Yesterday after the press conference, I was able to speak with Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith amongst the media to gather his thoughts on the Vince Carter trade, the direction of the franchise, his thoughts on the fanbase's reaction to the deal, and more.
commenting about the deal:
This one was really close to the vest.
Courtney Lee being the sticking point in the trade:
Of course. Stuck all the way until the deal was done, it was the hardest.
talking about who else could have been dealt, if not the rookie:
I don't know. It could have gone a number of ways.
on signing a third point guard:
I think you have to fill it. I'm not overly, overly concerned about filling our roster. There's a concern but ... we need to get a big, we need a point guard.
the idea of players taking less money to sign with a contender:
That's way overstated.
his interest in signing a big man, whether it's Marcin Gortat or someone else:
There's a few names out there that I think would be good. There's a few veteran big guys that I think could play alongside Dwight and pick up some minutes.
the direction of the franchise:
We're excited about it. We got some work to do, but we're very excited about where we are as a franchise, as an organization, but there's still lot of work to get our organization to the top. We're taking steps, I think our organization is taking steps ... to do things like build a new arena, give ourselves a chance to contend for a championship.
fan's reaction to the trade:
I learned a long time ago fans like winning. They may not like losing players here or there, but as long as you can show them you're going into a direction where at least you're attempting to win, fans have the tendency to like that.
on speaking with Hedo Turkoglu:
I have not talked to Turk. He was here yesterday but I did not see him.
stating whether he spoke with Rafer Alston or anyone else about the trade:
I talked to a couple of those guys. I haven't talked to Rafer. But you guys break the news faster than I can. Ya'll internet guys ... I can't keep up with you guys.
In the next few days, Ben or I will take a look at which players the Orlando Magic might pursue in free agency, given the fact the team will need to fill its cupboard to meet the 13-man roster minimum. But for now, it's clear where Smith's priorities lie - he's searching for a point guard and a power forward and/or center. Smith explicitly stated he thinks there's some veteran big men that he believes can play alongside Dwight Howard and spot him a few minutes. That's important to know, when deciphering who exactly the team will target once it's 12:01 a.m. EST on July 1st.
This is only the beginning, folks. There's more to come in the next coming weeks.
Questions in italics are ones that I asked during the Q/A session.