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Saturday, August 17, 2019

Articles tagged: Orlando Magic

Did signing photo leak Magic’s offseason plans?

The Orlando Magic’s signing of Argentinian swingman Patricio Garino may have come with an unintended consequence.

The Magic signed Garino to a two-year, partially guaranteed deal on Monday, and Garino’s agent, Carlos Prunes, tweeted a photo of his client signing the contract. The only problem? Visible in the background was a whiteboard that appeared to have a number of Orlando’s trade and free agency targets for the coming offseason written on it.

Here is a screengrab of the image as the original tweet appears to have since been deleted.

There’s a lot to pore over in that photo, including apparent interest in trading for Chandler Parsons and DeMarre Carroll, pursuing Paul Millsap and Danilo Gallinari in free agency, and even dealing Aaron Gordon to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Dario Saric.

Reddit user pickprotection also shared the complete contents of the whiteboard in table form.

A denial saying the board is not indicative of the team’s plans should be expected. But if this really did include the team’s offseason plans, the Magic should be embarrassed. Surprisingly, we’ve seen another similar situation to this in the past with this NFL team.

Report: Doc Rivers could eventually return to Orlando

Is Doc Rivers already looking at his next destination after his time with the Los Angeles Clippers comes to an end?

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, there is “persistent chatter” that Rivers and the Orlando Magic could reunite at some point in the future.

It’s unclear at what point that might be, but Stein says it may be sooner than one might think. The struggling Clippers have lost eight of their last 13, and Blake Griffin and Chris Paul are both facing unrestricted free agency at season’s end. Stein reasons that if such a swoon keeps up, the Clippers will likely reassess everything about the organization at the end of the season.

In Orlando, general manager Rob Hennigan is likely to be dismissed at season’s end, and Rivers would be a logical replacement as the team’s lead executive. More reasonably, a younger GM will likely come in and inherit first-year coach Frank Vogel.

The criticism from within the Clipper organization has been getting louder and louder as the team slips in the standings. It still seems far more likely than not that Rivers doesn’t leave this summer, but if this keeps up, you never know.

Report: Magic taking calls on Serge Ibaka

Less than a year after trading a significant haul to get him, the Orlando Magic may be preparing to part ways with forward Serge Ibaka.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Magic are taking calls on Ibaka, who is set to be a free agent after the season and may not stay in Orlando.

The Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat are said to be interested, and rival franchises believe Orlando will assess their options leading up to the Feb. 23 trade deadline and then pull the trigger on a deal.

The Magic gave up guard Victor Oladipo and the rights to No. 11 pick Domantas Sabonis to get Ibaka, who is averaging 15.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. They may not get that much back in return if they move him. We heard last month that Orlando was trying to ship him to another team, and when all is said and done, the organization may well look back on that deal with some regret.

Report: Magic looking to trade for scorer

rob-hennigan

Though their wonky roster has begun to come together on the defensive end, the Orlando Magic are still looking to address their lack of a go-to scorer.

According to a recent report by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, the Magic “will sift through the trade market” in the hopes of acquiring some scoring punch.

Orlando is putting up just 94.3 points per game this season (per ESPN), which is the second-worst mark in the league. They traded away second-leading scorer Victor Oladipo this past offseason and are currently led in that category by a modest 16.7 points per game from Evan Fournier.

The team has some valuable young pieces to dangle, including recent lottery picks Elfrid Payton, who has underwhelmed as the Magic’s starting point guard, and Mario Hezonja, who simply hasn’t been able to find very many minutes. The Sacramento Kings have one guy available who might fit the mold, and the market is sure to heat up even further once newly-signed free agents become eligible to be traded on December 15.

Image via FOX Sports Florida on YouTube
H/T ProBasketballTalk

Four NBA teams that could surprise this season

karl-anthony-towns-wolves

The birds are singing, the bells are ringing, and the memes are swinging, which can only mean one thing: the NBA season is officially upon us. What’s beautiful about basketball is that there’s a little something for everyone. Perhaps watching the Golden State Warriors firebomb the court from all five positions doesn’t quite tickle your fancy. Maybe you’ve grown tired of seeing LeBron James take a dump on the heads of everybody else in the league. Perhaps you believe that there’s more to life as a fan of the sport than bearing witness to Chris Paul executing the perfect pick-and-roll, the San Antonio Spurs catapulting the ball harmoniously from side to side, the Chicago Bulls attempting to find enough space to convert oxygen into carbon dioxide, or Russell Westbrook making it his personal mission to rip the entire rim clean off the backboard and offer it as a blood sacrifice.

To all you hoops non-comformists, I say touché and present to you these four NBA teams who are almost certain to duck underneath the radar in 2016-17, but are nevertheless well-equipped to climb up your League Pass rankings and surprise a few cynics in the process.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Much has been made of Minnesota’s juicy nucleus of young talent, and for good reason. Last year, they satisfied our collective hunger by giving us delicious treats in bursts. Sometimes, it was pulling a big-time upset out of a hat and becoming the only team in the West to defeat the Warriors at Oracle Arena in the regular season. Other times, it was Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine getting out in the open floor to jelly and jam on some poor fellas. Oh and not to forget, they taught us once and for all that Karl-Anthony Towns is an alien invader from outer space.

Karl-Anthony Towns doesn't play like your average center.

A video posted by Sports Videos (@houseofhighlights) on

A 20-year-old seven-footer, folks.

But nevertheless, the facts don’t lie: Minnesota hasn’t had a winning season since 2004-05 (back when the immortal Latrell Sprewell was their starting small forward), and no matter how many scintillating young pieces they acquire, it always seems like Groundhog Day whenever we see them back in the draft lottery year after year after year. That should begin to change though in 2016-17 now that the baritone-voiced Tom Thibodeau is back from his season-long exile and ready to coach these whippersnappers into form.

In case you missed it, Thibodeau has built something of a name for himself as a defensive architect, and he should transform the Timberwolves into a more disciplined and cohesive battalion on that end. It’ll be particularly worth keeping a cornea on to see how Thibs develops Wiggins, who has the physical attributes but neither the polish nor the consistency to be a top-tier defender.

Towns needs some chiseling done on him as well with his middling 49.6 opposing field goal percentage allowed at the rim last season ranking him a notch below the likes of Channing Frye, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marreese Speights, and Darrell Arthur. But Minnesota’s new free agent signings should have Thibodeau licking his chops. Cole Aldrich represents a quality third big man who converts around the basket and defends well both in space and in tight quarters. Minny should also benefit from the quiet signing of Brandon Rush, who is a championship-experienced wing stopper and has found the bottom of the net on 40.3 percent of his career three-point tries.

In the end, Thibs and the Wolves still have a lot of question marks to address. Are Towns and Gorgui Dieng a viable post pairing in the long haul? Does Ricky Rubio finally get dealt if rookie Kris Dunn plays well enough to usurp his starting position? Can Thibodeau resist the urge to give significant ball-handling duties to LaVine? Is Shabazz Muhammad even still alive? Maybe Minnesota doesn’t have the answers just yet. But it will be exciting as heck to watch them dig, and a return to the postseason could very well be in store if they do end up finding them.

Indiana Pacers

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Report: Magic, Pistons, Lakers plan to pursue Al Horford

Al Horford

Al Horford is set to be one of the more in-demand free agents this summer, with at least three teams eyeing his services.

The Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, and Los Angeles Lakers are all reportedly planning a pursuit of Horford.

It’s an interesting trio of teams for Horford to consider. The Lakers are prestigious, but probably the furthest from contention. The Pistons made the playoffs last season and are generally considered to be on the way up. The Magic are as well, though not as far along.

The 30-year-old can play power forward and center, and his versatility and skillset will make him an attractive option for more than just these three teams. The Magic have been linked as recently as last month, and you can bet the Hawks would like to keep him if they can.

Magic expect to be active players in free agency, could target Al Horford

Al Horford

The Orlando Magic sound as if they have some big plans this summer.

The organization is being quite transparent about their plans to be active players in free agency under new coach Frank Vogel.

“The first part of the plan and the process is to develop your own [players] and grow your own [players],” said Magic CEO Alex Martins, via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “And when you inject veterans at the wrong period of time, it has an impact in the way that you’re trying to develop your corps of young players. It can’t just happen immediately. It’s got to happen at a certain point in time — after your players have matured and developed. And we always believed that this summer and next summer were going to be the two summers of free agency for us that we needed to focus on after developing our young guys.”

Orlando could potentially have $46 million in cap space to use during the summer. Robbins believes it is unlikely that Dwight Howard will be one of the targets.

Instead, Robbins lists Al Horford as a potential fit. The Hawks center will hit free agency this summer, and he went to the University of Florida, thus making it something of a homecoming.

Howard was reportedly open to returning to Orlando, but it doesn’t sound like that interest will be reciprocated. The links to Horford have been reported before and is probably more realistic.