Archive for the ‘ Orlando Magic Blog ’ Category

Here’s the Orlando Sentinel with a cool item about Magic rookie Victor Oladipo getting some useful career tips from someone who knows things:

Victor Oladipo

Victor Oladipo admired Kevin Durant from afar for a long time, and now Oladipo is happy and honored to call Durant a friend.

They grew up in the Washington, D.C., area, so Oladipo always was attuned to Durant’s accomplishments. But since Oladipo is four years younger than Durant, they hadn’t met face-to-face until this past summer when Oladipo visited a basketball camp that Durant was running in Washington.

“For him to be able to talk to me and for him to give me advice was kind of crazy,” Oladipo said. “But at the same time, it definitely was humbling and definitely nice for him to do — a credit to him for doing that. He didn’t have to, but he did it anyway.”

Both Oladipo and Durant were selected second overall in the NBA Draft — Durant in 2007 and Oladipo in 2013.

The Orlando Magic are rebuilding, and a losing team, and in such a situation it tends to be easier for a player with talent to stand out more than he normally might on a better team. With that disclaimer out of the way, Magic guard Arron Afflalo is having a terrific season. Here’s OrlandoMagic.com with more:

To improve, Arron Afflalo studied video of Jordan and Kobe

Afflalo wanted to learn ways to create more space against one-on-one defenders, so he started studying two of the best pure scorers in NBA history in Jordan and Bryant.

“I watched a lot of film on (Bryant), and I always have since I was growing up in L.A.,’’ Afflalo said. “And everybody wants to be Michael Jordan when they are little, so I’ve watched a lot of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. They’re the two best in my era. So this summer I watched a lot of their isolation moves and footwork to see how to frame myself up better for shots.’’

The offseason work has paid enormous benefits for Afflalo and the Magic this season. He’s averaging career bests in scoring (22.6 ppg.), rebounds (4.6 rpg.), assists (4.2 apg.) and 3-point shooting (46.3 percent). He’s scored 30 points in a game four times this season, including a career-best 43 points on Tuesday in a double-overtime loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Afflalo said the studying of Bryant and Jordan has taught him that sometimes it’s better to take comfortable mid-range jumps rather than driving into the teeth of the defense where shots can be much more difficult to launch.

Glen Davis

The Orlando Magic have fined forward Glen Davis an undisclosed amount following his actions on Saturday, Nov. 9, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

“We will not tolerate or condone this type of behavior,” said Hennigan. “As we have stated repeatedly, when a player puts on an Orlando Magic uniform, he is representing something much greater than himself. We expect our players to uphold a certain standard of conduct and character at all times.”

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the team fined Davis “for his role in an incident early Saturday morning at a downtown Orlando motel lobby in which he threw a keyboard belonging to the motel against a wall.”

Who will start at PF for Orlando Magic?

The NBA regular season starts tomorrow, with Orlando and Indiana squaring off to get things started. But the Magic coaching staff still have some decision-making to make. Here’s the Orlando Sentinel:

The Magic are settled at every position except for power forward, where Vaughn will choose between 23-year-olds Kyle O’Quinn and Andrew Nicholson and 30-year-old Jason Maxiell, who was the team’s top free-agent acquisition over the summer.

Vaughn won’t disclose who he’ll start at power forward against the Pacers, but Maxiell would provide toughness and experience against the Pacers’ rugged power forward, David West.

“Part of the reason that Max is here is to bring a physicality and an aggressiveness to our team, and I think he enjoys that,” Vaughn said. “He embraces that role.”

The Magic will need to harness all of their toughness in the days ahead.

orlando magic

The Orlando Magic have exercised their third-year team option on the contracts of forward Maurice Harkless and Andrew Nicholson, while also exercising their fourth-year team option on the contracts of Tobias Harris and Nikola Vučević, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

All four players are now under contract through the 2014-15 season.

Harkless (6-9, 220, 5/11/93) played in 76 games (59 starts) during his rookie campaign (2012-13) with Orlando, averaging 8.2 ppg., 4.4 rpg. and 1.16 stlpg. in 26.0 minpg. He ranked sixth in the NBA in steals-to-turnover ratio (1.28, 88/69) and 40th in steals. Harkless also ranked among all NBA rookies in scoring (11th), rebounding (9th), field goal percentage (8th, .461), steals (2nd) and blocked shots (8th, 0.82 blkpg.). He was acquired by Orlando as part of a four-team, 12-player trade on Aug. 10, 2012, along with Vučević. Harkless was originally selected in the first round (15th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft by Philadelphia.

Harris (6-9, 235, 7/15/92) was acquired by Orlando in a six-player trade with Milwaukee on Feb. 21, 2013. He appeared in 55 games (34 starts) with both the Magic and the Bucks in 2012-13, averaging 11.0 ppg., 5.2 rpg. and 1.3 apg. in 23.6 minpg. In 27 games with Orlando, Harris averaged 17.3 ppg., 8.5 rpg., 2.1 apg. and 1.37 blkpg. in 36.1 minpg. On Mar. 29 @ Charlotte, he poured in a career-high 30 points, becoming the second-youngest player in Magic history to score 30+ points in a game (20 years, 257 days old). Harris was originally selected in the first round (19th overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft by Charlotte.

Nicholson (6-9, 250, 12/8/89) played in 75 games (28 starts) during his rookie season (2012-13) with Orlando, averaging 7.8 ppg. and 3.4 rpg. in 16.7 minpg., while shooting .527 (256-486) from the field. He ranked among all NBA rookies in scoring (14th), rebounding (16th), field goal percentage (4th) and free throw percentage (5th, .798). Nicholson participated in the 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend, tallying six points and three rebounds in 10 minutes.

Vučević (7-0, 250, 10/24/90) appeared and started in 77 games in 2012-13 for Orlando, averaging 13.1 ppg., a team-high 11.9 rpg., 1.9 apg. and a team-best 1.03 blkpg. in 33.2 minpg., while shooting .519 (461-889) from the floor. He ranked second in the NBA in rebounding, third in double-doubles (team-high 46), tied for 21st in field goal percentage and tied for 33rd in blocked shots. Vučević finished fourth in voting for the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award. On Dec. 31 vs. Miami, he broke the franchise record for most rebounds in a single game, pulling down 29 boards and breaking the mark previously held by Shaquille O’Neal (28, Nov. 20, 1993 @ New Jersey).

glen davis

Glen Davis and Orlando Magic officials are reluctant to estimate when Davis will return to practice or play a regular-season game. But Davis says he’s making progress in his return from a July surgery on his left foot.

Davis hasn’t participated in contact drills, practices or scrimmages yet.

But he’s running up and down the court and is taking jumpers.

“They’re watching me as much as possible, making sure that I don’t skip any steps in this process,” Davis said Monday, before his teammates began practice at Amway Center.

Reported by Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Chris Duhon injured during hit-and-run

Chris Duhon injured during hit-and-run

Former Bulls guard Chris Duhon was injured during a hit-and-run incident Saturday at a downtown Orlando parking garage, according to an Orlando police report.

Duhon and his brother-in-law, Julio Hernandez, were walking through the Plaza parking garage when an unidentified man driving a black Lexus honked at them to get out of the way of his vehicle. Hernandez told police Duhon and the driver shouted at each other, then the driver pointed his Lexus toward the men. Hernandez told officers he jumped out of the way, but Duhon was hit and slammed his head against the windshield. The driver of the Lexus left the scene.

Duhon was taken to an Orlando hospital for treatment and told officers he could not recall the incident.

Reported by Iliana Limon Romero of the Orlando Sentinel

The Orlando Magic have signed rookie forward Romero Osby, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today.

In addition to Osby, the Magic have signed free agents Mickell Gladness (#40, 6-11, 220, 7/26/86, Alabama A&M), Manny Harris (#3, 6-5, 185, 9/21/89, Michigan), Solomon Jones (#22, 6-10, 245, 7/16/84, South Florida) and Kris Joseph (#32, 6-7, 210, 12/17/88, Syracuse). The roster currently stands at 19 players.

Osby (AHZ-bee, 6’8”, 230, 5/7/90) was selected by Orlando in the second round (51st overall) of the 2013 NBA Draft. He appeared and started in 63 career games during two seasons at the University of Oklahoma, averaging 14.4 ppg., 7.2 rpg. and 1.1 apg. in 29.4 minpg., while shooting .509 (321-631) from the field. Osby also played in 71 games (three starts) in two seasons at Mississippi State University, averaging 4.2 ppg. and 2.6 rpg. in 12.8 minpg.

Orlando Magic

The Magic will bring second-round pick Romero Osby to training camp along with free agents Solomon Jones, Michael Eric, Manny Harris and Kris Joseph, according to a source close to the team.

The Magic are working on coming to terms with Osby, the former Oklahoma forward whom the club selected 51st in the second round.

Jones, a 6-foot-10 center-forward, who grew up in Eustis and attended South Florida, is a seven-year NBA veteran.

He played just two games with the New York Knicks last season, and only 23 over the last couple seasons with the Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans Pelicans.

Reported by Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel (Blog)

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

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