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Magic’s mentality emerges: It’s defense

There was some shock when the Magic elected to take the offensively raw Aaron Gordon with the fourth overall pick in the Draft. There was a little bit more shock when the Magic pulled the trigger on a deal that sent two picks to Philadelphia to move up two spots and take Eflrid Payton. Both […]

NBA’s best loving Victor Oladipo at Team USA camp

The following quotes via John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com:

“He’s a great player already. I love how he plays and he plays with so much confidence. He totally deserves to be up here (with team USA) and I’m already a big fan of his. I love how he takes the game so serious.

“I’m here for him if he ever needs me. I know how serious he takes it. He’s such a talent with his size, what he can do on the floor and how he reads opponents, especially defensively. He’s a big-time talent.”

–Bulls guard Derrick Rose

(more…)

Head of Puerto Rico Basketball scratching head over Maurice Harkless

I honestly do not know what happened. Everything was going great and now Harkless canceled the trip and everything is complicated. Since then everything has been more difficult. We do not know if the pressure of the Orlando Magic team or the people around him, but communication has not flowed as before. Was a little frustrating.”

Puerto Rico Basketball Federation President Carlos Beltran to Raul Alzaga of Primera Hora (translated by Google Translate)

Maurice Harkless was set to play for Puerto Rico at this summer’s FIBA World Cup and even expressed excitement over the prospect in January when he first agreed to it. It was something many saw as a good thing for Harkless’ development (at least I did).

However, Tuesday, Harkless’ agent announced he would not play for Puerto Rico, choosing to focus on the Magic and the upcoming season. Considering the chance to be a central focus on the team, there may have been disagreements with how Puerto Rico planned to use him (Harkless might be more of an international power forward than wing player) or Harkless simply might have changed his mind.

He declined an offer to visit Puerto Rico in late May and get acclimated before joining the team earlier this month.

Puerto Rico should still have a solid team featuring Jose Juan Barea and Carlos Arroyo. There are also reports they are trying to get Shabazz Napier to join the team.

[h/t Adam Papageorgiou of Magic Basketball Online]

Dwight Howard still burning bridges with former teammates

“[Dwight] Howard also said of [Chandler] Parsons’s departure that it would not affect the team at all. Coming on the heels of the [James] Harden comments. Parsons said he did not mind the comments, but called them “ridiculous.”

The callousness from Howard might hurt Parsons even more. He grew up in Orlando and did have a relationship with Howard as one of the area’s best players in Howard’s city. He helped recruit Howard to Houston and make him comfortable in a new city. His free agency departure was about role and business.

Howard continues to throw former teammates under the bus unintentionally it seems as he moves forward through his career. It takes us back to the Jameer Nelson comments.”

Philip Rossman-Reich, Crossover Chronicles

With all the rhetoric going back and forth in the Rockets camp between Chandler Parsons and the team’s two stars, it is pretty clear Dwight Howard still has not learned how to be quiet.

He tried reaching out to Jameer Nelson to sign with the Rockets, but Nelson opted to go with the rival Mavericks instead.

It just seems at this point that anything Howard says comes out the wrong way and he just cannot say anything nice about his former teammates.

Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

National media still confused with Magic offseason

The offseason is more or less over for the Magic. Friday, the team announced the signing of Luke Ridnour, putting the roster officially at 15 players. That leaves no room for anyone else. Since it is the end of July and the basketball topics are drying up, it is time to review the offseason. Generally, […]

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Defenses turn their eyes toward Nikola Vucevic

It has been a summer of promise for the Magic. They have continued to look at the development of Victor Oladipo and reformed the backcourt with Elfrid Payton. They drafted Aaron Gordon, putting pressure on the forward positions to sort itself out. One thing that appears to be more than constant is center Nikola Vucevic. […]

Tobias Harris excited to rejoin Team USA program

“That makes it even more of a complete honor to be part of something so special. It’s a blessing to be a part of the team. Like anything that I do, I’m going to go with it and just go there and work as hard as I can and play my game. To be recognized to be a part of it, it just shows that the hard work has been paying off and that people respect my game and the hard work that I put in.”

Magic forward Tobias Harris to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

Harris, as Robbins notes, missed out on playing with the U18 team at the 2010 World Championships because of an injury. Getting back in the Team USA program, even through the Select Team (the training partners for the national team as they prepare for the World Cup next month).

With the announcement that Kevin Love is pulling out of the roster pool and with LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin already pulling out, there is a serious gap at power forward. The only power forwards in the roster pool now are Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried and Chandler Parsons. Maybe you can include DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant as potential players who can fill in at that position.

Harris likely will not get that shot in this tournament. The Select Team is used for training and evaluation purposes for future U.S. national teams.

[Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel]

Photo by Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Who Is: Elfrid Payton

The going thought entering this year’s NBA Draft was that the Magic needed to get a point guard. Whether that would be Dante Exum or Marcus Smart with the fourth pick, it was clearly time to move on from Jameer Nelson and turn the reigns over to someone else. That very well could have been […]

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Maurice Harkless goes FIBA

Anyone searching for basketball right now can only look to the end of August and salivate. No matter how many Twitter memes and puns we come up with, it does not replace basketball — even Summer League basketball. We are starting to lament the loss of playground basketball, for crying out loud. The teams prepping […]

Magic sign Devyn Marble

Marble was acquired on draft night from the Denver Nuggets along with Evan Fournier in exchange for Arron Afflalo.

He averaged 9.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in five games at the Orlando Summer League after finishing his collegiate career at Iowa averaging 17.0 points per game as a senior.

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel was first with the report of Marble’s signing. Robbins reports Marble will sign a three-year deal with the first year fully guaranteed and the last two years partially guaranteed.

Photo by Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Victor Oladipo’s next task — efficiency

Without a doubt, the Magic are handing the keys over to their kids. It is Year Three of the rebuild, it is time to see exactly what the Magic have in their cupboard and figure out what the Magic will look like moving forward. It still seems like a bit of a mystery who will […]

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