John Denton of Orlando Magic.com posted this mailbag feature earlier today in which he addresses several subjects, but potentially none more interesting than Malik Allen, the veteran power forward whom the team just signed for training camp. My take was that nobody the Magic invited to camp had much hope of making the team.
But Denton seems to disagree:
And through the years Allen has been a "Magic killer" of sorts, registering some of the best games of his career against Orlando. I’d say that the likelihood that he makes the Opening Night roster is very good.
Denton's take, in conjunction with Zach McCann's report that coach Stan Van Gundy was instrumental in bringing Allen aboard, certainly has me second-guessing myself here. Maybe Allen will make the team's final roster after all. But he will have to prove himself in training camp, which starts September 28th.
Allen hasn't been productive in several years--just as an example, his Player Efficiency Rating has declined in each of the last six seasons--and on balance can't do much to help an NBA team. But in Orlando, he wouldn't be part of the playing rotation. Heck, he probably wouldn't even dress on most nights. This news is news because it's surprising, not because it's distressing, in other words.
Allen has some ties to the Magic, having played for the Miami Heat from 2001/02 to 2003/04, during which time Van Gundy served as an assistant coach. Additionally, he split the 2007/08 season between the New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks, playing alongside Vince Carter with the former team and Brandon Bass with the latter.
Denton's entire mailbag is, as always, worthwhile. Check out the full post for word on Vince Carter's summer workout habits, Daniel Orton's readiness--a nagging knee injury may keep him out of training camp--and more.