On the surface, it'd appear that the coaches of the Orlando Magic and the Charlotte Bobcats would have similar ideas, as both Jacque Vaughn and Mike Dunlap are in their first seasons at the helm of an NBA club, and both Charlotte and Orlando are in the midst of rebuilding efforts. But one gets the impression, after meeting with each man, that they're approaching at least one thing very differently: the NBA trade deadline, which is Thursday at 3 PM Eastern.
Dunlap says he's taken some of his players aside to speak with them one-on-one about the deadline.
"It's a control/non-control situation," Dunlap said before Tuesday's game between his team and Vaughn's, "but not to acknowledge it is probably not the smartest thing to do if you can see the guys are not aware of how it plays.
"So you talk about it, but you don't dote on it and you don't sit around and make it a primary focus. And sometimes, just by asking 'em a question about that, you can learn some stuff and open 'em up just to talk about it. I think that can be of some benefit. I'm a big believer in communication, even if it's uncomfortable communication."
Vaughn's philosophy is a bit different. He said he hadn't spoken to any of his players directly about Thursday's deadline. "That's just not the way I think about it," Vaughn said. After pausing for a second, he continued. "Totally, I guess, it'd be the opposite train of thought."
Vaughn then described his message to the team as a whole:
'Prepare for right now. That's all you have to be concerned about. When Thursday comes, Thursday will come and pass, [and] something will happen or it won't.'
"That's how simple you have to keep it," Vaughn said in summary. "Unless your blood pressure raises."
The sheer volume of rumors surrounding the Magic, particularly shooting guard J.J. Redick, is sure to raise the blood pressure of some Orlando fans. In that way, fans and players are in the same boat, proverbially speaking: they're in a situation they can't control.
Redick himself isn't sweating the deadline, telling Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel that there's "no gut-churning, no nervousness."
Fans and players might do well to take that approach as the deadline draws nearer. As for the coaches, I'm inclined to trust their judgment on how to handle their respective teams. Time will tell which approach proved more beneficial.