- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “It appears that the NBA lockout has taken a toll on the Orlando Magic. The team has laid off 20 full-time staff members and determined that up to 12 other open positions will be eliminated, three league sources told the Orlando Sentinel. The moves impact most of the organization’s departments but not the basketball operations department. They were announced to the team’s remaining full-time staff of about 170 people on Tuesday. A Magic spokesman would not comment. A team policy prohibits employees from commenting about staffing matters. On Jan. 1, the Magic put a hiring freeze into effect because team officials anticipated that a labor dispute between league owners and players could lead to the cancellation of games. As a result of the hiring freeze, 12 positions that were open or became open stayed unfilled.
- Larry Hughes — yes, that Larry Hughes — has been invited to the Orlando Magic’s training camp. No word if any other former members of the Golden State Warriors will be attending as well.
- More from Robbins: “Howard’s long-term status will not be resolved in the next few days. It just won’t. But we may see some major clues as to the team’s long-range strategy. If the team wants to start creating cap space for the free-agent bonanza of the summer of 2012, it can do so by inking Jason Richardson to a free-agent deal and sending him to another team via a sign-and-trade. That would help the Magic create room under the cap if the Magic receive a contract that will expire after the 2011-12 season or an unguaranteed contract or picks.”
- Dwight Howard’s birthday wish list.
Looks like the other shoe has dropped, ESPN is reporting that Dwight Howard's representation is going to ask for a trade to the Nets. The report states that the Nets are prepared to offer Brook Lopez and two first round picks plus cap relief by taking Hedo's horrid contract. That is an absolutely terrible deal. Brook Lopez is a center that can't rebound or defend the pick and roll effectively. The Magic would turn into the new Warriors with Lopez replacing Howard. Opposing teams would take turns using the Magic defense as a turnstile to the hoop. If the Magic are really blowing up the team and going into full rebuilding mode, then the better play would be to trade Howard to the Clippers who can offer a much more attractive package of picks and developing players. Of course Howard can veto that deal by refusing to sign with the Clippers, so really I think Otis only sensible move at this point is to try and get Bynum and Pau or Bynum and Odom for Howard and Hedo cap killing contract. I highly doubt that Dwight would veto a trade to the Lakers. As outlined in my previous post, trading with the Lakers at least give the Magic franchise hope for contending in the coming years.
Right now I'm sad. In my head I know it was highly improbable that Dwight would resign with the Magic, but to see it finalizes hurts. End of an era.
@EricFarrell The Magic is never going to be bad defensively with SVG.
But the team won't contend without Howard. Bynum and Gasol won't change that.
I think that if Dwight really requests a trade to the Nets, the package with Brook Lopez, 2 first round picks and they getting Turkoglu is a good start. Maybe Duhon can also be traded and a third team involved.
Also, Chris Paul is probably going to be a free agent if the Hornets are not sold until the next season.
Maybe the Magic can build a young talented young team with Anderson, Lopez, Harper, Liggins, Clark, the new picks and maybe some more young talent if a third team is included, and with cap space try to get Chris Paul in the offseason.
I do prefer that than being a playoff team like Atlanta that will never be a real contender