When the Magic sent Marcin Gortat to Phoenix in their mega-deals last weekend, they found themselves supremely short on big men. They’re forced to trot out lineups with Brandon Bass at center and against huge teams, that’s simply not going to work. They found success against the Celtics Saturday because even with Jermaine O’Neal back, in total, the Celtics’ center rotation is still injured and old. But other teams may be able to exploit that come playoff time. So the word has been out that they’re looking for another move to acquire a center.
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe suggests that Charlotte PF/C Boris Diaw may be what they’re looking for, and the Cats are looking to offer him:
Also, look for the Bobcats to try to gain cap relief by offering Boris Diaw to Orlando for the expiring contract of Jason Richardson, a former Bobcat. Diaw has a player option for $9 million next season, while Richardson’s $14.4 million comes off the books.
via Midseason deals are a shot at finding Magic formula – The Boston Globe.
The Magic have enough filler contracts to make the match work, but the question is why they would do this deal? Richardson was the best asset they pulled from the deals they made. Even as Gilbert Arenas looked great against the Spurs and Hedo Turkoglu was a huge reason they beat the Celtics, Richardson is the best player they acquired in their trades, and can be a difference maker. Trading him would be a major step back for the Magic, even if they improve their frontcourt depth.
And that step back is magnified with the fact that Diaw is not a physical presence, has lost some of his athleticism, and cannot be counted on to perform consistently. He’s not physically dominating, nor is he an enforcer, Kendrick-Perkins type down low. This move would be suicide should the Magic go through with it. But they are facing a problem at center, and they will address it before the playoffs come.
Fast times at Epcot Center these days.
Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.
Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.
Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.
“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.
“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”
This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.
It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.
Bill Bridges, a star as a Kansas Jayhawk who went on to have a 12-year NBA career that included being part of the 1975 Golden State Warriors championship team, has passed away, according to the University of Kansas.
Bridges was an undersized power forward at 6’6″ but he was a beast on the boards who averaged 11.9 rebounds a game for his career and more than 13 a game for six straight years at the peak of his career. That 11.9 per game average is still 27th all-time in NBA history.
A New Mexico native, Bridges was a three-time All-Star (all as a member of the Hawks), two-time All-NBA Defensive team, and was part of the 1975 Warriors title team. Besides the Hawks (St. Louis and Atlanta) and Warriors, Bridges played for the Sixers and Lakers.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.