Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 109

Feb 29

3-on-3 roundtable: Dwight Howard’s future with the Magic and legacy in Orlando

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

From now until March 15 (the date of the NBA trade deadline), all eyes will be on the Orlando Magic as the Dwight Howard saga shifts into its final lap. One of three things will happen: 1.) Dwight will be traded, 2.) the Magic will hold onto Dwight and keep their roster intact, or 3.) the Magic will hold onto Dwight and try to add a piece or two at the deadline.

If Orlando makes the decision to keep Dwight around for a little while longer, then more possibilities will open up. Those scenarios will be discussed if it gets to that point.

Right now, Magic Basketball will discuss what might happen with Dwight in the short- and long-term.

Fact or Fiction: Dwight will be traded by the deadline.

Nate Drexler: Fiction. My thought is that Dwight felt a little overwhelmed by the All-Star festivities and it got him thinking about how to stay here, something akin to Antawn Jamison being the last hope for the Cavs in 2010. Will it work? Who knows, but it probably means Orlando gets to finish the season with Dwight.

Danny Nowell: Fiction. Seems like the Magic really believe that their best bet is to see if Dwight will walk away from their money. The max that Orlando could offer him, considering Florida’s tax structure, would be an enormous amount to walk away from. That may end up mattering just as much as whether Dwight thinks the team will be contending soon.

Matt Scribbins: Fiction. What’s that old saying in the NFL? If you have two quarterbacks, you have zero? Well, the Magic have 1,000 possible trade scenarios and will end up with zero actual trades. Orlando isn’t going to take a bite off the pedestrian platter offered by the other 29 teams, but will instead let Dwight decide his own destination in the summer.

Fact or Fiction: Dwight will be in a Magic uniform next season.

Drexler: Fiction. Even if some pieces come to Orlando soon, it’s going to be on a rental basis. This seems like it’s Dwight’s last stand in Orlando, for better or worse. They will make a run with him in the paint, but there’s nothing that tells me he is going to re-sign a big contract in Orlando.

Nowell: Fiction. I’m as unsure as I’ve ever been with what will happen, but I think it’s slightly more likely that Dwight leaves. With Brooklyn or Dallas looming, Dwight may well be able to choose a team with an elite running mate, high-profile market, and serious cap space.

Scribbins: Fiction. Dwight can pass up the extra money Orlando can offer in a basketball contract and still end up with a fatter wallet. He is enamored with the endorsement deal possibilities in Brooklyn, and his earning potential is nearly unlimited in the Concrete Jungle. If New Jersey doesn’t work out, he will become Mark Cuban’s newest business partner.

Fact or Fiction: Dwight will have his jersey retired by Orlando someday.

Drexler: Fact. How could you not? You would have to be incredibly thick-headed not to put his jersey in the rafters. Whether it is for how dominant he was on the court, how gravitating he was for Orlando, or how much of a boost he gave the city economically, Dwight is a staple in Orlando and his jersey should fly with pride.

Nowell: Fact. This is sort of a toss-up for me, but I think that if Dwight handles this all professionally the franchise will have to realize that the team has returned to legitimacy on his Adonis shoulders. Wherever he plays next year, he’s given the franchise years to be proud about, and that matters.

Scribbins: Fiction. He’s gone after this season, so we only have one path to a retired jersey — winning the NBA title this season in Orlando. Hollinger’s odds has Orlando winning the title 1.5 percent of the time in simulated seasons. So you’re telling me there’s a chance!

Feb 29

All-Star Aftermath Recap

Monday

Tuesday

Feb 28

Magic Basketball TV: First-time All-Stars share their memories

ORLANDO — There’s a saying that the first time is always the best. That may not always be true but in the case of the six players (LaMarcus Aldridge, Andrew Bynum, Luol Deng, Marc Gasol, Roy Hibbert, and Andre Iguodala) that were named All-Stars this season for the first time in their careers, at the very least, their first All-Star Weekend experience is something they’ll never forget.

After the All-Star Game was over on Sunday and as the players were wrapping up the last of their media availabilities, I wanted to see what the first-timers had to say about their time in Orlando.

Feb 28

Magic Basketball TV: NBA players talking about NBA legends (Part 2 of 2)

Feb 28

Magic Basketball TV: NBA players talking about NBA legends (Part 1 of 2)

ORLANDO — Perhaps one of the coolest things about being an NBA player is that you have the ability to talk to almost any of your peers, past or present. If you wanted to talk to Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all-time, you could do it. If you wanted to talk to Magic Johnson, someone that’s successfully battling HIV and get a better understanding of what he goes through on a day-to-day basis, you could do that too.

Some NBA legends, like Wilt Chamberlain, have passed away, which has robbed some of the game’s current generation of stars of having that chance to talk to them but most are still alive. That got me thinking. For the players in the league right now, if given the chance to talk to any NBA player for one day and get some basketball knowledge, who would they talk to?

Feb 28

Magic Basketball TV: NBA’s best in-game dunker right now

ORLANDO — When I think of the best in-game dunkers in the NBA right now, the first names that pop into my head are Blake Griffin and LeBron James. They each dunk with such force and such violence, it’s hard not to be drawn in as a viewer.

So when I made the commitment to attend NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando this season, the first question I wanted to ask the players was “who is the best in-game dunker in the league right now?”

Out of all the answers I got, Kevin Durant’s answer is the one to pay attention to.

Feb 27

Magic Basketball TV: Building the perfect point guard

ORLANDO — Point guards in the NBA come in all shapes and sizes. Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook brim with explosiveness. Chris Paul, Steve Nash, and Deron Williams are supreme masters of pick-and-roll basketball. Then you have the up-and-comers like Kyrie Irving and Ricky Rubio. Aided by the league’s hand check rules, it’s not outlandish to say we’re witnessing a golden era of floor generals.

That being said, if you could build the perfect NBA point guard, what attributes and skills would that player have? I decided to ask guys like Paul to see what they had to say.

Feb 27

Magic Basketball TV: NBA players and their music taste

ORLANDO — Sometimes we forget that NBA players are people too. It’s not just basketball for them. They have families, hobbies, and other things that keep them occupied when they’re not on a basketball court.

For instance, someone like LeBron James is known for his interest in music since he’s friends with Jay-Z and other artists. So that got me wondering? What does LeBron, or anyone else for that matter, like to listen to in his off time or before games? I asked some of the players to find out myself.

Feb 27

Magic Basketball TV: Favorite basketball movie growing up (Part 2 of 2)

Feb 27

Magic Basketball TV: Favorite basketball movie growing up (Part 1 of 2)

ORLANDO — Growing up, some of my favorite basketball movies were “White Men Can’t Jump,” “He Got Game,” “Blue Chips,” and “Hoosiers.” I have other favorites but those are the ones that come off the top of my head right away.

So I was curious. What about NBA players? What was their favorite basketball movie (or movies) growing up? I asked a ton of guys and got a variety of answers but as I kept asking, the same ones started popping up.

In the case of Dwight Howard, well, see for yourself.

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