Friday’s Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Dec 09

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic may file a formal complaint with the NBA that the New Jersey Nets — in their quest to entice Dwight Howard — violated the league’s tampering rules. ESPN, citing unnamed sources, is reporting that Howard met with Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov and Nets General Manager Billy King on Thursday night in Miami without the Magic’s knowledge or permission. Magic CEO Alex Martins said, and an NBA spokesman confirmed, that the Magic have not filed any complaints — at least not yet.”
  • More from Robbins: “Dwight Howard’s representatives have told the New Jersey Nets that they are his first choice and that he plans to ask the Orlando Magic for a trade, ESPN reported early Friday morning. [...] Howard can become a free agent after the 2011-12 season, and speculation has been rampant about his intentions. He has declined to discuss his long-term plans publicly in recent weeks, and it’s unknown what, exactly, he has told Magic officials, although he has been in contact with them in recent days. Magic officials have said they will do everything they can to keep him with the organization for the long-term. But Howard has grown increasingly concerned with the team’s direction since the team’s first-round playoff loss last spring, occasionally hinting that he wants more help on the roster.”
  • Dwight Howard showed up to training camp.
  • Brandon Bass’ agent, Tony Dutt, comments on his client being traded to the Boston Celtics for Glen Davis: “We’ve had two or three conversations this morning. He understands the business side of it. It’s tough because he really, really likes Orlando. It’s part of the business, unfortunately. I’m very close with [Boston's] Danny [Ainge]. At the end of the day, if Orlando doesn’t want him, he’s a valuable player. He’s a valuable asset to any team that he plays for. I don’t want to say I’m disappointed, but I’m disappointed on one side. I’m happy for Brandon that he’ll be in a position to play for a championship.”
  • Do the Orlando Magic call Howard’s bluff if he wants to be traded to the New Jersey Nets?
  • Andrew Bynum has higher upside than Brook Lopez according to Magic officials.
  • Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “The NBA is certainly protecting its own interests by killing Chris Paul’s trade to the Lakers, but what about Orlando’s interests? Paul’s New Orleans Hornets, pro basketball orphans, are owned by the NBA. So how in the name of small markets and competitive balance can David Stern block Paul’s move and not Dwight Howard’s?”
  • Orlando CEO Alex Martins: “I’ll tell Dwight the same thing that I’ve said all week since we’ve been able to talk to him. That is that first and foremost we want him to resign here Martins. We’re going to continue to give him every resource and every asset that he needs and we need to be successful. We’ve proven we’ll do that over the last four years in particular. Our ownership has continued to invest in putting other players around him. The only thing that we haven’t been successful at is finishing that last step in winning the title.”
  • For head coach Stan Van Gundy, this season’s training camp will be an interesting one to say the least.
  • Justin Harper and DeAndre Liggins have officially been signed to contracts, as well as free agents Larry Hughes and Gabe Pruitt.

  • Trade scenarios involving Howard.
  • More on the possibility that tampering charges will be filed against the Nets.
  • Brett Pollakoff of ProBasketballTalk on the impact of Gilbert Arenas being waived: “The ‘extra jolt in the free-agent market’ is the really interesting part of this, because these high-dollar players who are no longer worth those big contracts can still contribute something in most cases, and should have no problem signing somewhere for the veteran minimum salary since they’re still being paid on their old contract.”
  • David Aldridge of NBA.com: “Magic chief executive officer Alex Martins says that Orlando has not filed tampering charges against any other team for any illegal contact with star Dwight Howard. Martins says that the rules against tampering are clear and that if they had been violated in any way the team would pursue the abusers to the fullest extent of NBA rules. But as of Friday nothing has been filed with the league office. Howard has not publicly indicated that he wants to be dealt, and privately, the communications between Howard, his agent, Dan Fegan, and the Magic have produced mixed signals. At points, Howard indicates he might want to stay with the Magic, who have become a championship contender on his watch — only the Lakers and Celtics have won more regular season and playoff games over the last four years. But at other points, he indicates dissatisfaction with the makeup of the team. Orlando has had a contract extension on the table for Howard for some time, but he has — like other star players in recent years — not signed it.”
  • A timeline of today’s events with regards to Howard, tampering charges, and trade rumors.
  • Howard denies a meeting took place with the Nets.
  • Ben Golliver of CBSSports.com: “While Arenas represented the NBA’s worst contract, it’s possible that someone places a low-bill bid for his services in the blind amnesty waiver process. It’s also possible his many off-court red flags and controversial statements (including inappropriate Twitter posts) could lead teams to steer clear. Arenas, 29, will eventually catch on with someone, somewhere, but it remains an open question how many bridges he has left unburned.”
  • Additional thoughts on the possibility of Howard joining the Nets.
  • Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated: “A source close to the situation said early Friday that Orlando was also considering filing tampering charges against Houston, but that a Rockets claim will not be pursued due to lack of information.”
  • It’s been a busy day for Orlando.
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