Five things we learned from the Orlando Magic's 10 Rashard-less games
Zach McCann Orlando Magic Daily likens the Magic's first ten games to "a colonoscopy" and lists five things they revealed about the Magic, sans Rashard Lewis. I'm in agreement with him when he says Brandon Bass is better than he's looked so far, and that Ryan Anderson needs to play. I expect the Magic feel the same way, which is why Bass--not Anderson--will likely be the 11th man when everyone's healthy again. Whenever that is.
Rashard Ready to Return
John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com writes about Lewis' return to action, and the difficulty he faced knowing that he couldn't help his team for the first 10 games of the season.
"Opening night when you are sitting there watching your team, and they unveil that banner as well, it was really hard," Lewis said. "You were a part of putting that banner in the arena and you want to be a part of it receiving it. Me sitting at home it was tough and it really hit me."
Turkoglu almost joined Suns in 2004
Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic writes that the Magic were able to sign Hedo Turkoglu as a free agent in 2004 because they trumped the Phoenix Suns' offer. For a bit, it appeared as though his signing with the Suns was imminent.
The plan was to firm up a six-year deal worth about $30 million over a 7 p.m. dinner reservation. News-conference plans for the next day were under way. At 5 p.m., Turkoglu's agent, Lon Babby, called to say, "We have a bit of a problem." Orlando had called to offer $36 million.
"I've got a problem, because I've got to cancel the reservation," [Suns GM Bryan] Colangelo told Babby.
Interesting that Colangelo, now of the Toronto Raptors, made up for losing out on Hedo five years later when he obtained him from the Magic in a sign-and-trade deal. Also interesting that Turkoglu wasn't even the Magic's first choice; their top target that year was Adonal Foyle, who wound up re-signing a long-term deal with Golden State instead. The Warriors bought him out of that hefty contract in 2007, after which point he signed with the Magic.
Small world. Small league.
Cavs: The Blog: The Stretch Four
Yesterday's post on this site about the Magic's need to have a "stretch" power forward in their starting lineup was hardly the first investigating the impact of such players on the league in recent years. John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog wrote about that topic a few weeks ago.