- Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “That window of opportunity for winning a championship hasn’t closed yet, as far as the Orlando Magic are concerned and it’s part of the reason they chose to keep J.J. Redick, matching an offer that is likely to cost them more than $30 million in salary and luxury taxes over the length of the contract. Magic General Manager Otis Smith spoke today about matching Redick’s offer, saying Redick’s main boon is that he has a winner’s “DNA.” [...] Smith said the discussion about whether or not to match the Chicago Bulls’ three-year, $19-million offer involved some debate money-wise. Because Redick was a restricted free agent, the Magic had seven days to match the offer. The Magic were already at least $14 million over the luxury tax threshold for next season before matching Redick’s offer worth somewhere around $7.5 to $8 million in its first year.”
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “If anyone had any doubts about Matt Barnes’ future with the Orlando Magic, those doubts were erased last night with the news that the Magic were re-signing J.J. Redick. Now, it’s crystal clear that the Magic will go with Mickael Pietrus and Quentin Richardson at the small-forward spot, with the possibility that second-round pick Stanley Robinson can make the regular-season roster if he performs well at training camp. General Manager Otis Smith said this morning that he has not offered Barnes a contract this offseason. This confirms what Barnes and his agent, Aaron Goodwin, have been saying over the last couple of weeks.”
- Matt Barnes delays his announcement.
- General manager Otis Smith is not a fan of text messaging.
- J.J. Redick is flattered with his new contract.
- Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com: “After years of struggling with his consistency, along with battling to find a solid place in Orlando’s rotation, Redick delivered a breakout performance in the Magic’s 2009 Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Boston Celtics. He continued to build on that effort during Orlando’s 2009-10 regular season campaign, averaging career highs in points (9.6 ppg.), assists (1.9 apg.) and minutes (22 mpg.). Always known for his ability to shoot the ball, the 26 year old has now also developed into a serviceable defender against perimeter-oriented shooting guards. He flashed his ability to contain Ray Allen in that 2009 series and reinforced that perception throughout last season.”
- Fans come to see Dwight Howard play: “The Magic finished 5th in road attendance last season, drawing an average of 27,838 fans a game. Attribute that, as well as Orlando’s recent title pushes, to Howard. There’s no guarantee this team ever makes it back to the Finals. Most fans won’t care. They just want to see the premiere big man athlete continue to splatter blocked shots all over the backboards and front rows across the league.”
- The last item on the agenda for the Magic is to sign a third point guard.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post has some notes from Smith’s presser.
- How does Orlando stack up to the Los Angeles Lakers? Brian Kamenetzky of the Land O’ Lakers blog chimes in: “Stan Van Gundy’s crew has won 59 games in consecutive seasons, including a trip to the Finals in ’09. This summer, they’ve swapped Jason Williams and Matt Barnes for Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson. A wash, basically, but by matching Chicago’s offer sheet on J.J. Redick, the Magic certainly aren’t setting themselves up to slide this season. With Dwight Howard they have a dominant player in the middle, accompanied by a great guard in Jameer Nelson and strong players up and down the roster.”
- Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus examines the dangers of long-term contracts: “Looking over all the data, it appears the sweet spot for free-agent contracts is about three years. Past this, the risk escalates quickly. Predicting performance next season is hard enough, so trying to figure out what a player will be like five years down the line (or even whether they’ll be healthy then) is nigh impossible. For stars, that risk is an acceptable part of acquiring an elite talent. Among the NBA’s middle class, it’s difficult to justify going much more than three years. A four-year deal can be justified because the expiring contract becomes valuable as a trade asset the last year, but five-year deals to marginal talents simply aren’t worth it.”
- By Pelton’s logic, the Magic did well by re-signing Redick to a three-year deal and signing Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson to four-year deals. The length of the contracts are just right.
Via Orlando Magic:
The Orlando Magic have exercised its right of first refusal and retained restricted free agent guard J.J. Redick, General Manager Otis Smith announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed. Orlando had seven days to match an offer sheet made to Redick by Chicago on July 9.
“J.J. (Redick) is a valuable part of our organization, both on the court and in our community,” said Smith. “He has worked extremely hard during his four seasons with us and improved every year. We’re happy that J.J. will be back to help us reach our ultimate goal.”
Redick (#7, 6’4”, 190, 6/24/84) played in all 82 games last season with Orlando, averaging a career-high 9.6 ppg., 1.9 rpg. and 1.9 apg. in 22.0 minpg. He made nine starts, averaging 13.0 ppg., 2.9 apg. and 2.7 rpg. in 35.1 minpg. during that span. Redick led the Magic in both three-point shooting (.405, 111-274) and free throw shooting (.860, 191-222), ranking 17th in the NBA in both categories. He also appeared in all 14 playoff games, averaging 7.5 ppg., 1.7 rpg. and 1.4 apg. in 19.2 minpg.
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel: “If I were a betting man, I’d wager that the [Orlando] Magic will match the Chicago Bulls’ offer sheet and keep shooting guard J.J. Redick. The club has until Friday to match the Chicago Bulls’ three-year, $19-million offer sheet for the restricted free agent. Things could change in the next 24 or so hours, but it’s unlikely. General Manager Otis Smith is fielding trade offers from other teams for other Magic players and likely another shooting guard to replace Redick, but the climate in the Magic organization does not suggest Smith is letting go of Redick unless he lands a sweet deal.”
- Tomorrow, Matt Barnes makes an announcement.
- Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse: “The Orlando Magic have decided to retain restricted free agent guard J.J. Redick, matching the three-year, $19 million offer sheet he received from the Chicago Bulls last week. The Magic will make their intention known Friday – the last possible day — but NBA sources familiar with the front-office thinking of the Magic confirmed their decision Thursday afternoon. [...] The offer sheet from the Bulls includes a first-year salary of $7 million, which will cost the Magic $14 million next season because of the punitive, dollar-for-dollar luxury tax threshold the Magic will exceed.”
- Eric Freeman of The Baseline comments on a dormant rivalry between the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat that is ready to explode.
- Daniel Marks of Dime Magazine lists Rashard Lewis‘ contract as the 10th-worst in the NBA. Same old song and dance: “Rashard Lewis is the classic case of a general manager overpaying for a need. The Magic needed a shooter and second gun to take some pressure off Dwight Howard so they vastly overpaid him to be their number two guy. Lewis played well his first two years in Orlando, and is a solid player, but he doesn’t play defense and is not a true power forward. His playoff performance, or lack thereof, is most likely a sign of things to come for Lewis who still has three years left on his deal.”
- Unfortunately for Marks, he’s incorrect in saying that Lewis doesn’t play defense — he does. By the way, what’s a true power forward? Last time I checked, power forwards in the league have different skills and strengths. Lastly, Lewis’ performed fine in the playoffs until he played against the Boston Celtics and was defended by Kevin Garnett. And Garnett is one of the best defenders in NBA history.
- Are the Magic building a squad to beat the Heat?
Via the Orlando Magic:
The Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard, along with NBA players and African natives DeSagana Diop (Senegal), Luc Mbah a Moute (Cameroon) and Hasheem Thabeet (Tanzania) will headline Basketball without Borders Africa, it was announced today by the National Basketball Association (NBA), the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) and the Senegalese Basketball Federation (SBF). The African edition of the NBA and FIBA’s global basketball development and community outreach program will be held in Dakar, Senegal for the first time, Aug. 5- 8.
Uniting the top 60 young basketball players from the continent, the camp will provide basketball coaching while encouraging positive social change in the areas of education, health and well being.
“It is of particular significance that Basketball without Borders Africa is being held here in Dakar for the first time,” said Amadou Gallo Fall, Vice President of Development for the NBA in Africa, and a native of Senegal. “With the help of current and former NBA and FIBA players, coaches and partners, Basketball without Borders is a perfect vehicle to draw attention to important social issues while allowing us to coach and mentor the top youth basketball talent from across the African continent.”
The 60 top youth players 19 and under as selected by the NBA, FIBA and participating federations will come together for the four-day camp to train under NBA players and coaches, and compete against their peers. Campers will be divided into teams independent of race, religion or nationality to promote friendship and diversity.
Who knows whether or not Stanley Robinson will make the opening night roster for the Orlando Magic or even be invited to training camp, given that he was a second round pick and does not have a guaranteed contract as of yet. But it’s clear that Robinson is a type of player that could help the Magic, perhaps not immediately but maybe in the future. Robinson’s shooting needs some work, but his activity on both ends of the floor and his defensive potential are the types of things that appeal to head coach Stan Van Gundy.
And Robinson can deliver some highlight-reel plays, too.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Whether he stays in Orlando or moves on to Chicago, [J.J.] Redick will make $19 million over three seasons, roughly doubling his 2009-2010 salary with the [Orlando] Magic. He knows the only place he’s going to go for certain is the bank.
As a restricted free agent, Redick can entertain contract offers like the one he received from the Bulls. And as a restricted free agent, he can have that same offer sheet matched by the Magic — and they will have to pay him the count and amount.
The Magic’s dilemma, given they delved heavily into the punitive luxury tax, is whether to retain Vince Carter‘s back-up at shooting guard for the price. They have until sometime Friday to decide.
This is it. One more day until “the decision” is made.
Ultimately, J.J. Redick’s future will hinge on a number of factors.
One factor is whether or not the ownership for the Orlando Magic are willing to sign off on a big contract that will push them further into the luxury tax. The Chicago Bulls deliberately front-loaded Redick’s offer sheet for this very reason. The Bulls are banking, more than anything else, on the first-year offer of roughly $7.5 million being too much for the Magic to afford (the dollar amount decreases year-by-year). General manager Otis Smith, however, said that the decision won’t come down to that. Another factor, and perhaps the main one, will depend on if Smith is willing to slightly overpay — in his eyes — to keep Redick in Orlando. Smith openly stated that he was a little surprised by the contract that Redick received.
It appears, then, that if Redick comes back, it’ll be because the front office for the Magic felt that the dollars weren’t that much higher than where they valued him at.
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “As J.J. Redick waits to learn whether he’ll play for the Orlando Magic or the Chicago Bulls next season, he might be surprised to find out that the final determination about his future could be made in Grand Rapids, Mich. If General Manager Otis Smith decides he wants to match the Bulls’ three-year, $19 million offer sheet for Redick, Smith will have to receive final approval from Magic Owner Rich DeVos and President Bob Vander Weide. [...] Re-signing Redick would send the Magic even deeper into the NBA luxury tax. The Magic will have to pay a $1 penalty for every $1 they spend next season in team payroll above $70.3 million. After their signings of free agents Chris Duhon and Quentin Richardson, the Magic’s salary for the 2010-11 season already hovers around $84 million.”
- What money is left for the Orlando Magic to spend?
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel thinks Roger Mason could be a viable replacement for J.J. Redick if he doesn’t return.
- Josh Cohen of OrlandoMagic.com takes a look at the anatomy of a rivalry.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post wonders if Quentin Richardson’s body will hold up.
- Matt Barnes on LeBron James: “I think LeBron is allowed to do what he feels. I know it’s hard for Cleveland fans to lose him but you have to look at the positives. He put the team back on the map, he boosted their economy, and I know he did wonders for what the team is worth now. I’m sure it was hard losing a hometown guy like that but in this game, this is a very cold business. Case in point right there once LeBron was gone everyone in Cleveland hates him now. You really have to do what’s best for you and your family and as a player I wish him the best. They built a three headed monster in Miami and they’re gonna be tough to handle if they can get their chemistry together.”
- Chris Tomasson of NBA FanHouse takes a look at the power struggle between the Magic and the Miami Heat, which includes these comments from James in response to general manager Otis Smith openly questioning his competitiveness when he made the decision: ” ‘It’s on. It’s funny that they questioned my competitiveness. I like that. I like locker room stuff. We’re going to put a lot of stuff in the locker room before the season starts (as reminders). We’re in the same conference with Orlando, so we’ll deal with them.’ ”
Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images
Here’s another installment of the Magic Basketball Mailbag.
If the Orlando Magic can’t obtain a top star, why not build one up and invest time into Marcin Gortat or Ryan Anderson to be our power forward in the starting line up? They both have size.
Against the elite teams in the NBA, which — for now — includes the Los Angeles Lakers, the Miami Heat, and the Boston Celtics, it makes little sense for the Orlando Magic to start either Ryan Anderson or Marcin Gortat at power forward. The main problem, more than anything else, is that Rashard Lewis would start at the small forward position and that would mean he’d have to defend players like LeBron James, Paul Pierce, and others. At small forward, Lewis doesn’t have the lateral quickness to keep players in front of him or the speed to chase them on the perimeter. This isn’t new, by the way. Lewis dealt with the same issues when he played with the Seattle SuperSonics.