- Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel: “Earl Clark is thankful the Phoenix Suns agreed to trade him to the Orlando Magic as part of the six-player, blockbuster deal in mid-December. The move to Orlando might have saved his NBA career. Earlier this year, when the Suns declined to pick up Clark’s $2 million option to keep him for the 2011-12 season — making him a free agent this summer — Clark took it personally and wondered what his NBA future would entail. He barely played in Phoenix, had a reputation as a not-so-hard worker and was stuck between forward positions. It appeared Clark would be competing to make an NBA squad from the end of a bench on a new team next season. But that all changed in December when the Suns sent Clark to the Magic in the deal that brought Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson to Orlando. The fresh start rejuvenated Clark, a second-year player out of Louisville.”
- The Orlando Magic’s search for a shooting guard continues.
- An update on Daniel Orton.
- Ric Bucher of ESPN.com talks about his back-and-forth discussion with Dwight Howard in the locker room when the Magic lost Game 3 against the Atlanta Hawks.
- Josh Cohen of OrlandoMagic.com recaps Orlando’s season and ends with this note: “It will be fascinating to see what the Magic try to do this offseason in an effort to bounce back and return to championship-level form. Except for J-Rich, everyone on the Magic’s roster is under contract for next season. Since Richardson was very valuable to Orlando since his arrival, it’s certainly possible that Otis [Smith] will try and re-sign him to a long-term deal. Otherwise, if there are any changes to the Magic those alterations will likely come in the form of trades.”
- Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider provides a solution for the Magic’s woes but not before warning that the task to improve will be difficult: “The Magic could blow it up again, but “it” is rubble anyway. We saw this season that there’s no such thing as an unmovable contract — interestingly enough, thanks to Magic GM Otis Smith — but the stock of [Gilbert] Arenas and Turkoglu has fallen so low that they’re glorified sunk costs at this point. If this sounds like we’re painting a grim picture here, that’s because it is a grim picture. There are no easy answers here, but this is the bed that Smith made. They have no room to sign anyone in free agency and they don’t have the positioning in the draft to pluck an instant contributor. Flexibility-wise, Smith is in a straitjacket, and his only hope is that Arenas and Turkoglu do their best Benjamin Button impressions or accept buyouts. Both scenarios are pipedreams.”
I get where Bucher is coming from, but he's one of those guys that makes blanket statements and then spends hours trying to backpedal from those statements. I honestly think Dwight dislikes the way the media is speculating on his future because he feels they are trying to make up his mind for him.
Also, I get the sense that people are telling him he is like Shaq, Melo and LeBron and Dwight doesn't like that because he wants to feel different from those guys. It's clear to me that ever since he got into the league, Dwight has tried to seem different from the average NBA player. Nobody quite has his personality or play style. Hopefully he sees staying in Orlando as his way of being different. Because everybody expects him to go somewhere else.