Tag: Ben Gordon

Solomon Hill, Ian Mahinmi, Ben Gordon

Report: Magic decline option on Ben Gordon for next season


When the Magic signed Ben Gordon to a two-year, $9 million deal last summer, it was mostly to be a veteran presence off the bench and to use as a possible trade chip, especially with the second year fully un-guaranteed. He hasn’t been a truly relevant NBA player since he left the Bulls in 2009. So it’s no surprise that Orlando has decided to save $4.5 million next year rather than keep him, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

The Orlando Magic are declining the $4.5 million team option for 2015-’16 on guard Ben Gordon’s contract, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Gordon will become an unrestricted free agent.

Passing on Gordon’s option will give the Magic $14.5 million in salary cap space for free agency. Gordon, 32, averaged 6.2 points a game for the Magic last season.

Gordon isn’t really an impact player anymore, but he shot a perfectly respectable 36.1 percent from three-point range last season, an improvement over his disastrous previous season in Charlotte, when things got so bad that the then-Bobcats purposely waited to cut him until after the deadline for eligibility to sign with a playoff team. He’s not going to be a difference-maker anywhere, but after a better year in Orlando, a team could do a lot worse than signing him as an end-of-the-bench guy.

Kobe Bryant wanted to be traded from Lakers to Bulls in 2007

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant requested a trade from the Lakers in 2007, and he really wanted out:

Asked if he had any preference for a trade destination, he said “At this point I’ll go play on Pluto.”

That wasn’t quite true, though.

The Lakers agreed to trade Kobe to the Pistons, but he used his no-trade clause to veto the deal, something he confirmed on The Grantland Basketball Hour.


I said, “I gave you a list of teams I’m comfortable being traded to. That wasn’t one of them. So, no.”

Chicago was my No. 1 choice.

The Bulls and Lakers tried to negotiate a trade with Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas, Ben Gordon and Joakim Noah coming up as key pieces who could go to Los Angeles. But Kobe was wary of Chicago surrendering Deng and weakening his new team, and a deal never happened.

Kobe wasn’t traded to the Mavericks, another team that negotiated for him, either. He stayed with the Lakers and won a couple more championships.

But, wow, this is one heck of a “What if?”

Kobe would have put himself even further into Michael Jordan’s shadow, though that’s never something he feared, even once wanting to sign with Jordan’s Wizards. The Lakers would probably have two fewer championships. The Bulls, depending what they gave up, could have another. Derrick Rose would probably be somewhere else. The gap between the Western Conference and Eastern Conference might not be so pronounced.

If Kobe had gotten his wish, the entire NBA landscape would have changed. He’s that powerful.

Report: Magic close to firing Jacque Vaughn

Orlando Magic v Denver Nuggets

Jacque Vaughn was already on the hot seat.

The Magic’s 15-point loss to the Bucks last night, Orlando’s 13th defeat in its last 15 games, might bring things to a head.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Orlando Magic are close to firing coach Jacque Vaughn and a change could come soon, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

As embarrassing losses accumulate, Vaughn is rapidly running out of time to show the progress needed to make it through the next several days –never mind the fourth and final year of his contract in 2015-16, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

“It isn’t a matter of ‘if,’ anymore, but ‘when,’ ” a source close to the decision-making process told Yahoo Sports about Vaughn’s fading job security.

In fact, the lack of a natural candidate to promote to interim head coach from a young, inexperienced staff of assistants has played a part in Orlando management’s hesitancy to have already made a change, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Vaughn has gone 20-62, 23-59 and 15-33 in three seasons with young post-Dwight Howard teams in Orlando.

Under his watch, Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris have become players worthy of All-Star discussion. Victor Oladipo has developed well. Evan Fournier has made strides, and so have Elfrid Payton and Kyle O’Quinn.

But, by signing Channing Frye to a four-year, $32 million contract and Ben Gordon to a two-year, $9 million contract this offseason, management was clearly eying more immediate returns. By failing to deliver those and burying Maurice Harkless on the bench – a reported source of disagreement between the coaching staff and management – Vaughn opened the door for his ouster.

The growth of players who might have developed with or without him probably won’t be enough to save him.

If the Magic fire him, whoever follows Vaughn as permanent head coach – who would follow an interim stint by James Borrego, Wes Unseld Jr. or Brett Gunning – will be walking into a better situation than Vaughn faced. This is a young and talented team, one likely to rise in coming years.

I’m not sure Vaughn could have done more in Orlando, but I’m also sure he didn’t do enough to prove his coaching chops. Whatever role he played in setting the table, it seems someone else is going to enjoy the meal.