Orlando Magic Hedo Turkoglu complains after he picked up second foul against New York Knicks in NBA basketball game in New York

Magic expected to waive or trade Hedo Turkoglu by Jan. 7


Hedo Turkoglu probably isn’t on anyone’s radar outside of Orlando, mainly because he hasn’t played a game for the Magic or been around the team in any capacity at all since the season began.

Turkoglu isn’t a part of the team’s future plans, so they essentially told him to get lost — while being paid, of course, on a contract that is only partially guaranteed for the current season.

But a rebuilding franchise doesn’t want to commit salary unnecessarily, so rather than pay Turkoglu more than they need to not to play for them, the Magic will more than likely cut him loose one way or another before they’re on the hook for additional dollars.

From Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:

Rather than cut Turkoglu, who is in the final year of his contract, team officials have kept him on the roster because his contract is an asset that potentially could be used in a trade and net the Magic an asset in return.

Still, the Magic won’t keep Turkoglu beyond Jan. 7. …

In other words, if the Magic have Turkoglu on their roster on Jan. 8 and waive him that day, he will not clear waivers before the time his contract becomes fully guaranteed. And, therefore, the Magic would be obligated to pay him $12 million instead of $6 million.

The question becomes whether or not the Magic can pull off a deal that includes Turkoglu’s expiring contract before then — one that improves the team either immediately or in the future, but also fits with its rebuilding plans.

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.