Lots of stuff came out over the weekend and I'm just now getting to it. Here we go:
- Fran Vazquez is not happy with his lack of playing time in Europe and is reportedly seeking a buyout so he can join the Magic. I'm not happy with this development at all. If he can't impress in Europe (5.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12 minutes per game), against competition inferior to the NBA, why would we think he could be successful here? Additionally, his buyout would cost millions of dollars, and I'm leery of paying that much money just so a player can join us. Also, we have 15 players on the roster, and I think James Augustine and Marcin Gortat are more likely to be difference-makers at the four position in the future. Why cut them to make room for Vazquez? It doesn't make sense to me. Let him sit at the end of Barcelona's bench. I don't care about him anymore. Can we move on, please?
- Although he's missed every game of the season so far, Tony Battie could be back in time for the playoffs. I'm glad that his rehab from shoulder surgery is going well, and his strong interior defense should really help us; the Magic were 4.7 points per 100 possessions better on defense when Battie was on the floor last year, according to 82games. There's no sense in rushing him back, though. If there's the slightest chance that he'll re-injure himself in the playoffs, we should sit him down. Of course, that's assuming that we even make the playoffs. Give Me The Rock says there's a 99.15% chance that will happen, but you never know.
- Fourteen-year veteran Chris Webber would consider playing for the Magic, but Otis Smith has no interest in signing him. As much as I hate to say it, I agree with Otis on this one. Webber is surely one of the best power forwards of all-time, but he's well past his prime now. Yes, he can still contribute -- 11.3 points and 6.7 rebounds for the Pistons last season -- but no, he's not what the Magic need. He's a poor defender, and defense is what we need most. I like Chris and it'd be a cool story if he signed with us, the team that originally drafted him, but I think there are better, more defensive-minded power forwards available.
- Dwight Howard, who is outspoken about his deep Christian faith, refuses to talk about his recently-born son, who was fathered out of wedlock. The Sentinel spoke with some marketing experts who believe that Howard's image may take a hit, but it's a minor issue. I agree, and I respect that Dwight wants to keep his personal life personal.
Here's an insightful quote from the Jazz' Kevin O'Connor, discussing his team's rebuilding philosophy with Bradford Doolittle:
We had a kind of a mantra, saying "No short-term gains for long-term losses." It's been used a lot before, but we really tried to work off that.
Certainly the Magic aren't in rebuilding mode, but there's a growing consensus that they need to make a move to acquire a true power forward before the playoffs. (Hat tip - Tom Ziller at Fanhouse)
So, what do you think about the Magic's power forward situation? Take part in the poll, and don't forget to explain your answer in the comments.
Which power forward gives the Magic the best chance to contend for a title this season? Key words: "this season"
This poll is closed
Tony Battie - He'll make a big difference in the playoffs
Rashard Lewis - He's doing just fine, even though he's a natural small forward
Fran Vazquez - He'll be immediately successful in the NBA if we bring him over now
Chris Webber - He's a savvy veteran who can make good decisions and draw defenses away from Dwight Howard
Somebody else - We need to make a trade