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Orlando Magic News for July 14th: Dwight Howard Visits EA Sports, A Look At Player Aging, and More

  • Magic Spend Big on the Bench
    Bethlehem Shoals of The Baseline elaborates on Marcin Gortat's return.

    The shock waves of this move will reverberate through the league on a number of levels, or at least offer a fascinating look at how a personnel decision can have very different effects on all involved. For one, the Magic are loading up like crazy. Vince Carter is a glamor move; adding Bass, keeping Gortat, and continuing to bring along Howard gives them the size and power to complement their three-point-heavy offense. Not to mention an added dimension to an already impressive Van Gundy family brand defense. [...]

    Which brings us back to Gortat. You can insist he be happy because he got paid; you can also see why he'd prefer to get the chance to start. But as anyone who watched the playoffs knows, Gortat does get some chances to shine off the bench. With Hedo gone, who knows what line-ups SVG will opt to play—bigger ones, you'd think. So the man finds himself paid like crazy, on a team that's looking more and more like the favorites in the East. Hardly a bad spot to be in, even if it's not Gortat's ideal. 
    Dwight Howard visited the EA Sports offices in Vancouver to preview NBA Live '10 - a game in which he's donning the cover. 

  • Win Shares and Aging
    Neil Paine of Basketball-Reference takes a look at the correlation of the changes in a player's Win Shares as he ages. Fantastic analysis. 

    As you can see, on average guards do disappear sooner than players at other positions, starting at age 32. The conventional wisdom is that smaller players who rely on their speed/quickness tend to lose that ability (and therefore their viability as NBA players) in their early 30s; bigger players, of course, lose it at that point too, but it doesn’t matter as much for them because they were never very fast to begin with. Based on these results, I’d say the conventional wisdom has been confirmed — guards do appear to "lose it" sooner than big men, starting in their early thirties. That makes the recent re-signings of aging PGs Jason Kidd and Mike Bibby particularly risky, and the buyer should certainly beware when it comes to Allen Iverson, who could end up being the poster child for this phenomenon.
  • Top 10 Free Agents
    Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus lists his top 10 free agents. 

  • NBA free agents: The latest chatter on Allen Iverson, Lamar Odom
    UPDATE: Marc Stein of shares this tidbit about Brandon Bass.

    Brandon Bass' contract in Orlando is a flat $4 million annually for four years with incentive bonuses and a player option for the 2012-13 season. 
  • Homecoming has Vince Carter and Daytona Beach giddy
    UPDATE 2: The Orlando Sentinel caught up with Vince Carter in Daytona Beach and asked him a variety of questions. Check it out.

    OS: We met Brandon Bass yesterday. Have you talked to him?

    VC: No I haven’t talked to him yet. He is in town? I played against him and admired his game. I felt like he was one of those angry rebounders is what I considered him for many years. I've always liked and enjoyed watching him play at the same time was like man, he’s a beast. I've always felt that. So now to have him on your team is just great. He’s a young, energetic guy who can bring a lot to this team as well.