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NBA GM: Magic Would Rather Let Dwight Howard Walk, No One Wants the Lakers’ Old Guys

Any team that decided to trade for a guy like Dwight Howard or Chris Paul would have to be fairly certain they will get the player they acquired to sign an extension. With Howard and Paul becoming free agents after this year, no team wants to give up a huge package just to rent their services for a year. One team that should have no problem signing either to an extension would be the Lakers, for obvious reasons. However, at this point it does not appear that L.A. has offered any type of package that would overwhelm the Magic into dealing Howard.

Amico is an NBA writer for FOX Sports, so his sources are likely trustworthy. With that in mind, we would have to assume the Lakers have not offered Andrew Bynum in exchange for Howard. Perhaps they are intending to use Bynum as the center piece of a deal with New Orleans, and someone like Pau Gasol qualifies as an “old guy” at age 31.

With rumors swirling that the Lakers are interested in adding both Paul and Howard, it is fair to raise the question of whether or not they have enough to offer to acquire both. Neither New Orleans nor Orlando is going to give their franchise superstar up without receiving a truckload in return, and how many first-round draft picks can the Lakers offer?  If L.A. does anything, the more likely scenario would be that they acquire one of the two via trade and the other via free agency next year, assuming he is not traded to another team.  At this point, however, it doesn’t appear that it would be reasonable to assume that about either player.

Orlando Billboard Pushes for Magic to Trade for Chris Paul (Picture)

Dwight Howard is going to stay with the Magic and Chris Paul is going to join him.  Actually, the Lakers are going to pull off a trade centered around Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol that brings both Howard and Paul to L.A.  Come to think of it, CP3 is gung ho to play for the Knicks, meaning no team will want to trade for him if they can’t sign him to an extension.  Superman will probably join him in New York.  The Celtics are looking to trade Rajon Rondo for Paul and might also be interested in signing Dwight next offseason.  Don’t count out Jay-Z, however — he might have interest, too.

Amidst all this insane speculation in which one scenario is no less likely than the next, you can’t say the people of Orlando aren’t trying.  Check out this billboard that @DavidBaumann33 shared with us:

Don’t laugh.  Broncos fans got what they wanted via the billboard route.  Chicago Bears fans are still waiting, but it has worked before and it could work again.  Thankfully, we should have some clarity by the end of the month.  Maybe.

H/T Alex Kennedy

Gilbert Arenas Thinks Orlando Magic Didn’t Let Him be His Best

Gilbert Arenas has gone from franchise player to benchwarmer in a few short years. Multiple knee surgeries sapped his biggest strength — his quickness — and with that went his confidence. Now he’s an overpaid player trying to figure out his role with the Orlando Magic. Dwight Howard thinks the team didn’t use him properly last year. Neither does Gil. He went off on a twitter rant Saturday as IamaGM.com pointed out, and said the biggest problem was his lack of freedom on the court:

Imma do my part this summer And hopefully I do get a fair shot..don’t wanna feel or look like last year..

I like the ppl who use stats to argue..I played with 100 percent green light for entire career..last year I had 0 percent freedom

Now u hav a scorer who is scared to shot the ball becuz if he miss he starts lookin over his shoulder. No player can play like that

The 3 best games I had..was when I knew I couldn’t get pulled..so miss shots and mistakes wasn’t on my mind..just gettn buckets..

But I was a killer in practice tho…lmaoo omg I could shot any shot..I wanted..I was a practice all star..lol

The points he made are understandable and it’s fair to say he’s not a good fit in Orlando. Stan Van Gundy frequently complained that Gilbert wasn’t fitting the team’s system (on either end of the court). I’m not ready to write the rest of Gilbert’s career off, but it’s hard to envision him ever getting back to All-Star levels. One thing does look certain: if he does get back to his old scoring self, it probably will be with a team that has a looser structure.

Jeff Van Gundy: Orlando Magic Has Too Many Clowns, Needs to Improve Chemistry

Whenever former coach and current analyst Jeff Van Gundy talks about the Orlando Magic, we pay extra close attention. Van Gundy’s brother is Stan Van Gundy who is the head coach at Orlando. Not only does Jeff speak honestly when providing analysis, but we figure his words reflect the thoughts of his brother when he talks about the Magic. As Orlando was getting ready to make its second round pick Thursday night at the draft, Jeff Van Gundy provided the following analysis of the team:

“They’ve gotten older, Rashard Lewis got older,” Van Gundy said. “Turkoglu in his second turn back did not play real well. They’ve had some injuries and some turnover. They’ve just have a lot of age creep in. I just think they have to get their chemistry right again. Clowns kill chemistry and they’ve got to get serious minded professionals who come ready to play every single night.”

It was the last part of his remarks that caught my attention. He’s saying that chemistry is a problem with the Magic that needs to be fixed. When he talks about clowns on the team, there’s only one person that comes to mind: Gilbert Arenas. Arenas is the same guy who talked about faking an injury to avoid being booed, and who recently live-tweeted a blind date gone wrong. Gilbert tried to change his persona and become all business last year but now he’s back to being a joker.

Now Van Gundy could be talking about newcomers like Jason or Quentin Richardson with his remark, but I’m pretty sure Arenas is in the group too. He got traded to Orlando mid-season and has a reputation as a clown. I’m guessing that Dwight Howard’s plea to have Gilbert play more won’t come to fruition after hearing this.

Orlando Magic Players Boxing to Stay Fit

While many NFL players and teams have turned to MMA training in the offseason, the Orlando Magic are recommending its players take up boxing. The team’s strength and conditioning coach Joe Rogowski “endorses the boxing workouts because they improve the players’ stamina, balance and mental toughness.” To see the type of workouts the players are put through, check out this video of Ryan Anderson training with Todd Drespling at Gym Rat Boxing and Fitness:

In addition to Anderson, Gilbert Arenas, Brandon Bass, Earl Clark and Chris Duhon have incorporated boxing into their training regimen. Earlier this month, Arenas posted a nearly 15-minute long video of him training. Check it out:

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Stan Van Gundy Left Orlando Magic’s Game 5 Before it Ended (Video)

Like so many of you, I didn’t stick around to watch the ending of Game 5 between the Magic and Hawks Tuesday night. The game was a blowout from the start and there were far more interesting things to watch, such as the Bruins-Canadiens or Bulls-Pacers. But LBS contributor Arsen was watching the ending and informed us that Magic coach Stan Van Gundy pulled a Randy Moss (or Mark Cuban) and left the floor before the game ended. Here is the video:

That to me was more controversial than Van Gundy’s press conference which has received a good amount of attention. When I saw the post-game press conference in which SVG said nobody liked the media, I laughed but didn’t think much else because that’s typical behavior for him. So what do you make of Van Gundy leaving the floor early? Was it rude and disrespectful?

As much as I’m inclined to agree, the endings to games go on entirely too long. Not only that, but fouling at the end of games gets somewhat out of hand, so if that was his way of protesting, I understand. I’m not endorsing the behavior, but I don’t think it was terrible.

Thanks to Ball Don’t Lie for the video

Hedo Turkoglu’s Decline has Hurt Magic

It was only two years ago when the Orlando Magic had reached the NBA Finals before deciding they had done enough for the season and laid down at the hands of the Lakers. That team had a lethal combination of the most dominant big man in the game, and a slew of shooters knocking down threes from the outside. Though the three-point shooting style of the Magic made them a frustrating team from game-to-game because their performance fluctuated, they were a talented bunch who went far in the postseason. The team’s run to the Finals seemed to signify they were bound to be a consistent force in the Eastern Conference for the next several years, but that all ended quickly.

Hedo Turkoglu, who fit in perfectly with their offense as a 6’10” forward who could run the point and shoot threes, decided to leave in free agency. The Magic made it to the Eastern Conference Finals without him last season, but they were outclassed by the Celtics falling behind 3-0 before losing in six. Turkoglu meanwhile flopped harder than a Duke player in March during his only season in Toronto, forced a trade to Phoenix, and then he was dealt to Orlando in a blockbuster deal that also involved Jason Richardson.

What we’ve come to learn is that teams that need to overhaul their roster midseason are already in poor shape so making huge trades likely won’t be enough. What we’ve also learned is that the Magic fell behind the Bulls and Heat who both improved drastically over the offseason. Most importantly, we’ve learned that Hedo Turkoglu isn’t half as effective as he was two seasons ago, and the Magic are paying the price.

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