Despite the kid-in-the-candy-store look of [Otis] Smith's approach, there was calculation there. He picked his targets, went after them strategically, and assembled one of the deepest and most talented rosters in the league. But among all of those moves, Smith made one pretty sizable misstep; how would the newly signed Brandon Bass find minutes in a front court featuring Rashard Lewis, Dwight Howard, [Marcin] Gortat, and [Ryan] Anderson? You don't willingly pay $4 million a year for bench filler, which is essentially what Bass has become. Brandon has played in just 30 of Orlando's 53 games, with many of those opportunities coming due to injuries in the rotation.
On the block: Brandon Bass, Magic
Sean Deveney of The Baseline believes Orlando is willing to trade Bass provided it gets "salary relief" or "help on the wings."
More after the jump.
Sizing Up Dwight Howard's Latest Endorsement
Bethlehem Shoals of NBA FanHouse humorously breaks down Dwight Howard's latest endorsement with Ed Hardy, a fashion brand.
Theology aside, there are major marketing pitfalls involved here. Rocking a label is one thing; being officially identified with it makes you responsible for, and eternally linked with, every single high-profile American figure fond of consuming the brand. In the case of Ed Hardy, this includes an alarming number of reality show stars. I have prepared this handy dossier in hopes that Dwight Howard will consider these unholy alliances, and plan his future with the company accordingly.
Hoping D-Rose is OK
Dwight Howard offers praise for Derrick Rose.
D-Rose is a really good guy. We spent a lot of time together last summer when we went to China as part of an Adidas trip. We spent a lot of time talking and really built a good relationship. He’s such a good dude.
I just told him that he’s off to a really good start to his career and to stay on track. You can already see how he’s such a good leader for that team. He does it by example instead of being a rah-rah talker. I like that ‘cause that’s the way I try to lead.
Here's a dozen NBA commodities that could figure into deadline deals
UPDATE: Chris Sheridan of ESPN.com explains some of the commodities that a number of teams in the NBA have that are non-playing trade assets. For example, here's an explanation of the $6.86 million trade exception Orlando has in its disposal (from the Hedo Turkoglu sign-and-trade with the Toronto Raptors) and its practical uses:
A trade exception is special because it can be used to acquire a player while getting around the rule requiring the other team to send back a player or players in return whose salaries are within 125 percent of the traded player's salary. In other words, you can trade garbage, such as a conditional second-round pick or the rights to Yuri Eurostiff, and take back a player whose salary fits within the size of the trade exception. It is this particular rule that allows cap guys to get creative when coming up with multi-team trade scenarios.
NBA: Ranking the top rooks and sophs together
UPDATE 2: David Thorpe of ESPN Insider talks about Ryan Anderson.
[...] when Anderson started in place of Rashard Lewis early in the season, he was excellent. There are a number of big guys who can shoot, but not nearly as many who can play. Anderson can do both.
Which 1-on-1 matchups would you like to see?
UPDATE 3: John Krolik of ProBasketballTalk wonders which 1-on-1 matchups people would like to see.
Steph Curry vs. Jameer Nelson
After Curry's explosion against the Clippers and Brandon Jennings' 55-point game against the Warriors early in the season, it's become clear that the ultimate rookie performance would happen if Steph Curry was somehow able to play with Steph Curry guarding him. Sadly, that's impossible, but Nelson's game and build are fairly similar. Nelson's a better defender than Curry, but he's no Alvin Robertson either.
Outlook for Eastern Conference teams for Feb. 18 trade deadline
UPDATE 4: I'd like to know who this "rival executive" is.
A rival executive described the Magic as being unhappy with their roster and eager to make a deal to shake things up. Bass has been a non-factor since signing a four-year, $18 million deal and is priced to move. The Magic's trade exception -- acquired in the Hedo Turkoglu deal last offseason -- is attractive to teams looking to shed payroll. Several teams have called about Redick, though the Magic have been reluctant to part with the shooting guard, who was effective during Vince Carter's putrid January.