Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 53

Jul 25

Magic sign guard Ronnie Price

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Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard Ronnie Price, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

Last season, Price (6’2”, 190, 6/21/83) played in 39 games with Portland, averaging 2.7 ppg., 1.9 apg. and 1.1 rpg. in 13.1 mpg. He led the Blazers in assists once and scored a season-high 10 points on Nov. 18 vs. Chicago. Price was waived by Portland on Feb. 21, 2013.

“We’re excited to welcome Ronnie (Price) and his family to the Magic organization,” said Hennigan. “We believe Ronnie’s toughness and competitive spirit, along with the varied experiences he’s gained throughout his career, will impact the development of our team in a positive way.”

Jul 18

Magic sign forward Jason Maxiell

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Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent forward-center Jason Maxiell, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

“We’re excited to welcome Jason (Maxiell) and his family to the Magic organization,” said Hennigan. “Jason brings an element of experience, toughness and resolve to our roster that we feel will benefit our team.”

Maxiell (6’7”, 260, 2/18/83) played in 72 games last season with Detroit, averaging 6.9 ppg., 5.7 rpg. and 1.32 bpg. in 24.8 mpg. He has also appeared in 35 career playoff outings.

Jul 15

Magic have a new D-League affiliate

Via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

The Orlando Magic’s NBA Development League affiliate for the upcoming season will be the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the NBA announced this afternoon.

The Magic will share the Mad Ants with the Charlotte Bobcats, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies and the Milwaukee Bucks.

That sharing arrangement, along with Fort Wayne’s location, make the Mad Ants a less-than-ideal affiliate for the Magic.

Still, it’s better than the situation last season, when the Magic’s affiliate was the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Sioux Falls’ remote location made it counterproductive for the Magic to send any of their young players there.

Fort Wayne, Ind., at least, is closer than South Dakota.

Jul 12

Friday’s Magic Word

  • Expect Victor Oladipo to keep learning the point guard position in training camp and preseason.
  • It was an up-and-down week for many Orlando Magic players at Summer League.
  • The Magic have elected not to re-sign DeQuan Jones.
  • Al Harrington and Hedo Turkoglu, two players that many expect to be bought out by Orlando, are hoping to resolve their situations very soon.
  • John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com: “Borrego said the past week was very informative for the Magic as it relates to Oladipo because it shows how the point guard reacts to ball pressure, his ability to break down defenders and his calm under pressure. He hit the game-winning shot on Thursday when he drilled a 22-foot, step-back jumper over Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams with 4.4 seconds remaining. And in his four games, Oladipo showed his explosiveness off the dribble by repeatedly getting into the rim and averaging 10 free throw attempts a game.”
  • Oladipo was named to the Orlando Pro Summer League First Team.
  • With the Magic looking to sign a third point guard, preferably young, could Darius Morris be that guy? He is currently an unrestricted free agent.
  • A peak into the 2014 NBA draft class. Many expect Orlando to be in position to win the lottery or, at worst, net a top five pick.
  • At Summer League, Oladipo was as good as advertised. And Maurice Harkless showed off improved ballhandling skills that bodes well for his offensive development.
  • With a 102-83 loss to the Boston Celtics, the Magic finished Summer League in eighth place out of 10 teams. One of the few bright spots in the game was A.J. Slaughter, who may have earned himself a training camp invite with an outstanding performance.
  • Dan Devine of Ball Don’t Lie thought Oladipo’s game-winning shot against the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday was cool.

Jul 12

Video: A.J. Slaughter with a nifty dish

Jul 12

Grades: Boston Celtics 102, Orlando Magic 83

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Photo by Joe Petro/Orlando Sentinel

 

Boston Celtics 102 Final
Recap | Box Score
83 Orlando Magic

A.J. Slaughter
10-22 FG | 2-8 3P | 7 STL | 9 AST | 25 PTS | -11

Slaughter, starting in place of Victor Oladipo at point guard on the last day of Summer League, produced one of the best stat lines of the week from any player. His 35 minutes were by far the most he’d played all week, and he responded by showing the Magic just what he can do when being handed extended minutes.

DeQuan Jones
5-10 FG | 3-4 3P | 1 REB | 0 AST | 15 PTS | -12

Looks at the box score. Looks at who shot the ball well. Sees that Jones was 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Gives Jones a B-minus for his grade. But seriously, folks. Jones may not return to the Magic and may not even get a training camp invite, but it was good to see him have a good game in an otherwise forgettable week.

Romero Osby
6-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 STL | 3 REB | 14 PTS | -15

Osby likely won’t see as many minutes during the regular season as he did this week. That being said, whenever he does get on the court, he brings an infectious energy on a consistent basis that raises the level of play of everyone around him. Intangibles aside, his mid-range jump shot should also help him get time on the court.

Kyle O’Quinn
1-5 FG | 1-3 3P | 4 REB | 3 AST | 3 PTS | -8

On the last day of Summer League, usually this is a chance for players that haven’t gotten any playing time during the week to get an extended look. With the Magic on the lookout for a third point guard, this was a chance for McGruder to show what he can do in front of the coaching staff. Unfortunately for the Kansas State alum, Slaughter outplayed him.

Boston Celtics

Look, this game was awful. I’m not even going to try and wax hyperbolic, making it out to be some glorious battle between two forces who wouldn’t give up. It was just a bad, bad game. That being said, the Celtics did play well, Kelly Olynyk wrapped up a tremendous Summer League on a high note, and Colton Iverson had his best game of the week. Yay.

Jul 11

Thursday’s Magic Word

  • With Glen Davis needing surgery to replace a screw in his left foot, which he originally fractured on January 30 during a game against the New York Knicks last season, it remains to be seen if he’ll be ready by the time training camp starts for the Orlando Magic on October 1.
  • So who ultimately won the Dwight Howard trade? Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated says it’s the Magic: “The Magic went on to lose 62 games last season and yet they might turn out to be the only winners in the four-team, 12-player, five-pick deal. They unloaded salaries while coming away with three first-round picks, 22-year-old center Nikola Vucevic, Arron Afflalo and Maurice Harkless, Al Harrington and rookie Romero Osby, who arrived in a second-round pick acquired in the trade.”
  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “The Magic will not re-sign Beno Udrih, even though team officials like what he brought to the team after he arrived in a trade-deadline deal from the Milwaukee Bucks. Team officials are more interested in allocating playing time to younger players, and Udrih is 31 years old. Also, the Magic aren’t looking to add any long-term salary commitments as they position themselves for the 2014 free-agent market. The Magic are likely to bring in a player for a minimum-level salary who can be a third point guard — a role similar to the one Ish Smith played at the beginning of last season.”
  • Victor Oladipo hit a step-back jumper with 4.4 seconds left that ultimately clinched the win for the Magic against the Phiadelphia 76ers.
  • Magic season ticket holders were chanting “O-la-di-po, O-la-di-po, O-la-dipo” after he made the game-winning shot.

Jul 11

Grades: Orlando Magic 90, Philadelphia 76ers 89

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

 

Orlando Magic 90 Final
Recap | Box Score
89 Philadelphia 76ers

Victor Oladipo
7-16 FG | 7-8 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 24 PTS | -2

It speaks volumes to the trust the Magic already have in Oladipo to not call a timeout with the game on the line. Oladipo repaid that trust by calmly sinking the game-winning jumper as if it were the most routine thing in the world. He excelled in most other areas tonight as well, but that shot was perhaps the shining moment of his Summer League.

Andrew Nicholson
9-15 FG | 5-5 FT | 2 STL | 3 REB | 23 PTS | +1

To excel at this level, Nicholson needed to add muscle in the offseason to his slight frame in order to bang down low. Add muscle he did, and it showed tonight, as he was able to establish and maintain deep position in the post. Two troubling areas however: first, his rebounding is still sub-par, and his tunnel vision on offense tends to emerge at the most inopportune times.

Maurice Harkless
5-9 FG | 5-6 FT | 5 REB | 4 AST | 15 PTS | -2

Oladipo may have won the game for the Magic, but Harkless was the one to put them in that position. What’s more, he did so using the refined dribbling skills he’s honed during the summer. He really elevated the energy and intensity on defense late in the game when the Magic needed a stop, and nearly took it upon himself to get it.

Kyle O’Quinn
3-7 FG | 1-1 FT | 11 REB | 2 AST | 7 PTS | +13

O’Quinn had double-digit rebounds today, which at first appears terrific, but at second glance is slightly dampened by the fact that Arnett Moultrie blatantly outworked him on the offensive boards. O’Quinn’s been mostly great for the Magic this Summer League, but he struggled a bit today against Moultrie. It’s also interesting that O’Quinn has been less involved offensively in Orlando’s last two games.

Philadelphia 76ers

This was by far Philadelphia’s best showing during their otherwise poor Summer League. Michael Carter-Williams, who has been flat-out awful, had his best game of the week, appearing to achieve a greater balance between being a facilitator and a scorer. This was also Moultrie’s best overall game so far in Orlando. While both teams played hard (love you, Sheed), just as in Highlander, there could be only one.

Jul 11

Video: Victor Oladipo wins the game for Orlando

Jul 11

Days of future present

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Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

Few teams come to Summer League with more than one or two rotation players. Fewer still come with multiple players that are expected to be focal points for the team in the upcoming season. Few teams are the Orlando Magic.

What we’ve seen from the Magic so far this week is likely two-fifths of Orlando’s starting lineup for the 2013-14 season (it would have been three-fifths if Tobias Harris didn’t bang his knee during practice last week).

There are two ways to look at this situation.

First, Orlando is doomed. A roster of mostly rookies and sophomores can’t possibly compete for a playoff spot — not that they were supposed to in the first place — even in the weaker Eastern Conference. It’ll be another year of shameless tanking for the franchise in hopes of landing Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum, or any of the other supposed stars in next year’s draft.

The second, however, is much more uplifting. It still carries the truths of the first point of view (though, without the “shameless” part), but it also adds the following caveat: the Magic, just a year removed from the Dwight Howard trade, have accelerated the rebuilding process to the point where they have as few as five and as many as seven foundational pieces.

Their frontcourt rotation alone, comprised of Harris, Nikola Vucevic, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O’Quinn and now Romero Osby is enough to make other teams envious, if not downright jealous.

It gives Jacque Vaughn a myriad of flexibility when it comes to lineups: he can go small with Harris and Nicholson, big with Nicholson and Vucevic while moving Harris to the three and Maurice Harkless to the two, enormous with O’Quinn and Vucevic, a mixture of small and big with Harris and Vucevic, and so forth.

Meanwhile, in the backcourt and on the wing, Orlando features two players that, like Tony Allen and Andre Iguodala, make individual defense legitimately exciting to watch.

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