Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith speaks to the Orlando Sentinel about free agency. Ordinarily, I'd FanShot this story, but there's so much good information in here that I'll make an exception. Highlights:
The Orlando Magic have contacted Rasheed Wallace's agent and likely will not match the Dallas Mavericks' pending offer sheet for Marcin Gortat and want perhaps one last chance at re-signing Hedo Turkoglu.
Smith disputed reports that Wallace was making a visit to Orlando, although he said "it was possible" a some point.
Smith agreed that Wallace, a veteran 6 feet 11 power forward, would be a nice "fit" alongside center Dwight Howard, but "it just depends on what Rasheed wants to do."
Gortat, according to reports, has committed to sign the Mavs' offer sheet, with Howard's back-up apparently commanding a mid-level contract starting at $5.6 million.
"Those numbers are a little rich for a back-up center, a guy playing behind my best player (Dwight Howard)," Smith said. "If it's 5 (million), it puts you in a situation (financially) that you don't recover from."
As far as Turkoglu is concerned, he is being given the full-court press by the Trail Blazers and visited Portland on Thursday. Reports say that the Blazers could offer Turk a five-year, $50-million contract. The Toronto Raptors are also said to be in play for Turkoglu, 30, a versatile small forward who played the past five seasons in Orlando.
Smith said the it would be "a long-shot to get something done" with Turkoglu, but added that he had spoken with Lon Babby, Turkoglu's agent, and they agreed to talk before Turkoglu accepted a contract proposal with any team.
Good news on all fronts, I gather. Rasheed would give the Magic some toughness on the front line, and fits Magic President Bob Vander Weide's desire for his team to employ a "cranky" power forward. Marcin is a tremendous player, but simply not worth the financial hit the team would take for keeping him, given how many minutes he'd play. And I know there's virtually no chance of a deal with Turkoglu happening, it's at least a positive that Smith and Babby are on the same page. Former Magic players Keyon Dooling, Maurice Evans, and Darko Milicic expressed dissatisfaction with Smith's handling of their free agency in previous years, so we're seeing some improvement on that front.