Less than 24 hours until the trading deadline. Will the Magic make a deal? It seems less and less likely as each hour passes, despite the fact that tomorrow might be the Magic's last chance until 2013 to upgrade their roster significantly.
- John Denton got Otis Smith to comment on the recent trade rumors involving Seattle and Sacramento. The whole article is well worth your time, but the high points are:
I really think staying the course is a pretty good idea for this team right now. I see no sense in changing your direction just because teams in other cities have decided to do that this season with trades. We like our team;
- Otis cut a scouting trip short so he could focus on the trading deadline;
- He's had discussions with Seattle regarding Kurt Thomas and Chris Wilcox;
- He denied the rumor which stated he spoke with Sacramento about Brad Miller, and added the only player the Kings want from us is Hedo Turkoglu;
- He questioned why people are clamoring for him to trade for a power forward when he already dealt for Brian Cook earlier this season.
Those last two points raise some questions. First, if he never spoke to the Kings, how does he know they only want Turk? Second, how can he not realize that Cook is a power forward in name only? Jeez, Otis. We need rebounding, and the Cookie Monster (rebound rate: 9.6, only slightly better than Pat Garrity) certainly doesn't provide that.
- A diligent fan at Denton's Magic board read in a chat with ESPN.com's Chad Ford that the Magic are the leaders in the Kurt Thomas Sweepstakes. Ford says the holdup in the deal is Seattle wanting the Magic to include a future first-round pick. As much as I'd love for the Magic to get Kurt Thomas, SuperSonics GM Sam Presti is insane if he thinks a 35-year-old forward/center is worth a package of expiring contracts and a first-round pick. Otis Smith needs to look elsewhere for big-man help if Seattle continues to insist on a first-round pick...
- ...although, given our history of questionable draft picks (Ryan Humphrey?! Steven Hunter?! JERYL SASSER?!), maybe losing one wouldn't be so bad.
- 82games has a list of sortable "clutch" stats, where "clutch" is defined as "4th quarter or overtime, less than 5 minutes left, neither team ahead by more than 5 points." Unsurprisingly, our crunch-time leaders are:
- Points - Hedo Turkoglu
- Rebounds - Dwight Howard
- Assists - Carlos Arroyo
- Steals - Keith Bogans
- Blocks - Dwight Howard
- Brian Schmitz says the Magic have the Southeast Division wrapped-up. Not to be outdone, Brendan Sonnone of Believing in Magic thinks we still have a shot at winning the East. He writes, "Basically, there is no one in the East that can be considered better than Orlando, because the Magic have gone toe to toe with 'the best.'" Surely going 4-3 against the two teams ranked ahead of us in the standings is good, but it doesn't warrant saying we're "the best."
- For what it's worth, here's a week-by-week graphical representation of the Southeast Division so far this season. We've had the lead basically from the get-go, and Washington's recent slide has strengthened it. Kinda strange that, in spite of our recent strong play, our win percentage to begin the week was near a season-low. Strange and disconcerting.
Trade news as it happens. Don't forget to comment on tonight's Magic/Raptors game in the open thread. If the Magic make a huge trade and you want to break the story here at 3QC, you can always discuss it in the diaries.