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Danilo Nikolic to Play for Magic at Orlando Summer League

2016 May 6
by Adam Papageorgiou
KK Mega Leks

KK Mega Leks

The Orlando Magic may have their first player commitment for the upcoming Orlando Summer League that will take place July 2nd-8th. Danilo Nikolic is a 23-year-old 6’9″ stretch PF who, according to his agent Misko Raznatovic, will be running up and down the Amway Center practice court while wearing a Magic jersey.

 

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Gun Charges May Cost Keith Appling Magic Career and More

2016 May 5
by Adam Papageorgiou

kapp

You’ve probably already read that Keith Appling was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon under the driver’s seat of his car, possession of a loaded firearm in the trunk of his vehicle, and possession of a small amount of marijuana. This all occurred outside of a Dearborn, Michigan strip club last Sunday evening. That state is ‘home’ for Keith.

If the Michigan State alum was packing an AK-47, or visiting a strip joint, or whipped out his weapon from the back of the trunk of his vehicle, or not, is beside the point, the 24-year-old didn’t make the correct decision. If you have to go anywhere with multiple weapons in your possession, then you’re setting yourself up for a situation where the authorities may catch and arrest you. Unfortunately, Michigan’s Mr. Basketball (2010) got caught.

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Where in Florida Should the Magic D-League Team Reside?

2016 April 30
by Adam Papageorgiou

Wideworldofsports-newstatuary

The Orlando Magic are expected to make a final decision later this year on where they want their NBA Development League franchise to reside beginning in the 2017-2018 season. That’s when Orlando’s 3-year single-affiliate relationship with the Erie BayHawks will have ended, and it won’t be renewed.

Since Rob Hennigan became GM, the Magic organization has always wanted its D-League team to be in or near the sunshine state. Erie, Pennsylvania doesn’t exactly meet that criteria. But there are no D-League franchises currently in the southeast part of the country. That’s about to change though. The Charlotte Hornets will have a team in Greensboro, NC next season. The Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, and Atlanta Hawks are all looking at having teams in the region by 2017, matching Orlando’s ideal timetable.

According to a February report from the Orlando Sentinel, the Magic were expected to receive hosting requests from four Florida venues: ESPN Wide World of Sports’ HP Field House, the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, and The Lakeland Center. Those were confirmed by CEO Alex Martins, and all four were supposed to send official proposals by late-March. I’m assuming they did.

The Magic currently run Erie’s basketball operations as part of their three-year agreement. They manage the coaching staff transact players, but they do not own the BayHawks or run the business operations of the team. So it’ll be pretty easy for Orlando to make the transition. The Magic are supposedly open to having a similar ‘affiliate’ relationship with this next D-League team, but it’s appealing to completely own the team and run everything.

So which of the 4 venues should the Magic pick? Let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with.

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Who Will Sponsor Orlando’s Jersey in the 2017-2018 Season?

2016 April 23
by Adam Papageorgiou

vospriteslamdunkpatch

A 3-year pilot program was approved by the NBA owners last week which will allow teams – including your Orlando Magic – to sell a corporate advertising logo on their jerseys. The size of the jersey ads will be quite small at 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches. For anyone that enjoys international soccer or basketball, this is a long time coming and makes a ton of sense for the NBA to earn some easy money.

The program will begin in the 2017-2018 season. That’s when Nike takes over jersey creating duties from Adidas. The hope is that each team will make around $4-6 million per season. The NBA logo was already moved to the back of the jersey, so what you’ll see is the Nike logo on the right, with the advertising logo on the left.

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Reviewing ESPN’s ‘This Magic Moment’ 30 for 30 Film

2016 April 14
by Adam Papageorgiou
Courtesy of ESPN

Courtesy of ESPN

I had the pleasure of seeing the mid-’90s Orlando Magic finally get deserved attention by ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series with their latest production of ‘This Magic Moment’. I saw the film on the ESPN channel like the rest of America did, but I also viewed it the week before the television debut in a cinema.

With that said, here’s my review of the documentary.

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WATCH: Magic Exit Interviews Leading into 2016 Offseason

2016 April 14
by Adam Papageorgiou

vicexit

The Orlando Magic are certainly disappointed that they are not participating in yet another postseason. The pain of experiencing a horrible stretch from January through mid-March was still in many voices. But they are 10 wins better than last season. They are close to making that next jump. It’s just a matter of how the team chooses to improve itself. Here’s to a successful offseason for all associated with the franchise.

Free agency, national team duty, personal and team improvement, all were just some topics brought up.

Rob Hennigan:

 

Scott Skiles:

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Orlando Concludes 2015-2016 Season with Defeat in Charlotte

2016 April 13
by Adam Papageorgiou
Brock Williams-Smith/Getty Images

Brock Williams-Smith/Getty Images

The Orlando Magic have concluded their 2015-2016 season with a 35-47 record after falling in Charlotte to the Hornets 117-103 on Wednesday evening. That’s still a ten-victory improvement in comparison to last Magic season. Still, all Scott Skiles will think about is that awful January and February that saw the team go from a playoff team to a struggling mess.

It’s the 4th straight year this franchise won’t be in the playoffs as an enormous summer looms to try and improve the squad. Orlando never led this final contest, but threatened to take the lead early in the fourth period despite trailing by as many as 22 points to the Hornets.

Aaron Gordon notched a career-tying 22 points in his first game back after recovering from a concussion suffered last week. Evan Fournier also tallied 22 points. Nikola Vucevic added 17 points. Mario Hezonja contributed 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. The problem was obviously defense though, giving up 54.7 FG% to the hosts. Al Jefferson led the Hornets with 26 points.

Below is the game recap.

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Source: Orlando Won’t Entertain a Dwight Howard Return

2016 April 13
by Adam Papageorgiou

d12

A source in contact with the Orlando Magic front office confirms to Magic Basketball Online that the team will not pursue former franchise center Dwight Howard this upcoming offseason. The 30-year-old will most likely utilize the opt-out clause in his contract with the Houston Rockets, which would then make him a free agent. Howard will be seeking one last massive deal with his prime years behind him.

There have been murmurs of #12 coming back to O-Town ever since Shams Charania of The Vertical reported in mid-March that Dwight dumped Dan Fegan as his agent and replaced Fegan with Shaquille O’Neal‘s agent, Perry Rogers.

The potential Shaq-Dwight ‘partnership’ is a rather peculiar one considering the two have had verbal spats when O’Neal was still playing, and even earlier this 2016 calendar year (deep into Shaq’s retirement). The tug-of-war over the claiming of the ‘Superman’ nickname has never vanished over the long period in time. Charania does mention the marketing aspect, and money can turn rivals into allies really quickly.

O’Neal stopped playing in the NBA after the 2010-2011 season. The 44-year-old will soon be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Shaq’s advertising deals are not disappearing any time soon, but why not also try and make some extra money by partnering up with an active player that you have something in common with? Ride that gravy train. Dwight isn’t the perennial All-Star and top-10 league player that he once was with the Magic, but Howard is still likely to get offered a maximum salary by one of the 30 teams in the Association. A successful rehabilitation of Dwight’s image could once again attract the attention of advertisers.

None of this interests the Orlando front office though, no matter how many rumors you may hear of a ‘Magic-Dwight’ reunion this upcoming offseason.

It’s important to the Magic to have quality individuals both on and off the court, and Howard doesn’t fall in line with the franchise’s viewpoint. Dwight has changed a lot since departing Orlando the first time back in 2012, and in many ways it hasn’t been for the better. You know my personal opinion on the matter.

Even if Dwight were to consider accepting some sort of ‘discount’ to come back to the Magic, the team is not interested at this time.

A popular rumor currently circulating is Dwight teaming up in Orlando with Chandler Parsons. The 27-year-old Dallas Mavericks forward was born in Casselberry, which is just north of downtown. Parsons attended high school at Lake Howell in nearby Winter Park, and is a Florida Gator. Parsons signed his Mavericks contract at a local club in downtown in the summer of 2014. He could opt out of that contract this summer in search of a larger payday as a free agent.

The source also informs ‘MBO’ that the Magic see multiple concerns when it comes to throwing a maximum contract in the direction of Chandler Parsons. The biggest worry is Parsons’ health. He’s now undergone 2 major surgeries in the past two years.

Magic GM Rob Hennigan and his front office staff undoubtedly have a lot of pressure to reach the playoffs in the 2016-2017 campaign. Ownership and fans won’t tolerate a fifth straight season of not making the playoffs. The team has potentially $45+ million in cap space to work with this summer. It would take all of the cap space they had to acquire Howard and Parsons. That may not be a wise decision considering how crucial it is to ‘get it right’.

The risk of a Dwight Howard return – as well as the acquisition of an also injury-prone Parsons – in Magic pinstripes crashing-and-burning in immense failure is far too high to even entertain the thought. There are better options with the assets and cap space currently in Orlando’s possession.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO.

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WATCH: Orlando Players React to Final Home Win this Season

2016 April 11

orlbuck

It’s unknown how much of the current 14-man Orlando Magic roster will return come October, but they could at least enjoy one final victory at Amway Center this season and to leave their fans on a high. You have Dewayne Dedmon and Evan Fournier looking at free agency. Mario Hezonja trying to steal away minutes from other wings. Elfrid Payton trying to cement his status as the franchise’s point guard.

All of them have their own problems and worries, but they grouped together and pulled off one last short-handed victory. First time Orlando’s won their final home game since 2012.

Mario Hezonja:

 

Evan Fournier:

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Orlando Earns Victory Against Milwaukee on Fan Appreciation Night

2016 April 11
by Adam Papageorgiou

milorl

On Fan Appreciation Night, the Orlando Magic put a lot of smiles on fans’ faces as the final buzzer sounded on Monday night. Orlando took down the Milwaukee Bucks 107-98. On an evening where Nikola Vucevic, Victor Oladipo, and Aaron Gordon sat out due to injury, the pinstriped patrol got large contributions from several sources.

Ersan Ilyasova scored 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting. Mario Hezonja had his best game as a rookie: 19 points, a career-high 7 assists, a career-high 5 steals, and 3 rebounds on 7-of-11 shooting. Dewayne Dedmon tallied 17 points and 8 rebounds. Evan Fournier notched 13 points. Elfrid Payton tallied 11 points and 11 assists. Jason Smith was the sixth Magic man in double figures with 10 points.

Milwaukee never led in the contest. They got 23 points from Greg Monroe. Jabari Parker and Khris Middleton added 17 points each. Milwaukee shot 52.6 FG%. Orlando 48.8 FG%. Orlando made four more 3-pointers than their foes. The Magic shared the ball better too, a 28-18 advantage.

The Magic have 35 wins, ten more than last season. It’s progress when you don’t focus on two and a half months of disappointment in between. The Magic finish 23-18 at Amway Center.

Below is the game recap.

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