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Weekly Mailbag: 8/22/16-8/28/16

We have an opportunity for you to hit us up with your questions in this, our weekly mailbag feature. Have a question regarding player movement, the salary cap or the NBA draft? Drop us a line at [email protected] Here are this week’s inquiries:

What exactly is going on with the Magic? Do they have a plan? — Yancy Yeater

Orlando’s plan for the summer seemed to involve acquiring as much talent as possible, then worrying later about how it all fits together. They got two of the best shot blockers in the league by signing Bismack Biyombo and trading for Serge Ibaka. How they’ll mesh with holdover center Nikola Vucevic remains to be seen, and Vucevic may not be easy to move with three seasons and $36.75MM left on his contract. New coach Frank Vogel faces a big challenge in putting all the pieces together, but Orlando probably raised its talent level enough to challenge for a playoff spot.

Why didn’t the Knicks pursue Lance Stephenson? He’s only 25 and  brings a strong resume playing in playoff competition. He’s a big guard, can defend well, rebounds great, passes well, shoots 48% from field and 39% from 3. He’s a New York City product and has the state high school all-time scoring record. Why no interest? — Harvey Ludwin

It’s not just the Knicks. A lot of teams that could have used Stephenson’s talent decided to pass on his personality. A series of incidents both large and small have resulted in him playing on three teams in the last two seasons. A rumor that the Nets might have a spot for Stephenson was seemingly debunked today, and Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe recently reported that the sixth-year swingman might have to play overseas for a while and work his way back to the NBA.

What do you think will become of Greg Monroe? It was only a year ago he was one of the hottest UFAs on the market, with no less than three active suitors. He’s coming off another efficient, productive season, yet I get the sense the Bucks are struggling to find value in the trade market. What’s the story here? Are seven-footers with his offensive skills suddenly obsolete? — Daren Hill
Monroe put up decent numbers last season, averaging 15.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 79 games, but he wasn’t the rim protector or overall defender that the Bucks needed. There have been reports that Milwaukee has been trying to find a taker for him, but his contract doesn’t make him easy to deal. Monroe will make $17.1MM next season and has a player option for 2017/18, which means any team trading for him may get his services for just one year. Milwaukee may have to decide whether it’s worth taking a discounted offer just to move on from Monroe.

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