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Dewayne Dedmon: Bargain Contract, Big Contribution Potential

2015 June 22
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This is an MBO series of 2014-2015 Orlando Magic seasonal player recaps and evaluations. As the NBA Draft and free agency approach, we’ll dive into statistics, highlights, and more as we dissect the 15-man roster and figure out who should stay and who should go as we enter a very important offseason in the franchise’s history. 

Previously in the series:
#2 O’Quinn
#4 Payton
#7 Gordon
#8 Frye

#9 Vucevic
#11 Marble
#12 Harris
#13 Ridnour
#21 Harkless
#34 Green
#44 Nicholson

 

Dewayne Dedmon might be one of the most youthful, inexperienced, soon-to-be 26-year-olds in the Association. He’s also making a bit under $1 million as Dedmon has finally established himself in the NBA after bouncing around the D-League just over a year ago. He’s also proven time and time again that he’s maybe the fastest 7-footer in the NBA and has often been a terror as a rim protector and dunker.

Man can he fly. I’m not saying Scott Skiles will transform Dedmon into a Larry Sanders, but DD can be at minimum a solid bench contributor. A guy who can start a game here and there if the matchup makes sense.

2014-2015: 59 games, 15 starts, 14.3 mpg, 3.7 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.8 bpg, 56.2 FG%, 53.1 FT%

Not exactly impressive statistics, but Dedmon’s impact on the court goes beyond just numbers. His hustle made younger teammates thrive with more up-and-down play even if Dewayne didn’t get a lot of offensive touches.

Towards the end of this past season, James Borrego gave Dedmon the minutes Kyle O’Quinn was used to seeing. Dewayne’s best month was March when he averaged 4.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg, and 1.0 bpg on 60.6 FG% in 22 minutes per contest.

Dedmon is going to be the reason the Magic probably end up letting O’Quinn walk away if KOQ gets a pricy contract offer sheet in free agency.

Dewayne has also been slowly adding a jump shot and some half-decent post-up moves to his offense. Dewayne has very underrated touch, and I’ve been very impressed with his continued effort to improve his game. That, combined with his amazing energy, and there’s still room to grow for the USC Trojan. It is tough to teach a player to run the court and follow a play on both ends of the court the way Dewayne is capable of accomplishing. He’s not reading the situation, more so just acting on killer instinct. Skiles is going to love coaching Dewayne and I’m willing to bet he averages more than 14 minutes per contest next season.

 

Future Team Outlook

Barring the Magic waiving Dedmon before his ’15-’16 salary becomes guaranteed, Dewayne is going to be making about $947,000. That’s it. Dedmon is going to most likely become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2016. Not that he needed the extra motivation, but securing a long-term big payday will add fuel to his fire.

When done correctly, it’s possible to efficiently play Dedmon on the floor with Vucevic together. It’ll be easier too if Dedmon’s jumper makes some solid strides. Dewayne is the backup center right now. His play to close out the ’14-’15 campaign is a reason why the Magic front office isn’t desperate to shell out money for a free agent center. Keep up the good work, Dewayne, and here’s to ’15-’16 being your best season to come.

 


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

 

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There is a Horrifying Lakers-Kings-Magic Rumor Out There

2015 June 22
by Adam Papageorgiou

voochboogie

My blood is boiling even having to just mention this rumor. The Orlando Magic have been tied to a potential deal also involving the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Lakers, according to Marc Stein of ESPN. This smells of pure Lakers desperation (you L.A. folks can keep that slogan) and I’m calling this a smokescreen until something more substantial surfaces.

The Lakers need a stud center badly. DeMarcus Cousins would make sense, but it’s absurd to think the Magic will trade Nikola Vucevic to accommodate that move.

Sources say that the Lakers, Kings and Orlando Magic have had exploratory dialogue on a three-way Cousins trade that would land the 24-year-old in Los Angeles. All three teams hold top-6 picks in Thursday’s NBA draft, and Orlando has a young top-flight center of its own in Nikola Vucevic, who could theoretically fill the Cousins void.

Now, there are few details following that statement from Stein. Presumably though, the Magic are trading away Vucevic and their #5 pick and are only expected to get back the #2 pick and maybe a Julius Randle and another contract.

I have a list of complaints on this ‘rumor’.

 

1. We’re helping the Lakers…again. Also, why would the Kings want to help their rivals get Boogie?

1a. If the Magic want Boogie for themselves, they can wait for Vucevic’s contract extension to take effect in July and just do a simpler deal with the Kings. No need to get the Lakers involved.

2. Jahlil Okafor at this moment is a worse defender and rebounder than Vucevic. Okafor will be the one available at #2 assuming that Karl-Anthony Towns goes #1 to the T-Wolves.

3. You’re giving the double bird to the Magic fans and asking them to go through another year or two of rebuilding and guaranteeing the longest period of ‘non-competitiveness’ in this Magic franchise’s history. And then you wonder why casual and even some passionate fans are jumping ship.

4. Orlando ends up with the 4th-best big in the deal assuming that Towns goes #1 to Minnesota, Cousins ends up in L.A., and Vucevic ends up in Sacramento. No thanks.

5. Vooch is a franchise player, AND YOU DON’T DEAL FRANCHISE PLAYERS FOR UNCERTAINTIES!

5a. Especially when you’re definitely not ‘winning’ the trade when you’re doing the Lakers and Kings favors. Maybe Okafor becomes Hakeem Olajuwon. Probably not happening though.

 

The only package I’d contemplate giving up Vucevic and the #5 pick for is: #2, #6, Julius Randle, and another decent talent. And someone has to take Channing Frye and his remaining $24 million over the next 3 years. Only then would I really have to step back and see what type of starting lineup vision Orlando could be seeking. Obviously you’d take Okafor #2 and then either get the shot blocker in Willie Cauley-Stein or a wing in Mario Hezonja or Justise Winslow at #6.

Again, dealing Vooch without getting Boogie Cousins back means Orlando is in a much worse position in trying to snatch a playoff spot next season. Scott Skiles was brought in to win now. He’s not Jacque Vaughn. There’s no more waiting on putting a winning product on the parquet floor.

So here’s to Marc Stein being wrong, and the Magic holding onto Vucevic for years to come. Maybe the Magic are involved in a 3-way deal that actually involves smaller contracts like Ben Gordon, Maurice Harkless, or Andrew Nicholson. After all, it does appear Stein just threw Vucevic’s name into his piece for the heck of it. We’ll see.

Nik’s defense is not nearly as bad as people make it out to be. Doesn’t he deserve to improve in that facet under Skiles? Plus, it’s on Rob Hennigan and his crew to put a viable defensive big next to Vooch and acquire that piece either through the Draft or free agency. Nik is on a fantastic long-term contract. Don’t deal it in this scenario.

 

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

 

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Skiles Retains Laron Profit and Jay Hernandez for Staff

2015 June 22
by Adam Papageorgiou

jaylaron

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the Orlando Magic will retain the coaching services of Laron Profit and Jay Hernandez as assistant coaches on Scott Skiles‘ staff. Both were originally brought in by Jacque Vaughn for the purposes of player development. Profit in 2012, and Hernandez in 2014. The team obviously believes they performed well in their duties.

When James Borrego took over as interim Head Coach in February, both Profit and Hernandez became JB’s assistants on the bench. Borrego departed Orlando to join the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich. Laron played for 4 seasons in the NBA, while Jay gets credit for training Tobias Harris and improving T12’s game in previous offseasons.

Skiles’ first staff hire was Adrian Griffin. Griffin will be the lead assistant. Add Profit and Hernandez to the picture and Orlando still has a few spots left on their staff as the Draft and Summer League approach. Igor Kokoskov won’t be back with the Magic either, so most likely Orlando will be looking for some assistants outside the Magic family. Hopefully guys with more coaching experience.

 

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

 

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Twitter and Facebook!***

Here Are Your 2015-2016 Orlando Magic Dancers

2015 June 22
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photos taken by Michael Cairns

Photos taken by Michael Cairns

The Orlando Magic announced the 2015-2016 Orlando Magic Dancers following a final audition on June 19th at Baha Mar Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. The 20 dancers were selected by the following criteria: fan votes, a week-long boot camp, interviews by representatives of the Magic, and the final live audition.

For the first time in team history, the finals were held outside of Orlando, and the auditions followed a week-long series of events including the contestants volunteering at a dance school in Nassau, a photo shoot, and a preview of Baha Mar. I was expecting more new faces to be quite honest, but congratulations to the twenty ladies.

omd

Bottom Row Left to Right: Nicole H., Gizelle, Alex, Brittany, Victoria Q., Krystle, Nicole F., Kori, Elyse, Molleigh
Middle Row Left to Right: Magic Dancers Assistant Manager Cherie LaRosa, Entertainment Teams Manager Jeanine Klem-Thomas
Top Row Left to Right: Victoria R., Lily, Lauren, Bethany, Cassie, Sarah, Cierra, Rachel, Kiki, Jamie

 

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

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Twitter and Facebook!***

Who Should Orlando Draft with the #51 Pick?

2015 June 21
by Adam Papageorgiou

Harvey-Tyler-590x393

There has been a massive importance placed on who the Orlando Magic should select with their #5 pick at Thursday’s NBA Draft. Let’s not forget the second rounder GM Rob Hennigan and the front office have in their back pocket. Summer League is only a few weeks away, and the Magic will have two teams competing. If Orlando selects a player that can participate in Summer League, odds are that player will see a lot of court time. Or, to save a little for salary cap purposes, ‘Henny’ and company can take an international prospect and keep him stashed overseas.

Let’s see who the Magic could take at #51.

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So How Do You Make Channing Frye Relevant Again?

2015 June 20
by Adam Papageorgiou

frye

This is an MBO series of 2014-2015 Orlando Magic seasonal player recaps and evaluations. As the NBA Draft and free agency approach, we’ll dive into statistics, highlights, and more as we dissect the 15-man roster and figure out who should stay and who should go as we enter a very important offseason in the franchise’s history. 

Previously in the series:
#2 O’Quinn
#4 Payton
#7 Gordon
#9 Vucevic
#11 Marble
#12 Harris
#13 Ridnour
#21 Harkless
#34 Green
#44 Nicholson

 

Channing Frye has become one of the least discussed Orlando Magic players since Scott Skiles was hired as Head Coach. The young players have been mentioned plenty. The need to improve both the offense and defense has been talked about thoroughly. However, there has been no solution brought up for how to make the 32-year-old Frye worthy of his $8 million per season contract. Not yet anyway. At least it’s a decreasing 4-year and $32 million contract, am I right?

2014-2015: 75 Games, 51 Starts, 24.9 mpg, 7.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 39.2 FG%, 39.3 3PT%

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James Borrego Departs Orlando to Join San Antonio Bench

2015 June 18
by Adam Papageorgiou
AP Photo/Reinhold Matay

AP Photo/Reinhold Matay

Former Orlando Magic interim Head Coach James Borrego has officially departed O-Town and is returning back to the San Antonio Spurs. This time though, he’s upgraded from ‘video guy’ to actually being on Gregg Popovich’s bench. You can’t blame J.B. for passing up on remaining with the Magic and Scott Skiles‘ bench considering he would have stuck around in a demoted role.

After being Jacque Vaughn‘s lead assistant for 2.5 years, Borrego got his first ever chance to be a Head Coach in February to finish out the ’14-’15 campaign. Borrego is a genuine guy. That’s not something you can fake. The man really just wanted to focus on developing his crew while trying to win a few games here and there as they scrapped for a few months to the finish line.

The 10-20 record as interim Head Coach doesn’t tell the entire story. Borrego deserves credit for keeping team spirits high after Jacque Vaughn got canned. He kept morale up and did a commendable job. It was no doubt a major setback in Orlando’s ‘process’ to have to get rid of Vaughn. And yet, J.B. seemed to make the best of it. Borrego had an entire locker room on his side which is tough for any assistant to pull off when forced into a delicate situation.

 

 

It’s safe to say everyone wishes Borrego all the best. It’d be pretty crazy though if J.B. ended up becoming Popovich’s Head Coach successor. He has the work ethic and the likability to make that a possibility.

 

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

 

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Twitter and Facebook!***

Adrian Griffin Becomes Orlando’s New Lead Assistant

2015 June 15
by Adam Papageorgiou

adg

Scott Skiles has his first Orlando Magic staffing hire. It’s not James Borrego or Igor Kokoskov, but former NBA player Adrian Griffin. The 6’5″ 40-year-old played 9 seasons for the Celtics, Mavericks, Rockets, Bulls, and Seattle. Not bad for a wing player that went undrafted. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports that Griffin will indeed be Skiles’ lead coaching assistant. Griffin is viewed more as a defensive mind, but a sharp one at that. Adrian will need to be addressed as ‘Dr. Adrian Griffin’. If not now, then soon.

Skiles gave Griffin his first job as a coach, including the Seton Hall graduate on his Milwaukee Bucks coaching staff as an assistant shortly after Griffin’s playing career ended. Griffin has spent the last 5 seasons under Tom Thibodeau as an assistant in Chicago. Once the Bulls parted ways with Thibs, it made sense for Skiles to go after a familiar face.

The Magic haven’t formally announced Griffin as a hiring yet, but Adrian is ready for a new beginning:

 

 

Griffin deserves credit for helping Jimmy Butler become the phenomenal player he is today:

 

This seems like a slam dunk signing by the Magic. Underrated his entire playing career, the lucky lefty managed to play a decade in the Association. He also won a gold medal for Team USA at the 1997 FIBA Americas tourney. Griffin has also lent his coaching services to Team USA in recent years. Griffin is expected to be an NBA Head Coach one day. He’s acknowledged as a rising star in coaching ranks and Griffin is viewed as a ‘player-friendly Tom Thibodeau’. I’ll take that any day of the week.

Griffin is a popular assistant in the eyes of GMs just based off the ’14-’15 General Manager survey before this recent season tipped off.

gmcoachpoll

With Griffin taking the lead assistant job, the position James Borrego held for two and a half years under Jacque Vaughn, it becomes very unlikely that J.B. returns in a ‘smaller’ role to the Magic bench. We’ll see, the door is apparently still open for Borrego to return. Igor Kokoskov is currently mulling over a multi-year offer to be an assistant for the Utah Jazz. I anticipate more coaching staff news to be reported at the end of the NBA Finals.

As Lead Assistant, I expect to see Griffin as Head Coach of one of the Magic’s Summer League teams come July. Welcome to Orlando, Coach Griffin.

 

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

 

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Twitter and Facebook!***

Vote For Your Favorite Orlando Magic Dancer Finalists

2015 June 15
by Adam Papageorgiou
omd

Photo taken by Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic players roster won’t be the only thing looking a little different next season. The Orlando Magic Dancers have announced their 30 finalists, and Magic fans are encouraged to vote for their favorite dancer(s) here. The 20 dancers who will be selected to represent the Magic in 2015-2016 will be chosen based on the following: fan votes, a week-long boot camp that is currently taking place, interviews by representatives of the Orlando Magic, and the final live audition on June 19.

For the first time in team history, the finals are expected to be held in Nassau, Bahamas at the Convention, Arts and Entertainment Center of Baha Mar Hotel & Casino. Fans can stream the auditions live here. There is no limit for which dancer(s) you want to vote for and how many times you want to vote. 12 of the 30 ladies are rookie candidates.

 

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

***Join Magic Basketball Online on Twitter and Facebook!***

Ranking Orlando Draft Prospects Before Team Workouts Begin

2015 June 13
by Adam Papageorgiou

porz

The Orlando Magic have less than 2 weeks until the NBA Draft. It’s crunch time as they figure out who they’ll take with the #5 and #51 selections. Or maybe they’ll make a trade, but let’s just focus on who they choose if they remain at the fifth spot.

Below is my Top 8 ranking of Draft prospects before we get deep into the Magic interviewing and working out some of these players. Remember, I’m basing these rankings off what I view as the best fits for Orlando. Let’s go in reverse order.

 

8. Kristaps Porzingis 19 Years Old, 7’1″, 230 pounds

As the designated Magic blogger authority on European prospects, I beg the Magic to stay away from the tall Latvian. He might be great one day, but Rob Hennigan can’t afford to take a gamble on a guy who is no where near physically ready to handle the NBA grind. Not when there are several better options at #5.

One thing that is definitely helping Kristaps is that he has great English speaking abilities. No language barrier here.

There are plenty of red flags for Porzingis though:

  • He’s ridiculously skinny and it’ll take 2 years of a weight program to allow him to battle NBA bigs full-time
  • Even worse, he has no lower body strength for post-up offensive and defensive situations
  • He’s speedy and quick, but his reflexes and basketball IQ leave a lot to be desired
  • He’s won nothing on a team level because Sevilla is awful and Latvia isn’t a known basketball power
  • He liked the 2009 Los Angeles Lakers team
  • He likes Drake…way too much

Porzingis has confidence and passion. That’s that Latvian fire in him. A guy who constantly seeks to dunk a ball 10,000 feet below the surface certainly isn’t ‘soft’ either. He’s got a few years of Spanish professional basketball experience in his back pocket and he has a brother (Janis) that knows the ups and downs of being a pro. Kristaps has the mobility to play the PF spot next to Nikola Vucevic. I just don’t think Porzingis is worth a top 5 pick considering his lack of strength. The Magic already are overpaying for a face-up guy in Channing Frye. Although the ‘Zinger’ is much more athletic, he’s basically a face-up only guy as well.

Porzingis has been working out and conducting interviews at Impact Basketball’s facilities in Las Vegas. That’s also where Kyle O’Quinn does his offseason work. I wonder if KOQ has any inside info. The workouts mean nothing when you don’t have guys defending your moves. Can he create offensive separation? None of this matters if he’s going to get shoved around constantly.

 

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