Look out, Dwight Howard.
Help is on the way, in the form of a familiar face and an unfamiliar face. Today's news has been very interesting, if you're an Orlando Magic fan. Brandon Bass arriving to the RDV SportsPlex, today, to officially introduce himself to the local media wasn't a surprise. However, finding out that general manager Otis Smith decided to match Marcin Gortat's offer sheet from the Dallas Mavericks was a surprise. Got it? Good.
Orlando Magic, offer sheet, Marcin Gortat, Dallas Mavericks
Josh Robbins provides the rundown of what Marcin Gortat returning to the Orlando Magic means for everyone involved.
The Orlando Magic haven't just opened their checkbook this offseason.
They've done the equivalent of leaving their ATM card on a busy sidewalk, with the PIN number written on the front.
Unwilling to let a young center walk away for nothing and eager to return to the NBA Finals, the Magic announced Monday that they have matched the Dallas Mavericks' five-year, $34 million offer sheet to restricted free-agent Marcin Gortat.
Marcin Gortat is "very disappointed" that the Magic matched his offer sheet
Guy Zucker, Gortat's agent, comments on the team re-signing Marcin:
"His reaction naturally was that he was disappointed, because clearly he signed the offer sheet with Dallas with the intent of going to Dallas, which for him represented a tremendous opportunity to potentially start with an excellent team," Zucker said. "He’s a competitor, but he’s also realistic enough to know that the chances that he will start ahead of Dwight Howard are extremely, extremely low. He saw that Dallas made a tremendous commitment money-wise but also basketball-wise to making him a starter for their team for the next five years. He had been very excited about signing the offer sheet, and he was he understandably very disappointed today when I called him and told him they decided to match.
"If you’re a competitor, you’d like to get a chance to measure yourself as an equal to other players, and he felt confident that given the opportunity he could prove himself to be a legitimate NBA starting center."
When Mavs raise the stakes on Marcin Gortat, Magic turn the tables
John Hollinger of ESPN.com offers his thoughts on the move.
One of the fun games-within-a-game of free agency is the poker match. Knowing who's serious, who's bluffing, who's just trying to up the ante and what's in everyone else's hand is just as important in this game as it is at the tables in Vegas.
We saw a perfect example today, as a spectacular piece of card playing by Magic general manager Otis Smith left the Mavericks slack-jawed, while once again illustrating the dangers of signing offer sheets early in the free-agent period. [...]
In fact, it's quite likely they sprinkled some leaks indicating that they wouldn't match; surely it was believable given their status as a luxury-tax team in an old arena in a small market. Why pay so much more for a secondary piece?
But if they already knew they were matching, it was a brilliant stroke, because it allowed them to get a second player at a discount price. Remember, Gortat isn't the only big man Orlando inked this week -- the Magic also signed Brandon Bass to a four-year, $18 million deal. And Bass, you'll surely remember, played for the Mavericks last season.
Bass perfect fit for Magic
Brandon Bass states how he feels Orlando is a perfect fit for him.
I was able to ask the Magic's new signee a few questions, briefly, during the news conference.
Click after the jump for the full transcript.
What about the Orlando Magic appealed to you?
I mean, just about the team being so successful and I just thought it was perfect for me. It'd be a perfect fit for me to join this team so that was mainly the decision.
You're an LSU guy, what was it like being drafted by New Orleans?
It was great in the beginning, but then it didn't turn out so good.
Was the lack of playing time an issue?
Yeah, I didn't play at all. Dallas was the best thing since signing here.
I know that your agent stated that you weren't necessarily looking to start. What type of role are you looking for with the team?
Just be someone that can come in and help, instantly, so it don't matter if I start or come off the bench. I just want to be able to help and I know I can.
At some point, Ben or I will post the entire transcript of the news conference. Stay tuned.