Brian Schmitz says Mike Wilks is basically a lock to make the Orlando Magic's opening-night roster as the team's third-string point guard, but will have to wait until January 10th to know if the Magic have guaranteed his contract for the full year. Here's a quote from the piece:
He has never had a guaranteed contract heading into a season, and this one marks No. 7.
"Every year I go in with a non-guarantee -- every year," Wilks said Tuesday. "I've been blessed where it's worked out every year, where I've done enough to impress the team."
The Magic's point-guard rotation is as follows:
- Jameer Nelson, who has yet to play an 82-game season in his four-year career;
- Anthony Johnson, a 34-year-old veteran who told the Sentinel a few weeks ago that he knows he's in trouble if he isn't in an NBA team's training camp on his birthday each year; and
- Mike Wilks, who has never entered a season with a fully guaranteed deal.
Yup, I'm beginning to see why people aren't exactly high on the Magic's signal-callers this year.
Perhaps the obvious solution is to trade for a new one, like Javaris Crittenton of the Memphis Grizzlies, long connected to the Magic in trade rumors. Problem: he's not playing, even in the preseason. Chip Crain of 3 Shades of Blue tries to make sense of the situation:
Javaris Crittenton, the only remaining piece from that trade [which sent Pau Gasol to the L.A. Lakers] and the only player left with actual NBA experience, did not play [in Memphis' victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night]. That was a coaching decision by the way. He hasn't hardly played at all this pre-season. So far he has logged 21:04 total playing time in 4 pre-season games.
Yeah, something here doesn't add up. Why isn't he playing?:
It just doesn't seem likely that Crittenton would be sitting if [Grizzlies coach Marc] Iavaroni wanted him in the game. After all, Iavaroni needs to show improvement now even if the owner/GM are thinking about a three year plan. I know I would want to be playing the best I had if I was a coach on the hot seat.
So it's entirely possible that he's not any good. Hoo, boy. Well, maybe Kevin Ollie won't work out in Minnesota, although he's doing splendidly right now. Surely the Magic could do worse than sign Kevin Ollie, right?
Man, as if I didn't already miss Keyon Dooling enough. Now I'm dreaming about signing Kevin Ollie to be the Magic's third-string point guard. Kevin Ollie!
But as unenviable as the Magic's point guard situation is, it could be worse: it could be the Toronto Raptors'. The team Orlando eliminated in the first-round of the 2008 playoffs has an All-Star-caliber starter in Jose Calderon... and that's where the good news ends. His backups are the veteran retread Will Solomon (who played his rookie season with Memphis before falling off the face of the earth) and the rookie Roko Ukic. Yet despite that, some people think the Raptors' addition of Jermaine O'Neal will be enough to help them surpass the Magic (and a few other teams) in the Eastern Conference pecking order. So maybe we could just forget this whole sound and fury about point guards. But you'll have to forgive me for being a bit worried.