- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “Like everyone else, coach Stan Van Gundy has heard and read the scuttlebutt that connects the dots between the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Hornets all-star point guard Chris Paul. ”Much ado about nothing,” Van Gundy said, turning to Shakespeare or maybe Seinfeld. All you need to know is this: Van Gundy doesn’t expect that General Manager Otis Smith will interrupt Van Gundy’s on-going tour of major-league ballparks any time soon to prepare him for a long-shot blockbuster trade. As far as the Magic are concerned — Smith labels the Paul saga as “rumors” — they just happen to be caught up in the speculation. Paul hasn’t publicly demanded to be traded, but according to various sources in various news outlets, he wants out ASAP, and the Magic are his preferred destination.”
- Shannon J. Owens of the Orlando Sentinel with a must-read article about Penny Hardaway: “For three successful seasons, Hardaway won the approval of fans and even helped guide the Magic to its first NBA Finals, an accomplishment that would take over a decade to repeat. A trio of circumstances soon soured Hardaway’s career in Orlando: O’Neal’s departure, Brian Hill’s firing as head coach and devastating knee injuries. In Hardaway’s eyes, his reputation in Orlando never fully recovered from the dark cloud of Hill’s firing. He was accused of leading the team’s mutiny against Hill.”
- Should the Orlando Magic retire the jerseys of Shaquille O’Neal and Hardaway? UPDATE: I touched on this never-ending topic last year at OPP.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post sets the record straight on Vince Carter‘s contract: “For clarification’s sake, we should note that Carter’s contract doesn’t expire next summer, nor is it a team option. It’s what one might term as a “semi-expiring” deal. Yes, it can end next summer, but it’ll come at a price. Carter has a partially guaranteed deal for the 2011/12 season. If he is not waived before June 30, 2011, Carter’s salary of $18.3 million becomes fully guaranteed; if he is waived by the above date, he pockets $4 million and becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The $4 million figure will stay on his team’s cap for that year.”
- Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse doesn’t think the Magic will be able to land Chris Paul if they are asked to take on Emeka Okafor’s contract, as well.
- Orlando is ready to reload.