Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 8

Jul 08

Video: Elfrid Payton with an impressive dunk

Jul 07

Grades: Orlando Magic 87, Houston Rockets 69


Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic


Orlando Magic 87 Final
Recap | Box Score
69 Houston Rockets

Elfrid Payton
5-5 FG | 2-4 FT | 8 REB | 9 AST | 12 PTS | +12

The negative: He committed a few baffling turnovers in the beginning, one where he practically handed the ball over in the backcourt against soft pressure. The overwhelming positives: He dished out nine assists and didn’t miss a field goal, shaking defenders and driving the lane for easy layups. And his defensive prowess was on full display. No one in the league will outshine his hair, either.

Dewayne Dedmon
4-4 FG | 3-4 FT | 3 STL | 6 REB | 11 PTS | +9

Dedmon looked like a man out on the court, towering above the crowd and rocking a dunk in the beginning that set the tone for the team. He had three steals to go with his six rebounds. The main issue is that he disappears from the game at times, which may be related to the foul trouble he gets into. But it’s easy to see why he’s hung around.

Kadeem Batts
5-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 1 STL | 7 REB | 10 PTS | +16

The grade is so high because of the lack of expectations for him. This was Batts’ second good showing in a row. He is impressive around the rim, hitting reverse layups and fighting for every rebound. You also don’t see him shooting shots he probably shouldn’t, as you do with Aaron Gordon so far. For what it’s worth, Batts’ plus-16 was the highest on the team.

Seth Curry
4-10 FG | 2-5 3P | 0 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | 0

Curry quietly put up double-digit points, which included two 3-pointers. He also had a beautiful no-look alley-oop. The most pressing need on the team is shooting, and Curry is the best of the young hopefuls in that area. The Magic have addressed the need by signing Channing Frye, but there may be room for more shooting at the end of the bench.

Houston Rockets

In a sloppy game from both sides, even for Summer League, Houston was sloppier, turning the ball over in bunches against an active Magic defense. Nick Johnson, looking sharp against Payton, was about the only spark. This was a shadow of the team we’ll see in the regular season, however, and the Chris Bosh rumors floating around all game were more arresting than the on-court action.

Jul 07

Video: Elfrid Payton elevates and detonates

Jul 07

Magic to sign free agent Channing Frye


Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Free-agent forward Channing Frye has reached agreement on a four-year, $32 million contract with the Orlando Magic, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Frye had opted out of the final season of his contract with the Phoenix Suns to become an unrestricted free agent. Frye passed on his player’s option for $6.8 million in the 2014-15 season, which would’ve been the final year of an original five-year, $30 million deal.

The Suns had wanted to bring Frye back, but the Magic offer proved too attractive to turn down.

Jul 05

Grades: Orlando Magic 83, Philadelphia 76ers 77


Photo by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic


Orlando Magic 83 Final
Recap | Box Score
77 Philadelphia 76ers

Victor Oladipo
6-11 FG | 4-4 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 18 PTS | +17

Oladipo had his fingerprints all over this game. Defensively, he hounded the 76ers’ guards by picking them up full court and matching them step-by-step; offensively, he was under control and never forced the issue. While the acquisition of Elfrid Payton will allow Oladipo to roam free as a shooting guard this season, he continues to develop as a floor general, which will only pay off in the long run.

Devyn Marble
5-7 FG | 2-3 3P | 3 STL | 5 REB | 13 PTS | +3

Out of the three rookies who will wear the pinstripes this season, it was the Magic’s third and final pick (56th overall) who shined the most in the first Summer League game. Marble came off the bench for a shade under 17 minutes and showcased his potential to be a spark plug off the bench, knocking down a pair of threes and getting out in transition.

Kadeem Batts
5-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +4

While the rest of the Magic’s big men struggled to score on Nerlens Noel, Batts looked quite comfortable on the low block. All but one of his field goals came in the paint — the other being a jump shot off of a pick-and-pop with Oladipo — and he held his own on the other end of the court.

Romero Osby
4-6 FG | 1-2 FT | 2 STL | 3 REB | 10 PTS | +6

Osby did the bulk of his damage in the first quarter off of pick-and-pops, but was a no-show in the second half. Nevertheless, he was a mismatch problem for the 76ers when he was on the court, easily taking their big men off the dribble while punishing their perimeter players down low in the paint. He fits a big need for the Magic — outside shooting — and is someone worth keeping an eye on.

Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers didn’t play great as a team and, to make it all worse, it looks like they’ve lost Pierre Jackson for the season with a torn Achilles. However, Nerlens Noel looked fantastic, showing no signs of favoring his knee by dominating the Magic’s bigs with totals of 19 points, four steals and one block in 26 minutes of action.

Jul 05

Video: Aaron Gordon’s one-handed catch block

Jul 05

Video: Victor Oladipo feeds Aaron Gordon for dunk

Jul 04

Magic waive Jason Maxiell

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Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have waived forward Jason Maxiell, general manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Maxiell played in 34 games (13 starts) last season with the Magic, averaging 3.2 ppg. and 2.5 rpg. in 14.4 mpg. He scored in double figures three times, including a season-high 12 points on Nov. 9 at Atlanta and Dec. 3 at Philadelphia.

Originally selected by Detroit in the first round (26th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft by Detroit, Maxiell appeared in 557 career NBA regular season games (188 starts) with Detroit and Orlando, averaging 5.9 ppg. and 4.3 rpg. in 18.9 mpg., while shooting .501 (1,317-2,631) from the floor. He was signed as a free agent by Orlando on Jul. 18, 2013.

Jul 03

Getting to know more about Elfrid Payton

os-orlando-magic-draft-pick-elfrid-payton-0628-20140627 10.18.41 PM

John Raoux, AP Photo

If you don’t know who Elfrid Payton is, you’re not alone. Originally projected as a late first round/early second round pick when he declared for the draft, Payton’s stock began to rise at the NBA Draft Combine and then skyrocketed when he worked out for teams.

Ultimately, the Magic were the team that were impressed enough to trade for Payton on draft night in exchange for Dario Saric, a future first round pick, and a future second round pick. The general consensus is that the Magic gave up too much for Payton. The underlying question has been: is he good enough?

To help answer that question (and many others) is Tom Martin, a sports reporter at KATC in Lafayette, La. Tom covered Payton’s junior year at Louisiana-Lafayette.

What are Payton’s strengths?

He’s as versatile as point guards come — 6-foot-3, good wingspan, can guard three positions, rebounds well for a point guard, can be a patient game-manager, or go into full-fledged attack mode. He did everything the Ragin’ Cajuns asked him to do (ironically the one thing he wasn’t asked to do was shoot — more on that later), and he succeeded despite being THE perimeter focal point of opposing defenses.

The NBA talk revved up after his performance on the Team USA U-19 team (playing next to Aaron Gordon, to whom he threw a NASTY alley-oop in the gold medal game) and his numbers really had nothing to do with it. I think he surprised people with his tenacity on defense and his ability to push the ball in transition and finish around the rim — it’s possible that scouts noticed it last year, but this was the first time they had seen him do it against elevated competition — there just wasn’t a drop-off. It surprised us down here how much he really fit in on the bigger stage without missing a beat.

There are two major strengths of Payton’s that I believe will translate right away: Driving ability in the lane and then, of course, his defense. I’m a big Rockets fan and I remember a younger Kyle Lowry earning his minutes (back when his jumper was horrible) because he drove at will, drew fouls, and got opposing bigs in foul trouble. That’s something I expect Payton will do from day one — he’s coordinated and hungry enough to live in the lane, and he proved it in college.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 02

Magic waive Ronnie Price

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Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have waived guard Ronnie Price, general manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Price played in 31 games (two starts) last season with the Magic, averaging 2.4 ppg., 2.1 apg. and 1.4 rpg. in 12.2 mpg. He led (or tied) the team in assists six times, including a career-high 11 assists on Apr. 14 at Chicago.

Originally undrafted by an NBA franchise, Price has appeared in 425 career NBA regular season games (35 starts) with Sacramento, Utah, Phoenix, Portland and Orlando, averaging 3.4 ppg., 1.5 apg. and 1.1 rpg. in 11.7 mpg. He was signed as a free agent by Orlando on Jul. 25, 2013.

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