We all keep waiting for some kind of definitive decision from the Orlando Magic — are they going to keep or trade Dwight Howard?
Maybe the reason we don’t have that answer is that the Magic are still divided on what they want to do, or what kind of trade package they want back.
That’s what Sam Amick says over at Sports Illustrated, in a story that makes sense in fitting a lot of the conflicting pieces together.
While Nuggets executive Masai Ujiri was the clear point man in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes last season, Magic general manager Otis Smith has not been afforded the same luxury. Owner Rich DeVos and new CEO Alex Martins are playing significant roles as well, and it has been clear throughout the process that their views differ from Smith’s when it comes to the price tag for Howard or the priorities in a trade package.
Or even if they want to move him — Smith seems to have accepted the reality that Howard is gone no matter what, but Martins and DeVos are working hard to keep him.
Amick points to the Nets offer — Smith has been pretty clear he doesn’t love Brook Lopez at the heart of a package, but Lopez is still in the mix because others in the organization like him.
Looking at all the reports about Howard through this prism makes everything make a little more sense.
Owners tend to win these battles — they own the team after all. If DeVos wants to try and keep Howard, they will not move him. I still think that is the most likely scenario.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.