Thursday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Dec 01

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • Head coach Stan Van Gundy on Dwight Howard’s future: “It certainly can be a distraction to guys, and it’s something that we will have to deal with. I’ll maybe address it more at media day. But I know this: It’s not something that I plan on talking about more than once. That’s going to be it. You know, look, I expect that Dwight will be the same. He’s a great player. He’s the guy we build our team around. We expect him to be great. I would expect that he’ll be even better than he was a year ago, and that he’ll go out and play basketball and play it hard every day. And then, when the time comes, he’ll make whatever decision is best for him, and that’s exactly the way it should go. But I don’t think it will distract him from playing.”
  • Brandon Bass is happy that basketball is back.
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The NBA’s labor dispute isn’t over quite yet, but today is the day Orlando Magic players can return to the team’s practice facility at Amway Center. They may conduct voluntary workouts and train in the weight room under the supervision of strength and conditioning coach Joe Rogowski, athletic trainer Keon Weise and physical therapist Ed Manalo. Players can also get their physicals for the upcoming season out of the way. But team employees cannot do any on-court activities with players, which is a rule that J.J. Redick thinks is silly. And even if Stan Van Gundy, Otis Smith or any other basketball-operations staffers see a player, they cannot have anything more than quick conversations.”
  • President Alex Martins speaks on the end of the lockout.
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com conducts a lengthy Q-and-A session with general manager Otis Smith. Give it a read.
  • Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post keeps it real: “At all rates, the Magic face few questions with regard to their own free agents. Orlando’s roster is plenty flawed, as we saw in its first-round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks, which had all the elegance and pleasantness of a fully-blown balloon’s erratic, flatulent flight when one suddenly lets the air out of its neck. However, the questions for Orlando don’t so much concern keeping good talent from leaving as much as how to add talent from the outside.”
  • Jim Buss, executive of the Los Angeles Lakers, is ready to trade Andrew Bynum “for the right deal.” In other words, the Lakers are prepared to offer Bynum in a deal for Howard.
  • A Howard rumor that really doesn’t make any sense.
  • Sandy Dover of SLAM ONLINE takes a closer look at Howard’s signature shoe — the adidas adiPower.
  • General manager Billy King of the New Jersey Nets claims he hasn’t had contact with the Magic in about a year. Yeah right.
  • Ken Berger of CBSSports.com: “The Clips have both the cap space to land Howard next summer and plenty of assets to entice Orlando, including Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and a signed-and-traded DeAndre Jordan. Cap-space and asset-wise, few teams are in as good a shape as the Clippers over the next two years. If only they could use the amnesty provision on owner Donald Sterling.”
  • Zach Lowe of The Point Forward believes that Orlando should not hesitate to acquire Bynum in a trade if Howard is not coming back: “Bynum, through no fault of his own, has never been the first option in Los Angeles’ offense, and rarely even the second. Still, in those limited chances, he has put up an All-Star-level Player Efficiency Rating in each of the last four seasons, he’s one of the league’s best offensive rebounders and he’s a brute in the post. He has improved as a passer, and he could absolutely develop into the sort of post player you build an offense around. Heck, new Lakers coach Mike Brown sounds ready to move in that direction this season, if Bynum is still around. The Magic, stuck in what appears to be an awful situation, will be hard-pressed to find a better potential building block in any Howard trade.”
  • Do the Magic have the assets to acquire either Chris Paul or Deron Williams?
  • UPDATE: According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, Paul has stated that he’d like to team up with Howard. Gee, where have I heard this before?
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