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Tracy McGrady has retired from NBA

Tracy McGrady retires from NBA

Seven-time All-Star Tracy McGrady announced his retirement from the NBA on Monday.

McGrady, who won two scoring titles, told ESPN that it was time to move on.

“It’s been 16 years playing the game I love,” he said. “I’ve had a great run, but it’s time for it to come to an end.”

McGrady, 34, played in China last season before signing with the San Antonio Spurs during the playoffs. He played six postseason games for San Antonio.

McGrady was the ninth pick in the 1997 draft out of high school and the NBA’s Most Improved Player award winner in 2001.

Reported by the Sports Xchange 

Whether he was pouring in 13 points in 35 seconds for Houston in 2004 or sitting on the bench and watching the San Antonio Spurs win another playoff game in June without needing him, that cool expression rarely changed. It all looked almost too easy for McGrady, even if it rarely was.

McGrady announced his retirement from the NBA on Monday, ending a 16-year career that included two scoring titles, seven All-Star appearances, injuries to his knee and back and zero playoff series wins while he was leading the way. The straight-from-high school project who blossomed into a dominant, two-way superstar will always be remembered, too, as a player who struggled with injuries.

”Thank all of you who have supported me over 16 NBA seasons, 7 All-Stars, and countless exciting moments,” McGrady tweeted on Monday morning. ”Retiring from NBA. Stay tuned.”

McGrady didn’t rule out continuing his career overseas, perhaps in China where he played last season.

Reported by Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press

“Officially retired from the NBA. Door’s still open,” replied McGrady, who played for the Qingdao Eagles in the Chinese Basketball Association during the 2012-13 season before his last NBA hurrah with the Spurs.

Often bracketed with Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter as the best players of his generation, McGrady played for the Toronto Raptors, Orlando Magic, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks and the Spurs during his NBA career.

A six-foot nine-inch shooting guard who could shoot or pass with devastating effect, he was the league’s scoring champion in 2003 and 2004 and an All-Star for seven consecutive years, from 2001 to 2007.

Reported by Reuters

Get to know Magic PF Andrew Nicholson

Magic PF Andrew Nicholson

He has worked on his 3-point shooting this offseason, although it won’t be a staple of his game. He did hit 5-of-6 3s over a two-game stretch for his native Canada in exhibitions heading into the FIBA America’s Championships. He led Canada with 21 points in a loss against Puerto Rico recently.

Last season Nicholson delivered just as the Magic expected with his consistent scoring and unflappable demeanor. He provided more than teams usually receive from a No. 19 pick.

But if the Magic’s rebuild goes along as they plan, Nicholson will need to make some upgrades to his game to keep up with their progress.

2013-14 projection: Expect Nicholson’s scoring average to remain around 7 to 8 points per game. With the emphasis from the coaching staff on rebounding, his numbers should modestly climb. Playing time, though, could be tricky if Harris starts at power forward. The position will get crowded whenever Davis returns. Harris also could see time at small forward, allowing the team to further gauge Nicholson’s development.

Reported by Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel (Blog)

Nikola Vucevic

Vucevic doesn’t compare to [Dwight] Howard athletically or on the defensive end — not by any stretch.

But he provides a more well-rounded offensive game than Howard did – the ability to shoot outside. Vooch also showed he can collect rebounds at a Dwight-like rate at times, finishing second in rebounding to Howard last season and mimicking Howard as a double-double machine.

Vucevic, the 76ers’ No. 16 pick in the 2011 draft out of USC, had a break-out season. He averaged 13.1 points and 11.9 rebounds after limited playing time as a rookie with the Sixers. He recorded 46 double-doubles – the third highest total in the NBA.

He exposed defending champion Miami’s lone weakness, feasting on the Heat’s soft interior with two 20-20 games, including a franchise-record 29-rebound performance.

Reported by Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel (Blog)

Orlando Magic waive Al Harrington

Orlando Magic waive Al Harrington

In a move that aids their future financial flexibility and also accommodates the wishes of a veteran player, the Orlando Magic requested waivers on veteran power forward Al Harrington on Friday.

The transaction allows Harrington, 33, to become an unrestricted free agent and possibly join another contending team. The 15-year NBA veteran said after last season that he understandably wasn’t in the plans for the transitioning Magic and hoped to finish out his career with a team in the playoff race.

Harrington’s contract called for him to be owed $14.7 million over the next two seasons, but only half of his salary in 2013-14 and 2014-15 was guaranteed. Magic GM Rob Hennigan worked on several trade possibilities for Harrington, but ultimately reached a buyout compromise that best-suited both the franchise and the player.

The Magic have yet to reach an agreement with small forward Hedo Turkoglu, another veteran player whose contract is only partially guaranteed for next season.

Reported by John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com

Orlando Magic sign guard Ronnie Price

Orlando Magic sign guard Ronnie Price

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent guard Ronnie Price, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Price is generally considered to be a backup, and is generally expected to come off the bench and play limited minutes.

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 minpg. 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.”

Not drafted by an NBA franchise, Price was originally signed as a free agent by Sacramento in 2005. He has appeared in 394 career games (33 starts) with Sacramento, Utah, Phoenix and Portland, averaging 3.5 ppg., 1.4 apg. and 1.1 rpg. in 11.6 minpg. Price has also appeared in 28 career playoff outings, averaging 2.2 ppg. and 1.1 apg. in 6.5 minpg.

Before turning pro, Price played three seasons at Utah Valley State, averaging 19.7 ppg., 3.9 rpg., 2.7 apg. and 1.63 stlpg in 89 career games. He was named the 2005 NCAA Division I Independents Player of the Year, earned USBWA All-District 8 honors and led the Wolverines in scoring in all but five games as a senior in 2004-05. Price transferred to Utah Valley State after playing his freshman campaign at Nicholls State.

Orlando Magic sign Jason Maxiell

Orlando Magic sign Jason Maxiell

The Orlando Magic have signed free agent forward-center Jason Maxiell, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

According to Yahoo Sports, it is a two-year, $5 million deal, with a team option on Maxiell’s $2.5 million for the 2014-15 season.

“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 blkpg. in 24.8 minpg. He has also appeared in 35 career playoff outings. He’s mostly a power forward but can also fill in at center.

Originally selected in the first round (26th overall) of the 2005 NBA Draft by Detroit, Maxiell has appeared in 523 career games (175 starts), all with the Pistons, during his eight-year NBA career, averaging 6.1 ppg. and 4.4 rpg. in 19.1 minpg. Collegiately, he averaged 12.1 ppg., 7.0 rpg. and 1.9 bpg. in 129 games for Cincinnati. While with the Bearcats, he earned All-Conference USA Second Team honors (2004 and 2005), Conference USA All-Tournament honors (2004), was named Conference USA Sixth Man of the Year (2002) and earned Conference USA All-Freshman Team honors (2002). Maxiell played in 129 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in Bearcats’ history, and started the last 77 contests he played.

Unrestricted free agent swingman DeQuan Jones won’t return to the Orlando Magic for the 2013-14 season.

The Magic told him after their final summer league game this afternoon that they don’t intend to re-sign him. Team officials parted ways with Jones on good terms, and the team will consider other ways to use his roster spot.

Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel (Blog)

The Orlando Magic have signed rookie guard Victor Oladipo, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

Oladipo was selected in the first round (second overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft.  All players taken first round are guaranteed to receive a contract, so this news is standard.

He will participate in the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League, taking place at the Magic’s practice court at the Amway Center from July 7-12, 2013.

Oladipo (6’5”, 214, 5/4/92) appeared in 104 career games during three seasons at Indiana University, averaging 10.7 ppg., 5.2 rpg., 1.7 apg. and 1.55 stlpg. in 24.6 minpg.  He ranks third in Indiana history in career steals (161) and scored 1,117 points with the Hoosiers.

Last season as a junior (2012-13), Oladipo played and started in all 36 games, averaging 13.6 ppg., 6.3 rpg., 2.1 apg. and 2.17 stlpg. in 28.4 minpg., while shooting .599 (182-304) from the field and .441 (30-68) from three-point range.  He helped the Hoosiers reach their second straight trip to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and Indiana’s first outright Big Ten regular season championship since 1993.

Oladipo set an Indiana single-season record in steals (78) while leading the Big Ten in field goal percentage and steals.  He was named First Team All-American by The Associated Press, The Sporting News and the NABC, earned The Sporting News National Player of the Year, and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.  Oladipo was also a finalist for the Wooden Award and the Oscar Robertson Trophy, given to the National Player of the Year.  He scored in double figures 30 times, including a career-high 26 points on Feb. 10 @ Ohio State.

As a sophomore (2011-12), Oladipo appeared in 36 games (34 starts), averaging 10.8 ppg., 5.3 rpg., 2.0 apg. and 1.36 stlpg. in 26.7 minpg.  He earned Big Ten All-Defensive Team honors and was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten.  Oladipo finished eighth in the conference in steals.

During his freshman season (2010-11), Oladipo played in 32 games (five starts), averaging 7.4 ppg., 3.7 rpg. and 1.06 stlpg. in 18.0 minpg., while shooting .547 from the field.

The Orlando Magic have selected Indiana guard Victor Oladipo with the second pick in the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-4 Oladipo was a first-team AP All-American after averaging 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a junior, leading the Hoosiers to their first outright Big Ten regular-season championship in 20 years. He set Indiana’s record for steals in a season (78) and led the Big Ten with a .599 field goal percentage.

The Magic are coming off an NBA-worst 20-62 season after six straight playoff seasons and a trip to the NBA Finals in 2009.

Reported by the Associated Press

 The Orlando Magic will open the 2013 preseason at Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida on Wednesday, October 9 against New Orleans.  Tip-off is 7 p.m.

This marks the third time that the Orlando Magic have played a preseason game in Jacksonville, with their last trip coming in 2008.  The remainder of the Magic’s preseason schedule will be released at a later date.  Orlando will open training camp on October 1 at Amway Center.

The Magic won the second overall pick in the June 27 draft.

If the Cleveland Cavaliers use the first pick to select University of Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, then the Magic would be able to pick McLemore, whom many experts regard as the best shooter in the draft and one of the top overall prospects in the draft.

“The Orlando Magic, I think that’s a great program,” McLemore said. “I think I could fit perfectly in that system and that organization and help that team in different kinds of ways.”

On May 16, McLemore met with Magic GM Rob Hennigan, assistant GMs Scott Perry and Matt Lloyd and coach Jacque Vaughn during the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.

That 30-minute session served as a get-to-know-you meeting.

McLemore said he “can’t wait” to visit Orlando, work out individually for the Magic and have additional conversations with Magic officials.

Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

For Trey Burke, the wait is officially on.

The NBA draft combine has ended, the lottery ping pong balls have been sorted and there’s more than a month between today and the 2013 draft (June 27).

And now, he’ll wait to see where the next chapter of his life will begin.

The former Michigan point guard has yet to formally work out for any NBA teams yet, and as of now, he says he’s only got one formal individual session scheduled — with the Orlando Magic, who hold the No. 2 pick in the draft.

Asked if he’ll go through any type of workout in front of the Detroit Pistons — who hold the No. 8 pick — Burke said he’s not sure.

Reported by Nick Baumgardner of Michigan Live

Pat Williams is pretty good at being lucky, and he’s got a hunch.

”I got a funny feeling that this could be another Magic year, here. For some reason, I’ve just got the feel,” Williams said.

Orlando sure could use it.

Following a difficult first season after trading Dwight Howard, the Magic are hoping Williams can bring them more lottery luck.

Armed with the best odds and their three-time winner back on stage, the Magic will try to jump-start the rebuilding process Tuesday night by landing the rights to the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

Williams has won four times, including victories in 1992, ‘93 and 2004 with the Magic. They used the most recent one to draft Howard, and no team since has entered with the best odds and won the lottery.

The Magic were back in the lottery the next two years but were busy playing in the postseason every spring since until this one, when they finished an NBA-worst 20-62 after sending Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers last August in a four-team deal.

That gives them a 25 percent chance at winning the rights to choose first in a draft that appears uncertain. Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel is considered the top choice, though he could miss the first two months of the season while recovering from a torn ACL.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press

Combine the Charlotte Bobcats’ 105-98 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers with the Orlando Magic’s loss to the Miami Heat, and the Bobcats top the Magic by a game in the standings.

Small potatoes, maybe. But after going 7-59 last season – worst record in NBA history – 21-61 felt OK Wednesday night.

“Absolutely we wanted to avoid that worst record. It was definitely one of our small goals down the stretch,” said Bobcats co-captain Gerald Henderson (15 points and six assists). “Obviously things didn’t go as well as we hoped, but we played hard.”

“Coming down the stretch, we played as pros.”

True enough. They won six of their last 15, and in doing so might have saved their rookie coach’s job. Nothing has been decided one way or the other, but the relatively strong finish spruces up Dunlap’s short-term resume a bit.

– Reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer

Glen Davis

In Davis’ four seasons in Boston, his role expanded but never enough for him. The Celtics traded him to the Magic and he agreed to a four-year contract extension and immediately became one of Orlando’s more experienced players, carrying a championship ring.

“I look at it and I was just so thankful,” he said. “I got a chance to talk to the guys and I told Paul, I told KG, ‘Thank you. Really, thank you, Doc, for putting that discipline and that tough love. When I see these young guys [in Orlando] and I walk around, I see the same exact things [as I did in Boston] and me listening and humbling myself got me to this point now.”

Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said he wanted to challenge Davis with more responsibility with the cocaptain assignment, joining point guard Jameer Nelson.

“You’re put in a role that you can’t say no to and if you’re a competitor, you want that role,” Davis said. “And you have to do what they say, no procrastination. I do have a desire to get in there and go through the journey with these guys. I got a chance to experience a championship, but here I’m a main part of the team, working to be successful.”

– Reported by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe

omer asik

Omer Asik matched his career high with 22 points and grabbed 18 rebounds and the Houston Rockets beat the Orlando Magic 111-103 on Monday night without James Harden and Chandler Parsons

Jeremy Lin had 19 points and 11 assists and Francisco Garcia had 14 points, five assists and three blocks for the Rockets, who hardly missed their top two scorers until Orlando made a late run. Harden sat out for the second straight game with a sore right foot and Parsons missed the game with an illness.

Rookie Maurice Harkless scored a career-high 28 points and Beno Udrih had 17 points and 10 assists for the Magic.

The Rockets won for the eighth time in 10 home games and inched closer to their first playoff berth since the 2008-09 season. Houston holds the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.

Greg Smith started the game with a one-handed dunk and the Rockets were off and running. Smith and Asik got any shot they wanted early on and the Rockets opened with a 21-6 spurt…

[Tobias] Harris had 18 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando.

– Reported by Chris Duncan of the Associated Press

It’s clear the Orlando Magic are playing for next year, and Friday night was the first of what they hope will be some good signs during the season’s final weeks.

Orlando was up and down against the Washington Wizards, but when it came time to decide things, defense and some clutch offense from second-year forward Tobias Harris produced a 97-92 win for the Magic.

Harris scored a career-high 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help the Magic break an eight-game losing streak. Harris stopped Washington runs on at least four occasions during the game with timely shots. That included a 15-foot floater with 1:22 left in the game to put Orlando ahead 93-88 and three of four from the free throw line in the final 14 seconds that sealed the victory.

”Tonight was a good step for me,” said Harris, who came to Orlando from Milwaukee at the trade deadline. ”There have been times since being in a Magic uniform that I’ve struggled to close out games, but you’ve got to be ready when the opportunity comes and I took advantage of it.”

The Magic started Harris, three rookies - Maurice Harkless, Kyle O’Quinn and DeQuan Jones - and eight-year veteran Jameer Nelson, who left the game in the first quarter with a sprained ankle and did not return.

Harkless scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while second-year man E’Twaun Moore had 15 and rookie Andrew Nicholson scored 14…

The Wizards, by contrast, didn’t get much of anything from anyone other than John Wall and Martell Webster. Wall led Washington with 35 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Webster was the only other Wizard in double figures, scoring 19.

– Reported by the Associated Press

nikola vucevic

Nik Vucevic sat out as the Orlando Magic attempted to end the Miami Heat’s winning streak at 26 games on Monday night.

“I sure am going to miss him tonight,” Magic coach Jacque Vaughn predicted about 90 minutes before tipoff.

Vucevic suffered a mild concussion on March 19, and he can’t play again until he passes the NBA’s concussion protocol. Even after he’s cleared medically, Vaughn will face a decision whether or not to put Vucevic back on the floor.

Vucevic’s absence meant the Magic were missing four players who started in the season-opener: shooting guard Arron Afflalo, small forward Hedo Turkoglu, power forward Glen Davis and Vucevic.

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Magic guard Arron Afflalo injures hamstring

Orlando Magic officials wanted to use the final weeks of the regular season to accelerate the development of youngsters such as Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris and DeQuan Jones.

But this isn’t how the team wanted it to happen.

Arron Afflalo, the team’s starting shooting guard and its leading scorer, will miss the final 12 games of the season after he strained his right hamstring during Friday night’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Although team officials wouldn’t specify how severe the strain is, they said Afflalo’s injury will be treated with rest and physical therapy.

“He’s a leader out there on the floor,” Harkless said. “He brings a lot of energy, a lot of intensity. But we’ve played without him before. We’ve just got to do it again and stick together. We’re all we got.”

Afflalo’s absence will force the team’s least experienced players into more prominent roles, most notably Harkless.

– Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Dwight Howard leaves business manager after 9 years

Dwight Howard is growing all on his own, single-mindedly focused on who he wants to be, and he has taken another major step forward in his career by leaving the business manager who has been Howard’s primary advisor his entire career, Kevin Samples.

“We had nine great years together,” Howard told me late Monday night. “Just time to go separate ways.”

For all the intangible growth Howard has discovered recently, breaking away from Samples is a concrete gesture that the past is the past – and Howard is confident in calling his own shots in the future.

“I know what I want to accomplish,” Howard said. “I’ve always written down my goals and everything I want, and I want to make sure I get ‘em. Everything I’ve lost, everything that’s gone away, I’m going to get it back.”

Samples came to Los Angeles with Howard after the trade to the Lakers, and it was hard to envision him not being around considering they’re actually first cousins – and Howard’s parents dispatched Samples to live with Howard in Orlando right after the 2004 NBA draft as a big brother/guidance counselor/business manager.

– Reported by Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register

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