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Victor Oladipo: Summer League Review & Highlights

2014 July 17
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

While a lot of Orlando Summer League attention was on Magic rookies Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton, and Devyn Marble, let us not forget a very important sophomore. Victor Oladipo has been handed the keys to the franchise and a lot of weight will be placed on the Indiana Hoosier’s shoulders to drive the team towards contention. Victor played in only three of the five contests during the exhibition, but displayed improvement at both point guard and shooting guard. His averages at 27 minutes per contest were 17.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, and 2.7 apg on 42.5 FG%, 35.7 3PT%, and 75.0 FT%. The best statistic not listed is that Victor didn’t turn the ball over more than 3 times in a game. Huge leaps from last year. On an overall scale, it was a great performance from the 22-year-old.  Let’s take a look at Victor’s 2014 Summer League.


July 5th – 83-77 win over the Philadelphia 76ers

18 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block on 6-of-11 shooting (2-of-4 on 3s) in 26 minutes.

Victor started at point guard and for the most part stayed at that position the entire contest. Immediately you see Oladipo feed Aaron Gordon a transition cross court pass for a dunk. It’s a beautiful assist that Victor would not have attempted last year. Then you see Victor show his basketball savvy by catching Pierre Jackson’s hand in the cookie jar and forcing the ref to call a shooting foul. Next, Victor drains an open 3-pointer from a spot where he shot 29.73% from last season. Oladipo then steals Casper Ware‘s lunch money and finishes through Ware’s foul for an elegant and-1 lay-up finish. Mr. Feathery concludes an energetic first half with a recovery 3-point rejection from behind on Ware.

Victor begins his 2nd half with a right side drive and floater that Jameer Nelson would’ve been proud of. Victor then chooses to pull-up out of a screen and drains long 2-pointer at a spot where he shot 31.34% last season. Oladipo wasn’t shy to work on his weak points since April. Next, Victor gets an easy assist to Kim English and then follows up with a swift 2-hand pass to a cutting Dewayne Dedmon for a clean look at the rim. Oladipo selects again to pull up out of a screen for foot-on-the-line 2-pointer at a spot where he shot 38.46% in the ’13-’14 campaign. Vic finishes his 18-point performance by drilling a contested right corner 3-pointer from a Seth Curry feed.

A fantastic showing for Oladipo and a sign that his competitive spirit is a strong as ever. Victor in the postgame interview would share that he lost 20 pounds, dropping from 230 to 210 lbs though it’s tough to tell. Rob Hennigan must be thrilled that his young leader has adopted the “process” term.


Below you’ll find more of Victor Oladipo’s Summer League week.

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Luke Ridnour to Sign with Orlando Magic

2014 July 16
by Adam Papageorgiou

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Charlotte Bobcats

It’s been rumored for weeks that the Orlando Magic were seeking a veteran point guard to round out the roster, they may have found one in Luke Ridnour. The Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins is reporting that the Magic are expected to sign the 33-year-old and are finalizing a deal.

TNT’s David Aldridge believes Ridnour will be signed for a 2-year, $5.5 million contract. The second season is non-guaranteed. If Luke only makes $2.75 million per season, Orlando would still be about $2 million shy of the salary floor.

The University of Oregon product made $4.32 million last season. The 6′ 2″ combo guard spent his time in ’13-’14 with the Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte. Ridnour was traded by the Bucks along with Gary Neal on February 20th to Charlotte in exchange for Jeff Adrien and Ramon Sessions. Combining his stints with both teams last season, Luke played in 61 games – started 14 of them – and averaged 5.0 ppg, 2.9 apg, and 1.6 rpg on 38.5 FG% and 34.3 3PT% at 18.7 minutes per contest.

In 4 playoff games against the Miami Heat as a Charlotte player, Luke averaged 2.5 ppg, 3.0 apg, and 1.0 rpg on 30.8 FG% and 33.3 3PT% on just 9 minutes per contest. Ridnour has played in 783 career regular season games, starting in 493 of them. His averages are 9.6 ppg, 4.6 apg, 1.0 spg, and 2.3 rpg on 43.1 FG% and 35.0 3PT%.


Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Aaron Gordon Astounds with Dribbling & Pass Skills at Pro Am

2014 July 16
by Adam Papageorgiou


Orlando Magic rookie forward Aaron Gordon, following his Summer League performance, recently returned to the Bay Area to participate in the San Francisco Pro Am. The 18-year-old San Jose, California native put on quite a spectacle of phenomenal dribbling and passing skills that I’m sure will have Magic fans craving to see at some point in the near future. Credit to ballislife for the clip.

I could swear I was watching the offspring of Jason Williams going ‘White Chocolate’ mode on us or Rafer Alston pulling off a ‘Skip To My Lou’. Very impressive for a 6′ 9″ guy to pull off. You can see why Aaron and the Magic coaching staff believes Gordon can be a small forward. He has the handles for it, that’s for certain. All about having that confidence in himself during NBA contests. There are some dunks in there that he makes look way too easy. Get excited for some youth infusion, Orlando.

Apparently in the game where that highlight clip comes from, Aaron notched a triple-double. Exhibition or not, that’s great.

More good news for Aaron Gordon, he is a member of the NIKE family now.

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

New Orlando Magic Uniform Revealed

2014 July 16
by Adam Papageorgiou


A new Orlando Magic ‘Christmas Day’ jersey (see bottom left of image above) from Adidas has been revealed for the upcoming ’14-’15 season, courtesy of Uni Watch. No it doesn’t mean the Magic will play on Christmas, though it’s not out of the question considering the franchise has some very promising young players such as Victor Oladipo. Adidas made a Christmas uniform for all 30 teams. Even if a franchise doesn’t play on Christmas, its fans can still purchase the uniform.

I love the Magic’s secondary logo, I just don’t believe it should be used as a primary logo on a jersey. The tail on the ball just makes things very asymmetrical. The other big difference in the blue jersey is that the template shows the player’s FIRST name will be on the back of the jersey UNDER the number and not above it. I would imagine that would benefit people who like Tobias Harris or Elfrid Payton since they have less ordinary first names. Also, Evan Fournier, Ben Gordon, Aaron Gordon, Kyle O’Quinn, and other Magic men have common enough first names that plenty of Magic fans with those similar first names could be interested in buying a jersey. Some foreign soccer and basketball organizations have names placed under the numbers, another feature that NBA fans are not accustomed to.

Keep in mind, these Christmas uniforms are NOT the rumored ‘Pride’ jerseys that Adidas will also be revealing for the Magic and six other NBA franchises. It is assumed Orlando’s jersey will have sleeves and be in gray. I hope these will be the first sleeved jerseys with pinstripes in the league since the Magic are the only franchise that utilize pinstripes in their daily uniforms. I’ll reserve judgement until the jersey is revealed. Some sleeved uniforms look much better than others.


Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Anthony Randolph Waived by Magic

2014 July 15
by Adam Papageorgiou


A day after being acquired in a trade with the Chicago Bulls, the Orlando Magic have officially waived Anthony Randolph. Today (July 15th) is Anthony’s birthday. Randolph was set to earn $1,825,359 in the 2014-2015 campaign. That amount is fully guaranteed, counts against this season’s salary cap, and will be fully paid out by the Magic as long as another team doesn’t claim Anthony off waivers. The Louisiana State University product who was born in Germany has now technically been on 6 NBA teams in 6 seasons and will now be seeking employment elsewhere.

In his career, Randolph has played in 252 regular season games having started 43 of them and has averaged 7.1 ppg and 4.3 rpg on 45.3 FG% and 24.1 3PT%. The 6′ 10″ forward has also played in 5 career playoff games with the Denver Nuggets back in 2013, tallying 5.2 ppg on 81.8 FG%. It’s evident that Magic GM Rob Hennigan didn’t want Randolph taking away minutes from his other players.


Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek


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Does Andrew Nicholson Have One Foot Out the Door?

2014 July 15
by Adam Papageorgiou


This is a guest piece contribution by Tyler Kobylinksi.


Yes, Orlando Magic fans, Andrew Nicholson is still on the roster… for now. Drafted 19th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, Nicholson received high praise from scouts for his effectiveness in the paint and his ability to score with his back to the basket. Out of St. Bonaventure, Nicholson averaged 18.4 ppg as a senior, leading the Bonnies to an NCAA tournament birth and receiving the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year nod.

In his rookie season, Nicholson started 28 games while also playing off the bench behind veteran Glen Davis, averaging 7.8 ppg. The two backup PF’s (Tony Battie and Brian Cook) from the Magic regular season squad that eventually went to the NBA Finals in 2009 averaged a combined 7.8 ppg for that season – showing that Nicholson’s production was at an equal level of an NBA Finals caliber team for his position. Andrew was rewarded for his success in the form of becoming an All-Star Weekend participant in the Rising Stars Challenge. Magic GM Rob Hennigan was countlessly praised by basketball analysts and scouts for getting a ‘steal’ in Nicholson.

So What Happened?

The key factor to analyze in Andrew’s 2012-2013 campaign is that he took ZERO three point attempts the entire season. Somewhere between the Milwaukee trade that brought in Tobias Harris and the 2013 offseason that included the signing of Jason Maxiell, it was decided that Andrew Nicholson would be transitioned into a stretch four position player in an attempt to spread the floor and add another three-point scorer to the roster- think Rashard Lewis.

Out of the blue, Andrew Nicholson had debuted his new 3-point shooting weapon while on international duty for Jay Triano’s Canadian national team at the FIBA Americas Championship. You know what? Andrew was draining those 3-pointers averaging 45.5 3P% (10-of-22)  in the tournament. It initially looked like Andrew was going to make a sophomore leap in Orlando.

It didn’t quite end up that way after a hot start. Nicholson went from taking 0 three-point shots in 2012/13 to taking 89 in 2013/14, of which he made 28, a lowly 31% from behind the arc. This resulted in his ppg dropping by over 2 points to 5.7 ppg. Compare this to Rashard Lewis, who in 2013/14 was deep in a Miami bench and still attempted 134 three-point shots.

It was not a matter of Andrew being moved to a new position, or the fact that he only took 89 three-points attempts; it’s that he lost the confidence that he had coming into the NBA after averaging almost 20 points per contest at St. Bonaventure. The Magic took a second-year player, coming off a decent rookie season as a back-up and said, ‘we are going to completely change your game and we expect results in one season’. That doesn’t sound like the Rob Hennigan I know. Nicholson was the fifth most efficient player in the 2012 NBA Draft and the 1st-most efficient at his position. So why change it?

What’s Next?

Things are not looking much brighter for Nicholson. With the drafting of Aaron Gordon and the addition of a true stretch four in Channing Frye – who took 432 three-point attempts last season – there seems to be little room on the depth chart for Nicholson. He’s too slow to play the SF position and too small to play the C position. Even if Tobias Harris gets moved back to his natural position of SF, the team still has three PF’s.

One can make an argument for Aaron Gordon playing the SF position and moving Harkless to the SG position, freeing up a roster spot at PF; however, if Elfrid Payton is the Magic’s PG of the future then there is no doubt Oladipo will be getting more minutes at the SG position pushing Harkless to third on the depth chart in that role behind Oladipo and Ben Gordon.

Any way you slice it, all roads lead to Nicholson not fitting into the role that Orlando’s staff needs him to play – ironically enough, a role that we did not draft him to play. Andrew is in the midst of a crucial offseason, one with no international duty involved. If he doesn’t impress come training camp, a trip to the Erie BayHawks awaits. Nicholson needs to prove he’s worthy of having his $2.38 million ’15-’16 team option picked up. It’s only a matter of time before the longest-tenured Magic player, at a whopping 748 days and counting, is no more.


Tyler Kobylinksi is a guest MBO contributor and future legal correspondent.

Magic Make Asset Acquisition Trade with Bulls

2014 July 14

NBA: Charlotte Bobcats at Denver Nuggets

Reported first by USA Today Sports’ Sam Amick, the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls participated in a minor trade on Monday that has Chicago shedding salary, and Orlando gaining assets such as Anthony Randolph‘s contract  in return.

The extra details were then filled in by the Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins, and then later confirmed in an official announcement by the Orlando Magic organization.  

Due to league regulations, Orlando had to give something back in exchange for the two 2nd rounders, Randolph’s salary, and the cash considerations. So the Magic sent the rights to 2007 draft night acquisition Milovan Rakovic. The 29-year-old Serbian big man was drafted 60th by the Dallas Mavericks in ’07, only to be dealt to Orlando for Reyshawn Terry who was the Magic’s 44th overall pick. Neither has played a second in an NBA regular season contest.

The ‘Rak Attack’ did come to Orlando in 2009, but never wore a jersey at RDV Sportsplex for Summer League due to paperwork problems with Orlando and Milovan’s European squad Spartak St. Petersburg. Without the proper paperwork, Rakovic wasn’t allowed to step onto the court. That’s the closest Rak Attack came to playing for the Magic. Ever since Milovan Rakovic signed a multi-year contract back in the summer of 2010 with Montepaschi Siena in Italy, it’s been assumed that Rakovic would never wear Magic pinstripes. Rakovic isn’t the player he used to be. He has a ferocious on-court nature that’s similar to say a Nikola Pekovic or Marcin Gortat. Problem is the talent and athleticism was always lacking for Milovan.

Anthony Randolph turns 25 years old on July 15th. So his birthday present is to be waived by Orlando shortly after the Bulls acquired him from Denver on June 26th. Last season, 6′ 10″ floor spacer averaged 4.8 ppg and 2.8 rpg on 38.6 FG% and 29.5 3PT% in 43 games with the Nuggets. So gain, view the Louisiana State University product as just a contract. He’s being waived so the Magic can bring in another player. Even with Randolph’s $1.825,359 salary for ’14-’15 on the books, the Magic are still a few million short of reaching the salary floor. That may change if GM Rob Hennigan signs a veteran point guard.


Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Channing Frye Orlando Magic Introduction Interview

2014 July 14
by Adam Papageorgiou


Channing Frye was officially introduced by the Orlando Magic this afternoon. The 31-year-old is definitely an eloquent speaker who his very animated with his hands. Frye talked about his past heart condition, the long road to recovery, Grant Hill chats, his value as a big man who can spread the court, how he had 10-14 teams recruiting him during free agency, Jacque Vaughn‘s superior paddle skills, and much more.

As heard in the second video clip, Channing Frye will be wearing #8 in Orlando. Magic rookie Devyn Marble will be given jersey #11. As a sign of thanks, Channing tweeted out that he owes Devyn for kindly giving Frye the number.


Here’s Rob Hennigan speaking about Frye and how he may have one or two more transactions up his sleeve. 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Orlando Magic Officially Sign Channing Frye

2014 July 14
by Adam Papageorgiou


It’s been a lengthy wait, but the Orlando Magic have officially signed perimeter specialist Channing Frye.

Here’s Magic GM Rob Hennigan on his newest acquisition:

“We’re extremely excited to welcome Channing (Frye) and his family to Orlando,” said Hennigan.  “Channing’s character, competiveness, veteran experience, and leadership ability are valuable additions to our developing team. His ability to stretch the floor and play sound team defense are also ways in which we envision Channing helping our team moving forward.” 

Frye’s 4-year deal has the 6′ 11″ Arizona Wildcats product making $8,560,707 in ’14-’15. $8,175,476 in ’15-’16, $7,807,579 in ’16-’17, and $7,456,238 in the 2017-2018 campaign.

The 31-year-old Frye spent his last 4 seasons with the Phoenix Suns. Last season in 82 starts with the Suns, Frye averaged 11.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, and 1.2 apg at 43.2 FG%, 82.1 FT%, and 37.0 3PT% on 28.2 minutes per contest. It’ll be interesting to see how Channing and first cousin Tobias Harris can coexist on the court together during stretches of games this upcoming season.


Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

An Exclusive Parody Interview with Elfrid Payton’s Hair

2014 July 14
by Adam Papageorgiou


Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Orlando Magic rookie point guard Elfrid Payton began his NBA career at Summer League. Simultaneously though, Elfrid Payton’s hair made its debut on Twitter. No, not kidding. His hair.

Even more unlikely, MBO set up an exclusive interview with Elfrid’s hair. It was a hair-raising affair. Enjoy the Q & A.


Elfrid’s groomed you to be the hair you are for 4 years and counting. What type of bond do you share together?

It’s been a trying couple of years. We have had our differences – so much so that I thought there was a time that he would cut me. But when you get through those awkward middle stages, the bond gets stronger and stronger and it becomes nearly impossible to part.


What’s your attitude and personality like both on and off the court?

You have got to have a different form of tenacity on the court; however, I try to keep things light during game time. I don’t want to slow Elfrid down. Off the court I get all the attention and make all the jokes, obviously.


How much credit do you deserve for Elfrid’s superb court vision? Are you his extra pair of eyes?

I take no credit for his court vision, but I do take credit for his explosiveness. I have to stay aerodynamic which adds to Elfrid’s quickness on the court.


What products does Elfrid use on you?

We’re trying to get endorsement deals, so as of now we’re open to discussions. Any recommendations?

I’ll leave any suggestions to your locker room teammates.


Do you ever have a bad day?



Do you get jealous of other hair?

When I was smaller and less unique I often had hair envy. Basketball is a great place for me because not since Dennis Rodman has anyone really had hair that people talked about like they have with me.


Do you get bothered when other people touch you?

Do you get bothered when people touch you? I didn’t think so.


Any game day rituals you do with Elfrid?

We tend to sing duets together before games. Frozen has been one we’ve been stuck on for a few months now – I am a much better Elsa than he is.


After a great Summer League, what should Magic fans expect from you and Elfrid this season?

We want to win and we want to remind the fans of Orlando what it feels like to win and have a team to cheer for. We understand it won’t be tomorrow, so in the meantime cheer for the hair. We will bring the Magic back to NBA prominence, one good hair day at a time.


Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek

Player Tryouts for NBDL’s Erie BayHawks Announced

2014 July 14
by Adam Papageorgiou


The Orlando Magic haven’t completed filling out the staff they want to manage and coach their new NBDL affiliate Erie BayHawks just yet, but that hasn’t prevented them from setting dates for individuals to potentially compete for roster spots. The Magic and Bayhawks have announced that they will be holding tryouts for anyone interested in playing for the D-League BayHawks.

There will be a free agent tryout in Orlando at Barnett Park on September 14th and another one in Erie, Pennsylvania at Penn State-Behrend’s Junker Center on September 21st. In both cases, registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the tryouts begin at 9 a.m. Pre-registration is strongly recommended for those interested. The tryout packet must be filled out and the cost to participate is $150.


Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek


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MBO Roundtable – Orlando Summer League Edition

2014 July 14
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

The MBO crew decided to take a look back at Orlando Summer League and assess what was observed during the intriguing event. Topics included Magic rookies Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton, any reasons for Magic fans to freak out, and who impressed during the week. So below enjoy viewpoints from Brian Serra, Andrew Melnick, Spenser Strode, Preston Raulerson, and Adam Papageorgiou.


Assess Elfrid Payton’s performance during the week. Do you feel better about the assets the Magic had to give Philly for Elfrid after watching Payton in action?


Brian Serra: The move had minimal risk from an asset standpoint, in my view and I agree with Hennigan’s general point of “that’s why you have assets, to use them”. The team had a player they targeted and were able to move up to acquire him. As far as watching Payton in action, I am very encouraged. He has great court vision and is an attacking, tall guard. He needs to improve his strength in order to finish consistently around the rim and his overall ball handling and like everyone else on the team, his shooting. Overall, I was impressed with how he overcame his terrible Day 1 performance to play consistently well for the remaining 4 games. With added strength, he has the potential to be a better scoring Rajon Rondo and a triple-double threat every night.


Andrew MelnickPayton was better than anyone expected. After a terrible first game in which he had trouble handling traps, he was fantastic over the next few games. The thing that really stood out was his ability to make the right play and take what the defense gives him, a trait many rookies don’t have. He was able to consistently beat his man off of the dribble and get into the paint, where he mostly tried to kick it out to open teammates. As opponents began to take notice, Payton began to attack the rim and score himself. He is the type of player that will be a triple double threat nearly every night and if he can improve his shot, he should become an excellent point guard. All Magic fans should feel better about that deal right now. 


Spenser StrodeLook, I’m not one to put a ton of stock in Summer League performances. See: Michael Carter-Williams OPSL performance in 2013. But in my opinion. he showed enough flashes of ability and athleticism that give you hope for his future. Results, to be determined.


Preston Raulerson:  Elfrid really grew on me during Summer League, and I came into it with plenty of worries about him. I saw some really great passing and court vision from him that really impressed me. Good decisions, accurate and creative, using penetration to free up others. It is exactly the type of passing that we haven’t had from our PG position for a decade. There are parts of his game that I am still concerned about in his shooting and consistent effort on defense, but I have higher hopes and a better feeling for him now than I did at draft night. Value-wise, Philly still beat us with that pick, but I think he was easily the best choice for the Magic in that 10-20 range.


Adam Papageorgiou: Payton averaged 9.2 ppg, 7.0 apg, 5.2 rpg, and 1.4 spg on 59.3 FG%. I’m not worried about the 4 turnovers per contest or 65.0 FT%. That stuff can be fixed. Elfrid led the entire Summer League in assists. He got the first game jitters out of his system – just like Oladipo had to last year – and from then on looked like floor general. This kid can break Jameer Nelson‘s franchise assist record (3,501) in 7 seasons. I haven’t seen a Magic point guard pull off the assists that Elfrid was dishing since Rafer Alston and Carlos Arroyo.

It’s great to have a tall point guard. Payton’s head is always on a swivel, his defense was relentless, has a nose for the ball and rebounds really well for his position, can actually dunk with authority, is a cold-blooded assassin in transition, can choose to dribble where ever he wants to, is a nightmare to defend in pick-and-roll, and he was drilling jump shots that Rondo or MCW still can’t hit. He’s also more agile than those guys. The 20-year-old looks well worth the price of a second round pick and a heavily protected first round pick that will most likely end up being another second rounder. Rob Hennigan wasn’t afraid to go get his guy and things look promising so far for Elfrid.


Below you’ll find more of the roundtable discussion.

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