivalry between the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat that is ready to explode.
- Daniel Marks of Dime Magazine lists Rashard Lewis‘ contract as the 10th-worst in the NBA. Same old song and dance: “Rashard Lewis is the classic case of a general manager overpaying for a need. The Magic needed a shooter and second gun to take some pressure off Dwight Howard so they vastly overpaid him to be their number two guy. Lewis played well his first two years in Orlando, and is a solid player, but he doesn’t play defense and is not a true power forward. His playoff performance, or lack thereof, is most likely a sign of things to come for Lewis who still has three years left on his deal.”
- Unfortunately for Marks, he’s incorrect in saying that Lewis doesn’t play defense — he does. By the way, what’s a true power forward? Last time I checked, power forwards in the league have different skills and strengths. Lastly, Lewis’ performed fine in the playoffs until he played against the Boston Celtics and was defended by Kevin Garnett. And Garnett is one of the best defenders in NBA history.
- Are the Magic building a squad to beat the Heat?