Here's the latest news on the Orlando Magic's efforts to re-sign Hedo Turkoglu, who will opt out of his contract this summer and become an unrestricted free agent:
[Magic GM Otis] Smith said he will speak with Lon Babby, Turkoglu's agent, before the Feb. 19 trade deadline to get a feel for what it might take to re-sign him.
Turkoglu could be seeking a deal similar to the five-year, $50-million contract that Corey Maggette signed with Golden State last summer. The Magic could trade Turkoglu if they deem his asking price is too high, rather than lose him without compensation.
"We will have a conversation leading up to the [trade] deadline," Smith said.
The way Turk has played lately, the Magic can't afford to trade him. They're contenders this year and have great chemistry, and that's not something one replaces easily. Then again, they don't want to lose him for nothing. Tough call.
Even Gilbert Arenas would agree that Rashard Lewis' swag is phenomenal. John Denton asked Lewis about the Magic's recent three-point barrage:
"We kinda get a kick out of it when the other team's arena gets real quiet," said Lewis, who has made 114 3-pointers this season, 20 more than Boston's Ray Allen. "At first (the crowd) is screaming and jumping around, and then when we quiet them down with threes, then they can hear us screaming after that."
Almost as good as Stan Van Gundy's immortal, "If you don't think we're good, that's fine" line.
Make the jump to read what one Sacramento King has to say about his team's defense last night, how word of the Magic's three-point record spread down their bench, what one Hall-of-Fame center thinks of the Magic's championship chances this year, and even more.
In the wake of the Magic's NBA-record-setting three-point bonanza last night, Marty McNeal of the Sacramento Bee, by way of his colleague Scott Howard-Cooper, suggests the Sacramento Kings should have fouled some Magic players on their three-point attempts to send a message that they aren't to be punked. I think a better way to do that would be to, um, defend the three-point line. Kings guard Francisco Garcia agrees:
"I think [fouling a three-point shooter] the dumbest foul you can have. But we could have had some more fouls when they were going to the basket or whatever. They couldn't miss. That was the game."
Whit Watson attended last night's game as a sideline reporter for Sun Sports. He blogs about the experience here. A choice excerpt:
Another three. 20. One to tie, two to break. The word has now filtered down the bench, like a whisper campaign. [Mickael] Pietrus told Dwight [Howard], Dwight told Rashard, Rashard told Jameer [Nelson]. At least four different people, including Coach [Bob] Beyer, have grabbed JJ Redick by the collar and told him to shoot the damn ball as soon as he gets it, to the point that Redick is waving them off. The players on the bench are now up on their feet. Van Gundy, who has sort of gathered that something is going on over his shoulder, puts Brian Cook into the game, and Pietrus wheels around, points at me, and says in his Caribbean lilt, "you watch -- Cook will get it! Cook will get it!"
Don't you love stories like this?
Mike Bianchi believes the Magic have what it takes to win an NBA title this year, and says they deserve the Orlando community's support. Also on board? Bill Walton, who told Bianchi the following:
"The Magic are most definitely championship contenders - if not favorites," Walton says. "They're playing the best ball of anybody in the entire league right now. That win at San Antonio [Sunday] was spectacular. Games like that can serve as a launching pad to dominance."
In his interview with 3QC, Orlando Sentinel NBA beat writer Kyle Hightower said he'd vote Rashard as a reserve to this year's All-Star team. At Hoops Addict, Ryan McNeill writes that Sweet Lew is indeed having an All-Star-caliber season.
Can the Magic sustain their three-point barrage in the playoffs? Are their fans annoying? Those questions, and more, are addressed in this week's Hump Day Chat at Ball Don't Lie.