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Smack / Aug 1, 2009 / 1:23 am

An early look at the ’09-10 Magic, and is “White Chocolate” back?

Rashard Lewis

Rashard Lewis

In his introductory presser with the Orlando media, Matt Barnes answered the biggest question we’ve had about the Magic given the events of their offseason. Barnes said Stan Van Gundy told him that he’ll be competing for a starting job with Mickael Pietrus, with the rest of the first five filled out by Jameer Nelson, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard. With Hedo Turkoglu going and Brandon Bass coming, we were wondering what Van Gundy would do with his lineup. Putting Vince at SG, Rashard at SF and Bass at PF was an option, but it looks like Rashard is staying at the four, while Vince and Pietrus/Barnes split the 2/3 duties. That’s just the starters, though. Throughout the game, SVG still has a ton of lineups to roll with, making Orlando arguably stronger than they were last year despite losing Hedo … The NBA’s unemployment line got a little longer yesterday: Bruce Bowen and Salim Stoudamire were waived by Milwaukee, DeMarcus Nelson and Linton Johnson by Chicago, Gabe Pruitt by Boston, Sun Yue by the Lakers, and Mike Taylor by the Clippers. Bowen probably ends up right back with the Spurs, while Salim wanders the D-League or overseas wondering why J.J. Redick is getting an NBA check and he isn’t. We thought Taylor had solidified his spot in the League thanks to some standout games late last season after L.A. had mostly given up (although Mike Dunleavy Sr. still seemed to be trying to lose games), but the arrival of Sebastian Telfair was bad news for him. If none of these guys end up on the Knicks, they’ll at least be in the free agent pool on NBA 2K10 and NBA Live 10 … The Clippers quietly waived “White Chocolate” Jason Williams recently, and he’s since been claimed by the Knicks. (Imagine J-Will in his prime in Mike D’Antoni‘s system.) If New York makes him an offer worth coming out of retirement, is that the end of their PG search, or are Ramon Sessions and Allen Iverson still in the mix? … Meanwhile, Jamaal Tinsley was supposed to meet with Miami, but canceled. There was speculation that the cancellation meant Tinsley had found another team, but his agent denied it … Other minor moves and rumors: Hakim Warrick signed with the Bucks, Cleveland and free agent Leon Powe have mutual interest in each other, and J.R. Smith finished up his jail sentence stemming from that fatal ’07 car accident … ESPN’s Dana O’Neil had a good column on Isiah Thomas and his adjustment to the life of a college coach. We gotta say, even when things were at their worst with the Knicks, a lot of us in the Dime office were rooting for Isiah to make something good out of it. We all grew up watching him play, and anybody who knows his backstory would want him to succeed. The Florida International job is a good fit for him. The best part of the piece was when Isiah is in a gym packed with college coaches wearing their schools as advertisements (shirts, hats, jackets, etc.) and he doesn’t even have to wear a single label because everybody knows who he is … So let’s say Isiah is a resounding success at FIU, however you determine that. However-many years down the line, is there a scenario where you see him working in the NBA again? Would anyone hire him as a coach or front-office executive? … On that same note, T-Mac is planning a big comeback. “I will be in uniform for the Rockets this upcoming season, I guarantee you that, and I will be a lot better than I was last year. I will be back to the player that I once was,” Mac told a Chicago radio station. “I will guarantee you that.” McGrady is talking about dropping 30 on dudes right now, but realistically, it’s less about his skills at this point and more about his durability. He can put up 20, five and five in his sleep when he’s relatively healthy, but can he hold up for 70 or 80 games? … We’re out like Bowen …

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  • zcw

    Iverson to the Knicks!
    First!

  • keijae

    the east is looking stacked next year…

  • STATZ

    whats up with everybody retiring and then tryna come back?

  • jdstorm

    Isiah is a good basketball person, he just isn’t heaps good at managing the business side of the game. Since he isn’t going to USC or Memphis this doesn’t really seem like a big deal.

    isiah was always a great talent evaluator

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    The Storm is coming. McGrady will show, dude shouldnt’ even be talkin on it. Just go deliver. The storm is coming.

    30 easy.

  • BRUCE

    Sorry fans but McGrady is old and slow these days. Where was this focus and determination throughout his career?

  • BRUCE

    T-Mac is coming back microfracture surgery on his left knee only STATS came back to his former self.

    TMAC can drop 30 or 25 but without Yao, Artest, and willingness to play defense then his stats is irrelevant. The Rockets are no londer a contender in the West.
    And no matter how well he plays, he simply cannot get Houston pass the West Elite team.

    Sorry Ariza — You just went from first class to coach!

  • fella

    @ STATZ

    it’s kinda like what Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones answered to someone asking him why does he keep on playing even when he’s god rich and old rusty bones. He replied with “Because what the fuck else am I gonna do?” It’s their life and passion, man. Retiring seems like the right thing to do eventually in a ball player’s career. But when they leave the league, they quickly realize there’s a serious void. Or they’re broke as shit.

  • Jason

    Hey Dime – Do the Lakers have an extra roster spot? If so, can they please sign Bruce Bowen???

  • Josh Tha roc

    Man surely someone picks up mike taylor, dude is young athletic as hell and seems to have a reasonable head on his shoulders.

  • Young Money R.I.P. D

    Linton Johnson is still in the League? Dude is getting passed around like a drunk girl at a frat party.

  • http://uoregon.edu sans

    Mike Taylor would be a good pickup for anybody.

    I recently decided to go completely sober, however, watching Steph on Youtube makes me want to hunt him down to find some ish I ain’t never heard about. Maybe eating Vaseline makes you crazy…

  • UltimateRapsFan4

    if A.I goes to the new york knicks hes gonna be able to play how he did in philly because the team is gonna base there skills around him but then again there the new york knicks and there most likely gonna lose about 60 games this year and i am quite sure iverson is not gonna be looking foward to that.

  • danny

    Yeah, like D’Antoni want’s to coach a score first point guard. That would drive him crazy.

  • http://www.imeem.com/dialogs/standaloneplaylist/?p=ztKqfEZj smoove chips

    This the shyt i was saying yesterday.man really I feel for clipper fans..I bet you they get rid of mike taylor and keep ricky davis.
    this franchise is doomed.they must got broken mirrors in every locker room,with hordes of black cats running suicides at the GM office doors.
    Like I said yesterday,get Jwill,iverson,keep lee,al harrington and (uugh)E.curry.This team is long overdue for a good season.

  • That’s whats up

    Isiah Thomas was most effective when handling security in the player’s tunnel at MSG. He was there, every game, checking credentials and whatnot.

  • Duke

    The Spurs aren’t going to resign Bowen. Supposedly he and Pop had a falling out.

  • That’s whats up

    @ post 11

    Linton Johnson is at least getting paid. The drunk girl just gets turned out and then turned loose to make her walk of shame the next morning

    …but I laughed at your post

  • Superman12fan

    SVG go get Sun Yue NOW!!! He’s the key to the championship. His presence on the end of the lakers bench was vital for them… he’s an inspiration!
    Seriously now… what the fuck was this guy even doing in the NBA? I just don’t understand how some players can get NBA paychecks

  • http://www.imeem.com/dialogs/standaloneplaylist/?p=ztKqfEZj smoove chips

    @ superman12
    that’s what happens when you have winning seasons.you get the dregs of the draft picks.I can live with that.It’s when you have high picks from dismal seasons and repeatedly don’t take advantage that drives people nuts.And the lakers end their kids summer camp with a DJ Mbenga storytelling session.(I’m not making this up)Hilarious.

    The east looks nice!I’m looking for the wiz to make some serious noise.And the celts starting 5 is bananas right now.Sheiiet so’s orlando’s.Speaking of orlando.Where is QQ ?

  • the cynic

    Is Sun Yue the frst player from china to get a ring? If so does this make him a hero for his country?

  • danny

    I dont think anybody in china saw sun yu while they were watching the finals.

  • no j mayo

    tmac eats balls.
    long live white chocolate!

  • Superman12fan

    @ smoove chips
    DJ Mbenga?! Really??! What the hell does he tell the kids? How much fun he has getting posterized everytime he steps on the court?? LOL
    You’re right about the east… and don’t forget about the cavs they look pretty tough too… it’s gonna be a fun year

  • jzsmoove

    Seriously? Mike Taylor waived? I wrote in the post how Telfair was traded to the Clips and that his career is over since BD, Gordon and Taylor was there. I didnt think he can even take over as 3rd PG. Also I predict that Gordon will have a spectacular season this year, will cop MIP and be known simply as “The Commissioner”.

    TMac delivered the same bold prediction before. He like my brother, i dont believe him that he says he gonna do something until i see him doing it.

    …and finally, a quote from everybody’s favorite Laker right now, Odom: “I am proud to be a Laker.” Retard.

  • Skeeter McGee

    Cavaliers should pick up Bowen so when it’s Lakers-Cavs in the Finals next year Bowen can guard Kobe and Artest can match-up on LeBron…

  • Skeeter McGee

    Not to mention the addition of Anthony Parker to the Cavs could be big. Might be a bold prediction on my part but I think he can contribute in a Trevor Ariza type role for the Cavaliers when they win the hardware in 2010.

  • BRUCE

    Adios SUN, Lakers Nation hardly knew YUE!

  • dk

    @5 Were you dropped on yoir head as an infant?

    @ Dime Way to keep up the ignorant writing. Is Orlando better….lmao

  • sh!tfaced

    White Chok’lit may be a bit old and stale for NY.

    Magic may be deeper but they don’t have playmaking. They will still miss Hedo… a lot. Jameer is a bit of a ballhog PG.

    Why did TMAC change his number to 3? Coz that’ll be how many times he’ll be in the injured list next season.

    Out like the Celtics only real back up PG…

  • hansosword

    Glad I’m not the only one suprised at the Mike Taylor waive…. He seems like a real bargain.

  • Young Money R.I.P. D

    @That’s What’s up. Thanks for laughing dude. The walk of shame for any female is no bueno. Lolz!

  • dk

    Yeah ask QQ

  • doc

    Orlando dont have playmaking?Um Jameer Nelson is a playmaker.An All Star playmaker as of last year.And Vince is better at playmaking than Hedo in his sleep.Lets not hype Hedo up because he was a good complimentry player on a chip contender.Lets see his playmaking skills in the T-dot or whatever it is yall call it.

  • LakeShow84

    OOOOOO Orlando looking nice.. Pietrus will and should win that competetion with Barnes.. Barnes is an average backup but rollin out Nelson, Carter, Lewis, Bass, Howard is pretty scary cuz the vet presence is perfect mix with the raw talent.. im takin them over Boston in 7 with a final shot of KG crying and kissing the bench area’s floor..

  • http://dime sure

    Orlando will not be the same w/o Skip. Vince is not as good a passer or closer as Turk. The Magic are not as good as last year. The Knicks should bring Skip across the river. Jason Williams. When will it stop. Are we trying to win or drive D’antoni away. We might find out it wasn’t Isiah. A coach could only do so much. The Knicks are looking like an expansion team of late. As a New Yorker its a disgrace and doesn’t translate well for those of us coming up or being a fan. They make you want to try another sport. Something has to be done. How did we not draft Brandon Jennings. Jordan Hill will not be in this league in a few years. He’s close to terrible. Gallinari was a waste of a pick as well. All fans should boycott until they put a N.B.A. team together. Once the money stops they’ll listen or do right.

  • TO

    I really want to believe tmac