Barry Jackson reports the Orlando Magic's hated in-state rival, the Miami Heat, recently discussed acquiring either Keyon Dooling or Rafer Alston from the Nets:
The Heat -- which says it would prefer to trade for a backup point guard than sign one -- spoke to New Jersey about ex-Heat guards Rafer Alston and Keyon Dooling, one of whom could be dealt. Nothing materialized, but the door was left open for further talks.
Alston and Dooling both played for Orlando and Miami earlier in their careers, so they're already in the club with--off the top of my head--Jason Williams, Rony Seikaly, Danny Schayes, Isaac Austin, Shaquille O'Neal, and Penny Hardaway. It appears as though a return to the Heat might be in the cards for one of them. (hat tip: NetsDaily)
Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty explores potential trades the Sacramento Kings might make using Kenny Thomas' hefty ($8.7 million) expiring contract. He mentions Orlando as a possibility:
The Magic, for example, have some $80 million in payroll tied up. This is a team that, until a few months ago, refused to cross the tax threshold. The team could be $20 million over the tax threshold in 2010-11. Isn't that a bit much? If it is, the Kings could give the Magic K-9's expiring contract in exchange for Mickael Pietrus or Marcin Gortat (assuming the Kings want either at their current payscales).
It's hard to imagine the Magic dumping two of their top-eight players for an expiring contract, especially since they appear to have no qualms paying the luxury tax.
Matt Steinmetz of NBA FanHouse wonders what the heck C.J. Watson, the Golden State Warriors' restricted free agent point guard whom the Magic and their fans covet, is doing by balking at their three-year, $5.4 million contract offer, which includes a player option for the third year:
The only logical reason for Watson to spurn that kind of money is if he believed he'd be able to get a better deal next season on the free agent market. Only one problem: Watson will be a restricted free agent again next season, a fact that has been frequently misreported.
Indeed, if Watson takes the 1-year, $1.05 million qualifying offer to stay with the Warriors, he still won't be able to gain his freedom as an unrestricted free agent next summer, as they'll still hold his free-agent rights. Why? Because he'll be a three-year veteran, and teams hold their players' restricted free-agent rights until after their fourth season.
In other words, unless Magic GM Otis Smith can pull off a sign-and-trade deal, it looks highly unlikely that Watson could join the Magic until at least 2012.
The Puns Are Starting to Bore Me briefly examines the parallels between the Minnesota Timberwolves' mishandling of Ricky Rubio--whom they drafted with the 5th pick this summer, only to watch him stay in Spain--and the Magic's situation with Fran Vazquez, their 2005 first-round pick who has yet to join the team.
A few weeks ago, I tried to sum up where some of the Magic's summer-league players wound up. ShamSports has done a more thorough job. Believe it or not, Courtney Fells (14.3% shooting, 8 points, 8 turnovers) has yet to sign anywhere.