A couple more details from the Orlando Magic's signing of Mickael Pietrus have trickled in. The team will host an introductory news conference to introduce its new starting shooting guard this Thursday, says Brian Schmitz.
John Denton, who first broke the news of Pietrus' signing, has more details. It's a four-year deal worth $25.1 million. If you ask me, the Magic overpaid, but Pietrus fits their system and upgrades their weakest starting position from last season. Here's my favorite nugget from the piece, though:
Also, Pietrus is close friends with Magic small forward Hedo Turkoglu and the two families recently vacationed together in Turkey for a week.
So he's friends with Hedo and knows Otis Smith from his Golden State days. He should be comfortable here, especially since he'll play his natural position.
Sean Deveney of the Sporting News spoke with Bill McCandless, Pietrus' agent, and gives us this information about which other teams pursued Air France:
McCandless said 11 teams were interested in Pietrus but only five were serious. It came down to Orlando or Detroit, with Atlanta also a possibility. For the Pistons, Pietrus would have been a reserve. With the Magic he will start, McCandless was told, not at power forward, but at the more natural shooting guard spot.
"It was not the most lucrative offer," McCandless said. "But the opportunity, combined with the money, to start for an up-and-coming team was too much to pass up. He could have gotten the same money, or more, from Detroit. But he would have been coming off the bench. ... It becomes a matter of timing. Orlando had the perfect spot for him. You have the threat of someone else moving into the spot. We did not want to wake up tomorrow and find that Otis had signed someone else."
First, I love that we beat Detroit to signing Pietrus. I'm sure it's no big loss to Pistons fans, but it feels good to get something from them for once. Jeez.
Deveney notes that the four-year deal includes an Early Termination Option for Pietrus after the third season.
If you're wondering what this signing means for the Magic's chances of re-signing Keyon Dooling, you aren't alone. Dooling himself doesn't even know what's happening. When reached for comment, Dooling told Brian Schmitz the following:
"It looks like they have filled their position at the 2. Pietrus will help us," Dooling said. "I don't know what's going to happen. Things are all over the place."
The switch from third-person to first-person probably doesn't mean much, -- dude was probably a bit frazzled -- but it can't be a good sign that Dooling isn't confident he'll return. And, frankly, why should he be? The Magic made overtures to Chris Duhon, to Corey Maggette, and to Pietrus, but have yet to present him with an offer.
The Magic can sign him, but doing so will bring them close to luxury-tax territory, which they want to avoid. The Magic's best bet is to make Dooling a long-term, front-loaded offer, which would give Dooling the money and security he wants while simultaneously freeing-up cap space as the salaries of Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, and Jameer Nelson increase.
Woof. Busy offseason ahead. Either J.J. Redick or Keith Bogans will surely move via trade -- the smart money's on J.J., as he has more value -- and the Magic still have plenty of holes to fill.