- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Orlando Magic’s agreement with free-agent point guard Chris Duhon could make it far more difficult for the team to re-sign popular small forward Matt Barnes. Magic General Manager Otis Smith said that he plans to use part of the team’s midlevel exception to acquire Duhon rather than package the team’s existing trade exception in a sign-and-trade deal with the New York Knicks. Duhon’s agent, Kevin Bradbury, said Duhon will complete a four-year, $15 million deal with the Magic on Thursday, the first day teams can sign free agents to new contracts. Duhon’s salary will leave fewer resources for the Magic to use if they want to bring back Barnes.”
- Assistant coach Patrick Ewing: “[Daniel Orton] has to pick up his energy, in my opinion. He has to act like he wants the ball down there. He’s a big man. He has a big body. You’ve got to demand the ball, demand it with your presence, demand it with your mouth. If the guys are missing him, then say something to them. We need for him to dominate. We need for him to get 10-plus rebounds, double-figure points. If we’re going to win, he has to dominate along with the guys on the perimeter.”
- The transition from college to the pros has been rough for several rookies.
- Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel: “With Amare Stoudemire announcing he will sign the New York Knicks, the Magic’s chances of winning a championship just got harder. Granted, Stoudemire is not LeBron James and the Knicks certainly have not been the NBA’s model franchise over the last decade, but don’t kid yourself. The Knicks are a big market team with lots and lots of money. And anytime a player of Stoudemire’s caliber moves from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference, it makes it tougher on the established powers in the East (see Stan Van Gundy, Dwight Howard and rest of the Orlando Magic). Particularly if the Knicks are able to attract another big-name free agent to go with Stoudemire.”
- Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel conducts a Q/A with Chris Duhon.
- Zach Harper of Hardwood Paroxysm looks back at the first day of Summer League: “[Orton] was easily the worst rookie of the day. He proved that jumping into the draft and securing a first round contract was maybe the smartest thing he could ever do with his life. He sold high on his hype and now will be guaranteed at least four years in the NBA. He fumbled passes, had slow post moves with no purpose and played pretty mediocre defense. He even got in a fight with Josh McRoberts and was ejected. All of this took place in just 13 minutes of action.”
- Jerome Randle, the next undrafted player to make it to the NBA?
- According to Camron Ghorbi of Dime Magazine, it’s do-or-die time for Jeff Adrien: “The biggest challenge for Adrien may be proving his worth over players on his own summer team roster. He doesn’t have the range of Paul Davis, the athleticism of Stanley Robinson or the size of Daniel Orton, and his lack of shooting ability and 6-7 frame have constantly managed to keep him out of the picture as a player on the NBA fringe. But even so, it may have been Adrien who turned the most heads (okay, other than Lance Stephenson) with his strong performance on the first day of Orlando Summer League action.”
- Video of Daniel Orton’s scuffle with Josh McRoberts.
AP Photo/John Raoux
In a thrilling game that went down to the wire, the Utah Jazz were able to defeat the Orlando Magic by the score of 78-73 on the second day of the 2010 Orlando Pro Summer League. Gordon Hayward, the Jazz’s lottery pick, led the way with an efficient 14 points on five shots and made a three-pointer with 30.2 seconds left in the game that sealed the deal. Kosta Koufos had an impressive outing for Utah, as well, with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks … thoroughly outplaying Daniel Orton when they were matched up head-to-head. Patrick Ewing Jr. got things going for the Magic, with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting and two blocks. Paul Davis was an unsung hero for Orlando, with 13 points on six shots, five rebounds, and two blocks.
Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Otis Smith’s persistent interest and the Orlando Magic’s chance to win now helped lead Chris Duhon to reach an agreement with the defending Southeast Division champions, Duhon’s agent, Kevin Bradbury, told the Orlando Sentinel minutes ago. [...]
The agreement — first reported by ESPN.com’s Chad Ford — is for $15 million over four years, Bradbury said. Teams can’t officially sign free agents to deals until 12:01 Thursday morning, and Bradbury said he expects the deal to signed and finalized on Thursday.
Chris Duhon played alongside J.J. Redick at Duke during the 2002-03 and 2003-04 college seasons.
“He’s already friends with Jameer [Nelson] and Dwight [Howard] and also J.J. from their days at Duke,” Bradbury said. ”He knows some other guys on the team, too. So, I feel that he thinks he’s a good fit. He’s coming into a situation where the team’s a winner and he’s coming into a role where he feels like he can help out.”
Tomorrow, check back for analysis on the Duhon signing.
- Tania Ganguli of the Orlando Sentinel: “[Daniel] Orton admitted to coming into camp a little bit out of shape and has been working hard to get in shape. “I didn’t want to tell [Patrick Ewing] but my legs are dead I had no explosiveness right now,” Orton said. “I’m not trying to use that as an excuse, it’s the truth.” Orton said he is glad to get his first Summer League start out of the way. His brother texted him this morning asking if he was nervous. Orton told him no, but about 30 minutes later replied again that he was. Those nerves will come and go throughout the week. He’s looking forward to learning from Ewing and Dwight Howard and has been in touch with Howard periodically since he was drafted two weeks ago. Orton said Vince Carter, who watched the Magic’s game, told him to relax after his ejection.”
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “[Stanley] Robinson grew up in Birmingham, Ala., where he received the nickname “Sticks” as a seventh-grader because he was one of the skinniest players on his middle-school football team. Robinson felt happy that the [Orlando] Magic drafted him partly because Orlando and Birmingham are just a short plane ride away. His girlfriend, Martia Simmons, and their two daughters, 5-year-old Kamilah and 3-year-old Kelsi, still live in Alabama. Magic officials interviewed Robinson during the NBA’s predraft camp in Chicago, and during that conversation, they asked him about his leave of absence from UConn. Robinson told them he left school to pay for Kamilah’s and Kelsi’s daycare costs. Robinson never expected to spend any of his college years working in an industrial plant, sorting scrap metals and plastics and stacking aluminum rims. He worked with 11 other people, half of whom didn’t speak English. Robinson carried a small, circular magnet in his pocket and held the magnet to pieces of metal. Any scraps that attracted the magnet had to be separated from the other metals. It was mind-numbing work, but Robinson did his job well.”
- When it comes to free agency, general manager Otis Smith is not in a rush.
- The 2010 Orlando Pro Summer League is all work and no play.
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post recaps the Orlando Magic’s loss to the Indiana Pacers.
- Not a good day for Daniel Orton.
- Daniel Marks of Dime Magazine thinks Stanley Robinson has a future with the Magic: “Robinson is one of the most athletic players in the draft and could be a real steal for Orlando. Stan Van Gundy preaches defense, and Robinson has the ability to lock down guys on the perimeter. With Matt Barnes a free agent and rumors that Mickael Pietrus could be on his way out of town, Robinson should be with the Magic in November.”
- Patrick Ewing Jr. is a player to watch at Summer League in Orlando: “Somehow, he’s already 26 years old. The former Georgetown player is taking the ol’ Little League route: if you can’t make a team, get your dad to coach and reap the benefits. All jokes aside, Ewing Jr. is an NBA athlete that a lot of people had pegged as a sleeper when he declared for the Draft. He doesn’t have many skills, but he is 6-8 and has some potential as a defensive stopper. Orlando could be a good spot for him.”
- Dwight Howard will not play in the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey.
AP Photo/John Raoux
The Indiana Pacers were able to defeat the Orlando Magic by the score of 86-77 on the first day of the 2010 Orlando Pro Summer League. Lance Stephenson — the Pacers’ second round pick — was spectacular, as he finished the game with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting, four rebounds, and three assists. Indiana’s lottery pick, Paul George, had a quiet day, with 12 points and four rebounds. The Magic were led by Jeff Adrien, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds in roughly 20 minutes of action. Patrick Ewing Jr. had 17 points for Orlando, but it took him 15 shots to get to that total.
The Pacers jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter and the Magic never seriously threatened in the game, despite being able to stay within striking distance throughout.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Today marks the first day of the 2010 Orlando Pro Summer League and with it comes the start of life in the pros for Orlando Magic rookie Daniel Orton, a center from the University of Kentucky that was selected with the No. 29 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. For the next five days, Orton will get a chance to showcase his skills against fellow rookies and NBA players, as well as play in front of coaches, scouts, and team personnel.
Not many Magic fans know about Orton, which is why I sought out Glenn Logan from A Sea of Blue — a site that covers Kentucky Wildcats basketball and other sports — to provide insight about him. Orton was one of five players from Kentucky to be selected in the first round of the draft, yet less is known about him compared to his teammates like John Wall and others.
Why is that? Logan will explain.
A few days ago, I was able to ask Logan a few questions about Orton and what he might be able to bring to the table for the Magic as he begins his NBA career.
Understandably, not many people know much about Daniel Orton as a player, given that he played limited minutes at Kentucky. However, when Orton did play, what were his strengths and weaknesses on the court?
Strengths: Rebounding and post defense — Daniel Orton is a big body, and he knows how to use it inside. Orton can get deep position and really lean on smaller players. As a rebounder, he averaged 7.8% defensive and 8.2% offensive rebounds for the team in only 6.5 minutes per game.
But where Orton really excelled is in defense. Despite his limited minutes, Orton got almost 20% of the team’s blocks. DeMarcus Cousins, by way of comparison, played 3 times as many minutes and got 24% of the team’s blocks.
Weaknesses: Offense and experience — Orton was a serviceable inside player, but he managed a true shooting % of only 53%. Compare that to 58% by Cousins and 60% by Patrick Patterson, and you can see that he wasn’t a very efficient offensive player.
Orton was capable of getting deep position and displayed good but not great footwork. He has a very soft touch and good hands, and has range out to 20 feet, but he almost never shot anything other than a layup at Kentucky, because Calipari wanted him in the role of a true center. Orton does have power forward skills, and has a surprisingly good handle for a man his size.
Orton has very little experience playing high level basketball, as his 6 minutes per game will attest.
Orton does not have is explosiveness or quickness, but he is much more agile than you might suspect. He can get off the floor very well (better than Cousins), and has excellent upper and lower body strength. Orton is coachable and intelligent.
To better make sense of the madness that is free agency, especially considering their historical ramifications within the framework of the NBA, I’m going to aggregate any facts and rumors that pertain to the Orlando Magic into a notebook-type post. The posts will be constructed daily at 12:00 PM EDT and updated throughout the day. Make sure to check back when updates are made available. I’ll post a time-stamp at the beginning of the posts to make it easier for you, the reader, to know about the latest news. I’ll make notifications on Twitter, too. As the free agent period begins to wind down and the Magic fill out their roster, the notebooks will be posted sporadically — every few days or so. I know my friend and former colleague, Ben Q. Rock, is doing a similar thing at Orlando Pinstriped Post (without the updates, I believe) so I’ll try to mix things up as much as possible to avoid redundancy.
Also, if you happen to come across any free agent or trade news related to the Magic, feel free to pass it along in the comments section and you’ll get a hat tip in the post for the scoop.
With that said, let’s get to it.
UPDATED as of 9:59 PM EDT.