- 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.
- George Diaz of the Orlando Sentinel: “All of these are ancillary moves in the big-picture scheme of Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, [Rashard] Lewis and [Vince] Carter. They are the nucleus of the Magic roster that has to wrestle with the James Gang in South Florida. You can’t rip [Otis] Smith because James bolted for Miami. Smith put together the best team possible — in his estimation — to compete and win an NBA title. Stuff happens along the way. The Magic regressed by not advancing to the Finals again last season. Will they regress again in 2011? At least they are in the conversation of teams contending in the East, joining The Other Big Three — coming back to Boston — and the Heat in the preseason shuffle. Holding onto [J.J.] Redick or plugging in [Quentin] Richardson for [Matt] Barnes will not shift the odds in Orlando’s favor, but it will keep Smith’s game plan intact for the most part. It appears that will have to be enough.”
- Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “Otis Smith insists he hasn’t made up his mind whether to match the Chicago Bulls’ three-year, $19 million offer sheet for shooting guard J.J. Redick. Smith has been known to misdirect the media on player personnel moves, so take that with a grain of salt. But one thing is certain: If Smith decides he wants to retain Redick, he’ll have to receive approval from Owner Rich DeVos and the team’s president and chief executive officer, Bob Vander Weide. After all, re-signing Redick would add significantly to the Magic’s already hefty luxury-tax hit.”
- John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Because the Magic are already a luxury-tax-paying team, Chicago reportedly front-loaded its contract offer to Redick to make it more difficult for Orlando to match. The deal calls for Redick to make approximately $7.5 million in the first year, $6.5 million in the second season and $5 million in the third. Smith admitted that those figures were somewhat surprising, but not surprising considering the improvement that Redick made this season and the toughness that he played with during the playoffs. [...] The Magic must make a decision by Friday, and Smith plans to use all of his allotted time to make that decision. Richardson, 30, is primarily a small forward, but he can play shooting guard as well. Because Barnes is still considered in play, the decision for Smith could come down to Redick or Barnes. Whichever one it is will be the 12th player on the roster with only a minimum-salaried third point guard left to still add.”
- Quentin Richardson stays with a contender.
- Tim Povtak of NBA FanHouse: “Instead of sitting behind James in Miami or Paul Pierce in Boston, Richardson will likely be starting at small forward for the Magic, who were looking to replace free agent Matt Barnes. That role will make him the guy assigned to slow both James and Pierce — the Magic’s Big Show stopper. In replacing Barnes, who is expected to sign elsewhere, Richardson is giving the Magic a better shooter, bigger scoring threat and a defender who is about the same. And like many around the league, he is more curious about Miami’s Big Three — and how they will come together — than worried about them.”
- Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post has notes from Richardson’s media availability.
- The top 25 dunks of the decade, featuring Vince Carter, Dwight Howard, and others.
- Daniel Marks of Dime Magazine rates the Orlando Magic as the second-best team in the Eastern Conference behind the Miami Heat: “While the Magic will finish second in their own division, they will also be second in the conference. With two straight trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Magic have a ton of talent still on the roster. If they trade Marcin Gortat for some wing help (in addition to signing Quentin Richardson), they will probably be back there. Also, the roster has had a year to gel, and with no major changes like last offseason when Hedo Turkoglu left and Vince Carter was brought in, they should be ready.”
- A must-read Q/A with Rony Seikaly.
Via the Orlando Magic:
The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard/forward Quentin Richardson, General Manager Otis Smith announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.
“Quentin (Richardson) is a solid perimeter defender and brings an element of toughness,” said Smith. “At the same time, he also is a tremendous shooter from long range, which fits our style of play very well. We’re excited to add him to our team.”
Richardson (#5, 6’6”, 228, 4/13/80) played in 76 games (75 starts) last season with Miami, averaging 8.9 ppg., 4.9 rpg. and 1.2 apg. in 27.4 minpg. He also appeared in five postseason contests, averaging 9.8 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 1.6 apg. and 1.60 stlpg. in 29.8 minpg. Richardson shot a team-best .397 (142-358) from three-point range, which tied for 21st in the NBA. He scored in double figures 28 times and had seven 20-point outings, including a season-high 25 points on Mar. 4 vs. the L.A. Lakers. Richardson led (or tied) the team in scoring once, in rebounding 12 times and in assists once.