Lots of business to get to. Let's do it:
- Brian Schmitz reports in his blog that the Magic have been in talks with Jameer Nelson's agent, Steve Mountain, about extending Nelson's contract. The two sides are "far apart" on a five-year deal, but Schmitz's sources indicate that a three-year deal is more likely. Remember that the Magic will have the right to match any offer Nelson gets next summer, so even if an agreement isn't reached by the October 31st deadline, it's not a given that Jameer will be gone after this season.
- Keith Bogans will indeed start for the Magic at shooting guard on opening night. The Orlando Sentinel ran this feature on him this morning in which KeBo not-so-subtly rips Brian Hill while simultaneously praising Stan Van Gundy:
"I want to be coached. And [Stan] doesn't let you take a day off. If he sees your potential, he works you hard," Bogans said. "Last year I didn't get coached at all. It makes a difference. This year you make a mistake, he lets you know. You do something well, he lets you know. I respond to that."
- Whit Watson of Sun Sports writes about so-called "bulletin-board material" and uses the Magic as an example of how teams can use it. He points to Sports Illustrated's prediction for the Magic this year ("[I]t will be a good year if they can reach .500") and wonders if the Magic will use that as motivational fuel. I hope they do.
- The Minnesota Timberwolves are close to buying out Juwan Howard's contract, and Schmitz writes that he may become a target for the Magic. We are in need of another power-position player, and Howard has the added bonus of being a calming, veteran presence. The problem is that he's actually not such a great player. John Denton writes that the Magic will pursue one or more bigs in free-agency, and as a result may cut both James Augustine and Bo Outlaw. It was thought that one of those two players would get the team's final roster spot, but apparently that is not a given at this point. Personally, I'd rather the Magic stick with Augustine than overpay for a veteran stiff, but I don't run the team.