UPDATE 2: BQR here with free agency news via ESPN.com:
Marc Stein: The latest chatter on free agency
Marc Stein has the latest scoop on free agency. Hedo Turkoglu looks to be Portland-bound, while the Rockets have made Marcin Gortat a priority. Dallas, New York, and Indiana also made overtures to Gortat at the start of the period.
As for who might be coming to Orlando, rather than leaving it, there's nothing definitive. The Magic are still interested in Rasheed Wallace, but the bidding war for his services has heated up now that Boston is in the discussion. One new name linked to the Magic is Bruce Bowen, the veteran small forward whom the Spurs sent to Milwaukee as part of their trade for Richard Jefferson. The Bucks will cut him sometime before August 15th, at which time Stein expects the Magic, as well as the Cavaliers, to make inquiries.
NBA shopping list: Will Magic go for brand names or bargains?
Brian Schmitz previews what should be an interesting off-season for the Orlando Magic and lists possible targets for the team.
The Orlando Magic didn't have a draft pick, but they are now on the clock. Today — a tick after midnight, actually — the NBA free-agency courting period officially began.
With these next signings, the Magic will be expected to upgrade their club and justify their reasons for dramatically changing a roster that reached the NBA Finals. [...]
General Manager Otis Smith said he will bide his time to search for bargains.
Hedo Turkoglu's time with the Magic has been just grand
Mike Bianchi bids Hedo Turkoglu farewell with a nice article.
Let's face it, when Smith pulled off the trade for Vince Carter, Turk immediately became expendable. Yes, we could continue the endless debate whether the Magic — who were within a missed layup and a missed free throw of perhaps beating the Lakers in the NBA Finals — should let their second-most important player walk away after the greatest season in franchise history (I would have taken a pass on Carter, re-signed Turk, tweaked the roster and taken my chances). But what's the point? The Carter trade is done, and who really can argue with Smith's personnel moves in recent years?
This column is not meant to criticize Smith but to celebrate Turk — a player who always will occupy a prominent place in Magic lore.
No Qualifying Offer For Powe
Jeff Clark of CelticsBlog states that the Boston Celtics will not make a qualifying offer for Leon Powe. Why is this relevant to the Magic? Because it may mean the Celtics might make a run at Rasheed Wallace, who lists the C's among his targets according to ESPN.com's Ric Bucher.
Free-agent buzz: Gordon, Villanueva visit Pistons
UPDATE 3: Adrian Wojnarowski confirms Boston's interest in 'Sheed.
Rockets' General Manager Daryl Morey rang the door bell at Gortat's Orlando-area home at 12:01 AM July 1 - otherwise known as the beginning of the free agent frenzy - as part of a personal gesture to express Houston's desire to bring the big man into the fold. The Rockets have had Gortat on their radar screen since the midway point of the '08-09 season, when they - like many around the league - noticed the 25-year old post player regularly flashing his potential in the paint.Not surprised at the news. Once word broke that Yao Ming could be out next season or longer, it makes sense for the Houston Rockets to go after Marcin Gortat. They're a franchise that has a heavy analytics department and this is a type of player that is right up their alley - efficient, inexpensive, young, etc. The Polish Hammer would be a good fit for the Rockets and vice-versa.
The NBA Team Winning this Off-Season: The Bears
UPDATE: Henry Abbott of TrueHoop had this tidbit that I thought was intriguing and worth sharing while he was at the 2009 NBA Draft.
I can't tell you how many people at the draft told me they were surprised that the Nets had to include promising, talented and affordable Ryan Anderson in the Vince Carter deal. The implication is that it's harder than it used to be to find people to pay contracts like Carter's, and it takes more than a little sweetener.This statement is another example that he's a kid valued around the league.
- On a lighter note, Ben Q. Rock and I will be attending the 2009 Orlando Pro Summer League as credentialed members of the media. Look forward to our coverage of the event next week. The proceedings take place July 6 - 10.
Ridiculous Upside has a list of rosters for your convenience, in case you're wondering who's playing and who's not playing. The official rosters will be announced sometime tomorrow (technically, today) Also, here's the schedule.