Tag: Orlando Magic

Miami Heat v Phoenix Suns

Report: Morris twins said they’d take discount to stay together


Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris, twins and Suns, want to keep playing together.

You could have guessed that by how they played together growing up, played together at Kansas and urged Phoenix to put them together.

But you don’t need to guess. They’ve straight up said it.

As both enter the final years of their rookie-scale contracts – and are currently extension eligible – a key question has emerged: Would they accept lower salaries to stay together?

Zach Lowe of Grantland:

The brothers told teams before the 2011 draft that they would take less money to stay together, sources say

That was part of Lowe’s excellent breakdown of the extension worthiness of Tristan Thompson, Nikola Vucevic, Jimmy Butler, Alec Burks, Brandon Knight and Markieff Morris. The whole thing is worth reading.

As far as the Morris twins, Phoenix should be talking extension with them. There’s no guarantee they’ll still take pay cuts to stay together, but it’s worth asking. And if they would, that gives the Suns plenty of leverage.

Neither Morris twin has shown enough to warrant a large extension, though both have shown promise through three NBA seasons. Many players in their positions would rather wait until free agency rather than get stuck on a long-term below-marker deal.

But if the brothers really want to stay together, now is the time for both to lock up deals. If they become free agents next season, too many variables come into play. Will the Suns extend Marcus a qualifying offer? (Markieff will definitely get one.) How much will other teams offer? Will Phoenix match?

Right now, the Morrises can negotiate in tandem with Suns general manager Ryan McDonough. They can say either both players get extensions or neither do, and he can offer less money in exchange. It could be very clean and easy, at least as far as negotiating two contracts simultaneously goes.

Next summer, it would get even more complicated.

So, if the Morris twins are still willing to accept lower salaries, between now and Oct. 31 is the best time to get it done.

Tobias Harris, eligible for contract extension, wants to stay with Magic

David Lee, Tobias Harris

The Magic’s cap sheet is so clean, they could sign Ben Gordon for $9 million, and anyone who criticized the offer – raises hand – had to admit the griping was likely only theoretical.

Orlando has so little money committed, it’s very unlikely Gordon’s salary interferes with other moves.

Channing Frye is the only player the Magic are committed to paying more than a rookie-scale contract in 2015-16.

But as its young players play out their first deals, Orlando is going to have to spend more soon to keep everyone together. Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris are eligible for extensions now, and at least Harris wants to stick with the Magic.

Harris, via Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel:

"Obviously, I want to be here. … I love the fans, the city of Orlando and the guys. Management knows I want to be here. It’s the perfect situation for me," Harris said

Does Harris possibly see the Magic letting him become a restricted free agent?

"I don’t know. That’s up to them," he said.

If the Magic don’t extend Harris by the Oct. 31 deadline, he’d become a restricted free agent next summer. As Gordon Hayward and Chandler Parsons showed, that can be very risky for the incumbent team.

But a fourth year can be very illuminating for a team, and Orlando would probably be smart to let Harris show more before offering a nice, mid-sized deal – unless he’s willing to take less in order to gain security, which is unlikely.

Harris is a nice, all-around player, but the forward has one glaring concern – 3-point shooting. He regressed to make just 32-of-126 3-points last season, a career-low 25 percent. If his jumper isn’t falling, that makes it more difficult for him to showcase all his other skills. Frankly, Harris, who lacks eye-popping athleticism, has a much lower ceiling if his jumper doesn’t develop.

That said, Harris can take another year to improve from beyond the arc. If he does, he’ll get paid well next summer. If he doesn’t, his options won’t dry up, though injury is always a risk.

Both sides should keep talking until Halloween, but I’d guess Harris is heading toward restricted free agency a year from now. Then, he can decide how perfect the situation in Orlando is for him.

Serbia holds off furious French comeback, wins to advance to gold medal game vs. USA

Milos Teodosic, Rudy Gobert

Nobody was expecting Serbia to be here.

They had to beat Italy in the seventh place game at EuroBasket last summer to even qualify for this summer’s World Cup. When they got to Spain this summer in pool play where they were a pedestrian 2-3 and not looking like a team to fear.

Now they are in the gold medal game. Sometimes what matters is getting hot at the right time.

Friday in the other World Cup semi-final Serbia raced out to a huge lead behind guard Milos Teodosic, who finished with 24 points and was a game high +25, then held off a Nicolas Batum-led French charge (the Trail Blazer had 35 points).

Serbia hit their free throws down the stretch and picked up a 90-85 win to advance to the gold medal game Sunday against Team USA (3 p.m. ET on ESPN).

Serbia will be overmatched and a huge underdog against the USA in that game, but they do a couple of things that could give the Americans trouble.

That all starts with Teodosic on the pick-and-roll (he’s good and long resisted NBA overtures). He is a crafty, smart point guard who can read how the team plays the high pick — Serbia has the big roll hard to the rim and spreads the court with three shooters — then he can pull up and knock down the shot or make the smart pass.

France didn’t know how to handle him. Against Spain in their previous game France’s pick-and-roll coverage was spot on, with bigs showing and recovering with precision. That defense held Spain to 52 points —Teodosic and Serbia were scoring at will early.

Serbia went on a 10-0 first quarter run to go up 20-10 early and from their they kept stretching the lead out. Serbia’s guards were making plays and shots, plus they as a team were getting out and running. Serbia was up 14 at the half and held a double digit lead through the third, seeming to coast in for the win.

Then France got hot on offense.

The French offense had been pedestrian most of this World Cup — they miss Tony Parker — but behind Batum hitting every ridiculous shot you can think of, they closed the gap slowly but surely. He got help from the Spurs’ Boris Diaw (13 points) and the Magic’s Evan Fournier (10).

Still, it felt like Serbia’s big man Miroslav Raduljica (last season of the Bucks) fumbled a post entry pass right up into the basket.

The French would not quit and were down 3 and had the ball with 17.7 seconds left — and Serbia fouled to prevent the three. In the NBA there is a debate about fouling late up three, in Europe they do it early and often. It worked, the French guard missed his second free throw, then it became a free throw game that Serbia won.

It’s an amazing result for Serbia, it’s been a great run. They should be proud of the silver medal they will go home with.