Tag: Orlando Magic

Spencer Dinwiddie, Luke Ridnour

Report: Magic trade Luke Ridnour to Grizzlies


We have our first trade of draft week, and it’s a real blockbuster. The Grizzlies have sent the rights to the 60th overall pick of the 2013 draft, Latvian wing Janis Timma, to the Magic for veteran point guard Luke Ridnour, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski:

This is fine for all involved. Ridnour is a perfectly serviceable backup point guard for Memphis, and trading him saves the Magic about $2.7 million in cap space.

Report: Lakers trying to trade for DeMarcus Cousins

Memphis Grizzlies v Sacramento Kings

Sacramento decision maker Vlade Divac has made it clear: He doesn’t want to trade DeMarcus Cousins. So stop asking, unless you’re offering Michael Jordan.

Yet, in the wake of Cousins’ frustrations with the constantly shifting plans of the Kings ownership, plus coach George Karl saying he never had an untradable player, the offers keep coming. Even though they are all long-shots. At best.

The latest long shot is from the Los Angeles Lakers, in a possible three-way deal with Orlando, as reported by Marc Stein at ESPN.

The Los Angeles Lakers have emerged as one of the most determined trade suitors for Sacramento Kings All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, according to league sources….

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-six 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….

The Lakers would appear to have limited assets to get into the trade sweepstakes for Cousins — in the event Sacramento’s stance changes — beyond surrendering prized young big man Julius Randle and/or the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday’s draft.

How do you think Sacramento trading its best and most popular player by far to the hated Los Angeles Lakers would go over with an already frustrated fan base?

I can’t see this happening. For one thing, it’s going to take more than the Lakers’ No. 2 pick — which would be Duke’s big man Jahlil Okafor. No way the Lakers would give up Randle and the No. 2, but would the Lakers surrender Jordan Clarkson and the No. 2? It’s likely going to take at least that — and that may not be enough.

All that’s if you can get the Kings to change their minds. Which is unlikely at best.

The Lakers can poke around a little, but they are better off with a young nucleus of Clarkson, Randle and Okafor.

Okafor would be good with that, he told NBC’s Sports ProBasketballTalk on Monday that he did see a fit in Los Angeles. And he likes the idea of playing with Kobe Bryant.

“I think I can learn a ton,” Okafor said of playing with Bryant in what might be Kobe’s final season. “He’s been in the NBA a while, he came into the league early — I think he was younger than me when he came into the league — so I want to pick his brain and learn as much as I can….

“It’s all about he wants to win. So do I.”

That sounds like a good Lakers foundation.

Rumor: Kings management wanted to draft Elfrid Payton, owner Vivek Ranadivé overruled for Nik Stauskas

Oklahoma City at Sacramento


In a look inside the Kings’ draft-night war room, owner Vivek Ranadivé and general manager Pete D’Alessandro discussed Nik Stauskas and Elfrid Payton while Sacramento is on the clock:

  • Ranadivé: “Stauskas or Payton? For me, Stauskas.”
  • D’Alessandro: “I say Stauskas.”
  • Ranadivé (pointing at someone else in the room): “Stauskas.”
  • Ranadivé (smiling): “Stauskas.”

Maybe they were just playing it up for the cameras, but that is a surprising amount of debate – i.e., more than none – while on the clock. And it’s the less-basketball-savvy owner, not the general manager, leading the discussion. A report of more draft-night disharmony provides circumstantial evidence something was amiss.

The Kings drafted Stauskas, and Payton went two spots later.

Payton made the All-Rookie team. Stauskas received a single second-team vote.

The book is hardly closed on Stauskas, but Payton definitely appears to have the brighter NBA future.

Chad Ford of ESPN:

I had someone from the Kings pass along this nugget in Chicago. That the front office wanted to take Elfrid Payton at No. 8. last year but were overruled by ownership, who wanted Nik Stauskas. Now, that could be classic CYA from the front office. Payton was who they should’ve taken and now, a year later, they’re making the case. But if that’s true, than Vivek may be the person who is ultimately deciding who they draft. In short, it’s really hard to have a good feel what’s happening in Sacramento. So many voices.

Maybe D’Alessandro, whose power has reportedly been usurped by Vlade Divac, is just trying to look better as he plots his exit. D’Alessandro is reportedly a candidate to become St. John’s athletic director.

But this rumor at least sounds plausible, because Ranadivé has such a history of meddling for the worse.

This particular example might be true. It might not.

But, even if it is true, how many times has Kings management wanted to make a move that would have turned out poorly? We don’t hear about those. There’s a selection bias in the information we get.

It’s official: Scott Skiles hired as head coach of Orlando Magic


We told you it was coming, now it is official:

Scott Skiles is the next head coach of the Orlando Magic.

“Scott (Skiles) clearly distinguished himself as a tremendous fit,” Magic GM Rob Hennigan said in a released statement. “Our young roster will benefit greatly from Scott’s extensive head coaching experience and commitment to teaching smart, physical, unselfish basketball. We believe in Scott’s ability to establish a culture of winning habits and accountability that will help guide our team in a positive direction.”

“As we began our search, our internal discussions centered on finding a head coach with a solid resume of NBA head coaching experience, great leadership qualities, a motivating communication style, and someone with a strong strategic acumen,” said Orlando Magic CEO Alex Martins. “We feel Scott (Skiles) brings a balanced approach in all those qualities and we look forward, with great confidence, to him leading our young men in helping us reach our collective goal of sustainable success.”

Skiles, a former Magic player from 1989 through 1994, who had a 30-assist game with the team, has spent all or part of 13 seasons as a head coach, compiling a record of443-433 (.506) with Phoenix, Chicago, and Milwaukee.

Skiles the coach is a hard-driving, defense first coach who will improve the Magic on that end of the floor. Maybe enough to have them in the playoff mix in the Eastern Conference.

However, this is a young team — Victor Oladipo, Elfrid Payton, Nikola Vucevic, plus this this year’s No. 5 pick — and Skiles is not known as a player development guy. Nor a guy with creative lineups.

But he’s getting the chance in Orlando.

Report: Scott Skiles in lead to become next Orlando coach


This move would play well with the fan base. Whether it’s the best move for a developing team is another debate.

With Scott Brooks having pulled out of the Orlando coaching search, former Magic player Scott Skiles has solidified as the frontrunner to land the Magic coaching job, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Scott Skiles has emerged as the strong frontrunner to become head coach of the Orlando Magic, league sources told Yahoo Sports….

Skiles, 51, has been the preferred choice of Orlando ownership, which has been fond of him since his playing days with the Magic in the 1990s. Skiles fits the candidate profile that Hennigan privately outlined for the coaching search: a successful head-coaching résumé that includes strong emphasis on upgrading Orlando’s defense and accountability.

This process is not moving quickly, the sides have not yet discussed contract negotiations, but things are moving that way according to the report.

The Magic reportedly also have interest in Tom Thibodeau, who sources across the league expect to part ways with Chicago. However, that standoff is still going on — Chicago wants to find a trade for Thibodeau (and the $9 million left on his contract), he’s not exactly willing to help that process along. With New Orleans meeting with Alvin Gentry — and maybe Jeff Van Gundy — and now Orlando leaning toward Skiles, Chicago is running out of teams willing to talk deal (and Orlando never seriously wanted to talk trade —GM Rob Hennigan collects draft picks, not moves them). And you can forget the dream of a bidding war.

Skiles will sell well in Orlando — the scrappy point guard was a fan favorite who spent the peak of his playing career in a Magic uniform. He has plenty of head-coaching experience, with a career record of 443-433.

Skiles the coach is similar to Skiles the player — a hard-driving disciplinarian. He gets his teams to play solid defense, and Orlando was bottom 10 in that category last season (as was their offense… there’s a lot of work to do). He has turned around losing teams because of that defensive focus. The Magic have some quality pieces — Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, Elfrid Payton, Tobias Harris — and if a coach can get them to defend they might be able to make the playoffs in the East.

Whether he is the best guy to develop that young talent is up for debate — that’s not his known skill set and his hard-driving style tends to burn players out. Plus in Milwaukee a few years back he did not have a good relationship with Magic restricted free agent Tobias Harris (who blossomed after being moved).

Still, the Maic would take some steps forward under Skiles watch.