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Orlando Magic News & Notes: Otis Speaks, Gortat & The 4, Lewis At The 3?


David Aldridge of NBA.com talked to Magic General Manager Otis Smith.

"One year removed from its own Finals appearance, the core of the Magic is set for years to come: Howard in the middle, Rashard Lewis at power forward and Nelson at point guard. Smith will have to make decisions on forward Matt Barnes (who says he’ll opt out of the final year of his contract), on Vince Carter (who has one fully guaranteed year remaining on his contract and a partial guarantee for the 2011-12 season — which would make him an attractive piece to trade). Oh, and valuable bench player J.J. Redick is a restricted free agent this summer, too. But Smith is not looking to make wholesale changes.“That doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said. “We’re not that far away.”Orlando’s ownership has given Smith the green light to go into the luxury tax to keep the team together, and the Magic will be paying tax for the foreseeable future. He already has a general sense of how much the Magic can spend next season. That overarching plan is why Smith has the freedom to do as much or as little as he chooses to alter the roster going into next season. And it also gives him the final say on everything. So, at least for the moment, he’s immune to player grousing about minutes or contracts; there is no room between him and Van Gundy.“I’m the GM of this team,” Smith said. “So they (the players) can’t tell me what they get.”"

You can find that story here.

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel says Charles Oakley ripped Dwight Howard because he is bitter.

"Not to be mean, but is Oakley a complete buffoon or what?It would be one thing if he said Howard needs to develop more of an offensive repertoire, but Oakley loses all credibility when he says Howard wouldn’t have made the league 10 years ago. Such a moronic statement is obviously nothing more than the rantings of a bitter former player who is undergoing the delusional effects of “Old Guy Disease.”Old Guy Disease is that debilitating affliction that causes middle-aged men to say the athletes, music, movies, cars, etc., were so much better when “I was a kid” or “in the old days.”I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Sometimes, I think everybody expects too much of Dwight Howard. He’s already the best rebounder, shot-blocker and defender in the league. I can live with the fact that he can’t hit a 15-foot jumper."

You can find that story here.

Marcin Gortat is going to work very hard this offseason so he can see more time at Power Forward.

"In addition to his arsenal of thunderous slams, Gortat hopes to add a 17 to 18-foot jumper to his offensive repertoire during the summer. It’s a trait that he believes will not only increase his point totals, but help him find more court time at a variety of positions.“If I can consistently shoot 17 to 18-foot jumpers then I am going to be able to play as a four man a little bit more,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a problem with me playing there from a defensive standpoint. I’m pretty confident that I can defend most of the fours in the league and I definitely know the defensive rotations and the defensive schemes. But I have to improve my offensive game. I believe I have offensive game; I just have to show it.”In his ideal world, the pride of Poland would like be the first big man off the bench, regardless of whether it’s All-Star center Dwight Howard or power forward Rashard Lewis heading to the pine. But he’s well aware that unless he’s able to consistently knock down a mid-range shot and stretch the floor, his dream is unlikely to come to fruition.“I have to improve my shooting ability and just be consistent with that,” said Gortat. “If I am able to be consistent with my shooting, hit that 17 to 18-footer and be more aggressive then I really, really believe that I am going to be (able to also play as) a four man next year.”"

Dan Savage of OrlandoMagic.com has that story here.

Ben Q. Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post discusses the possibility of Rashard Lewis at Small Forward.

"I do think Van Gundy has to consider letting Lewis play the three more often. As I wrote in my evaluation of Lewis’ disappointing season, my “biggest concern about” him is that he’s “too talented to keep loitering on the weak side, waiting for a kickout, for 33 minutes a night.” Getting him more varied looks will make him a more dangerous offensive weapon. But if Orlando is to play him there, it needs to find someone who can cover small forwards at the other end. Sadly, defenders with such versatility are hard to come by in this league. You’d have to think that Dallas’ Shawn Marion would be ideal, though."

You can find that story here.

Eddy Rivera of MagicBasketball.net took a look at Orlando’s shooting guards, Vince Carter and J.J. Redick.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, a contributor on the Fansided Front Page and on Sir Charles In Charge. Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).