With the news breaking earlier this afternoon that the Orlando Magic have come to an agreement with free agent Brandon Bass, I was able to ask general manager Otis Smith a number of questions and gather his thoughts on what the prospective signing means for the team, how it affects Ryan Anderson and Rashard Lewis, and more.
Is Rashard Lewis playing the 3 something Stan [Van Gundy] wants to see more of during the season?
It's his natural position. We just play him at the 4 and use it as an advantage and we will still do that so it's not like the guy is going away because he's not. He's still an effective force. We just get the ability to play both players when we have to.
Is Brandon someone you've liked for a few years, since he's entered the league?
He's someone I've liked for a couple of years. During the free agent scouting, he's a name that's constantly on our board, a guy that you look to add to your team to give you a little bit more punch.
Do you think he's a nice offensive fit? He's able to play the mid-range game with effectiveness.
Well, he fits around what we have in that he's a physical presence, he can rebound the ball, he can defend the bigger 4's, which is a plus. For us, at times, we struggled a little bit but I think he'll be able to do that.
How do you think this signing is going to affect Ryan Anderson, given that he's played well in the Summer League? Do you think this is going to affect the minutes he sees during the season?
Well, I think it's up to those guys. Those guys have to sort out their own minutes. I mean, what you do is get a core group of guys. I mean, they have to decide who plays and who don't and that's basically what they do here in practices. I don't think it will affect his playing time.
What do you think of Ryan Anderson's performance in the Summer League?
Ryan has been a good piece. A lot of people thought that he was a throw-in to [Vince] Carter, which is not true. When you're giving up a young piece in what we had in Courtney Lee, getting back a young piece in Ryan Anderson, who on our draft board, we had 1 and 2 and they kind of went 1 and 2 that way so getting him back is a plus for us.
Is Bass' youth something you find invaluable, given that you have a young core with Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, and others?
Oh, I think it helps when you're adding him to all of our other guys. We're still a relatively young team, despite A.J. [Johnson] when he's down a little bit or he's up a little bit and maybe Vince when he's up a little bit, so I think with those guys, I think we're still a relatively young team.
I know you stated that you wanted to find another point guard, a third guard to add to the team. Do you think there's anybody on the Summer League roster that could be that guy, like Russell Robinson or Levance Fields?
There's a couple of guys that have been playing that have looked well, both on our team and other teams that have looked good. The third point guard is out there, we'll look to add that to our roster in the near future.
In speaking with a source familiar with the team's plans, don't expect Brandon Bass to start for the Orlando Magic. It's evident, as I was told, that Orlando wants to continue to play Rashard Lewis at power forward, given that he's been able to play that position more than effectively the past two seasons. That should be noted.
As Otis Smith stated in his discussion with the media, Bass has played center with the Dallas Mavericks so that might be something he may continue to do with the Magic. If that happens, that would theoretically allow Lewis to play more in the post, given that Bass has the ability to play around the perimeter on offense.
Once the signing becomes official, Orlando will hold a media availability session or a press conference of some sort. Whenever that happens, 3QC will be there to cover the proceedings and speak with Brandon Bass about joining the Magic, etc.