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Orlando Magic News for July 24th: Otis Smith And Matt Barnes Speak; Taking A Look At Player Data

  • Otis Smith talks about the Matt Barnes signing
    Josh Robbins catches up with general manager Otis Smith.

    I spoke with Smith earlier, and I asked him what Barnes brings to the Magic.

    "He’s another bigger defender to defend the bigger forwards and guards in our league," Smith said. "He’s somebody who can shoot the ball and pass the ball pretty well. He’s a tougher defender."

    I also asked if this team now is deeper from roster spots 1 through 11 than last season’s team that reached the NBA Finals.

    "On paper, probably," Smith said. "But we don’t play it on paper. So, we have to see how the season shakes out to start saying is this team better or not. But I like the team we’re putting together now. I think we have a chance. We still have some work to do. I’d still like to add a point guard."

    Once again, Smith said he’ll be patient as he tries to find the right fit with a backup point guard.
  • Matt Barnes on why he chose the Magic: "I just really thought it was a great opportunity."
    Here's what Matt Barnes had to say about joining the Orlando Magic. Check out the full transcript because there's a lot of good quotes from him.

    Q: Your agent, Aaron Goodwin, who also represents Dwight Howard, said Howard helped recruit you. Can you explain?

    A: Yeah, it was pretty crazy. [Dwight] texted me one morning, like, "Hey, you’re at the top of the list. What’s going on?" I’m like, "The final two teams are you and Cleveland, but I’m very interested in coming out there." Five hours later, my agent called me and said, "These guys want to offer you a deal. They don’t have much money, but it’s a good situation, and the potential is the sky." It’d give me the chance to play in the playoffs and go for a ring, and playing with Dwight is all great.
  • All-Decade Teams: The 2000s
    Justin Kubatko of Basketball-Reference comes up with All-Decade teams for the 2000s, using a particular weighting scheme to compile the rosters. Former Orlando Magic player, Tracy McGrady, lands on the list. Where?

    Click on the link to find out.

  • Nichols and Dime: At Which Positions Are Great Players the Most Important?
    Jon Nichols of Hardwood Paroxysm examines which positions are great players the most important. The data is certainly intriguing. 

    Three of the positions (point guards, power forwards, and centers) are bunched together, one is clearly lower than the rest (small forwards), and one is clearly higher (shooting guards). This evidence further supports the original conclusion I made that small forwards are the most important. After all, we have the weakest group to choose from at that position yet they still have the most positive effect. On the other hand, there are a lot of excellent shooting guards in the NBA, yet their impact is much less significant. And still, I have yet to find an excuse for point guards. They are often seen as the floor general and the player crucial to a team’s success, but remember who the two starting point guards in the Finals were (Derek Fisher and Rafer Alston). Of course, there are still potentially hundreds of hidden variables that could have an explanation for why my data underrates them.