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Orlando Magic

Non-NBA Transactions: Marble, Orton, Forbes

Former Magic guard Devyn Marble is headed to Italy, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando, who passes along word that the 24-year-old has signed with Aquila Basket Trento. The Italian club made it official, announcing the move in a press release.

A second-round pick in 2014, Marble was part of the deal that sent Arron Afflalo to Denver — Marble headed to the Magic along with Evan Fournier. In 44 NBA games over the course of two seasons in Orlando, Marbles averaged a modest 2.2 PPG and 1.6 RPG in 10.4 minutes per contest. He was more productive in 20 career D-League games for the Erie BayHawks, averaging 14.3 PPG and 5.2 RPG.

An offseason deal last summer sent Marble from the Magic to the Clippers, who subsequently waived him. The former Iowa Hawkeye signed a deal with a team in Greece, but a contract dispute made him a free agent again last month.

Here are a few more recent non-NBA moves involving former NBA players:

  • Greek team G.S. Kymis has announced the signing of former NBA center Daniel Orton, per Orazio Cauchi of Sportando. A first-round pick (29th overall) in the 2010 draft, Orton played in 51 total contests for Orlando, Oklahoma City, and Philadelphia, but his last NBA game was over three years ago.
  • Brooklyn’s D-League affiliate, has waived Gary Forbes, according to a press release issued today by the team. Forbes, who appeared in 111 total NBA games for Denver and Toronto, was the Long Island Nets‘ first pick in last year’s NBADL expansion draft.
  • Ramon Galloway, who was in camp with the Magic this past fall, has been waived from Orlando’s D-League affiliate, the Erie BayHawks, the club announced (Twitter link via Chris Reichert of The Step Back).

Heat Notes: 16th Man, Injuries, Richardson, Dragic

Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra confirmed today that the NBA has granted the team a harship exception, allowing for a 16th player to be added to the roster (Twitter link). According to Spoelstra, Miami has not yet determined which player will be added to the roster using that exemption (Twitter link). However, the Heat coach may simply be waiting until the move is official to formally discuss the team’s newest player — according to reports on Sunday, Miami is prepared to call up Okaro White from its D-League affiliate to take that 16th roster spot.

Here’s more on the Heat:

  • Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel explains why the Heat qualify for a hardship exception that allows them to add a 16th player, providing updates on where things stand on sidelined players like Chris Bosh, Josh McRoberts, and Justise Winslow.
  • Meanwhile, Josh Richardson will be sidelined for at least the next two weeks of action, Spoelstra confirmed today (Twitter link). When Richardson is ready to return, the Heat will have to part ways with someone to get back down to 15 players.
  • In a mailbag for The Sun Sentinel, Winderman discusses the possibility of the Heat matching up with the Magic for a Goran Dragic trade. In Winderman’s view, it makes sense for Miami to be patient if any such deal would involve a 2017 first-round pick, since the Heat would want to be sure that pick lands as high as possible in the draft. Of course, the further Orlando is from the playoff race in the East, the less likely the team is to part with a 2017 pick.
  • Within the same mailbag, Winderman also suggests that James Johnson and Wayne Ellington are more likely than someone like Derrick Williams to generate interest as trade chips.

Hoops Rumors Retro: Penny Hardaway To The Suns

The mandate at Hoops Rumors is to consolidate news from throughout the professional basketball world, but nobody ever specified from which decade. Join us as Austin Kent, a grown man with a binder of 1996/97 NBA trading cards beside his desk, cannonballs down the rabbit hole of nostalgia to give significant trades of yesteryear the modern media treatment.

It’s early August 1999 and the world is racing to prepare for the turn of the millennium. Jerry Colangelo, owner and president of the Phoenix Suns, has other plans.

Sure, the 59-year-old Godfather of Phoenix Basketball reads the papers, he watches the news – but while rest of the country braces for the pandemonium of Y2K, Colangelo and the executive team with whom he manages the organization decide to take the offensive.

The wheels are in motion for a scheme so grand and so bold that it will get the Suns to the top of a mountain they’ve longed to climb since the franchise – and Colangelo along with it – first hit the scene in 1969.

They call it: Backcourt 2000.

The Penny Hardaway that takes a seat at the press conference announcing his arrival in Arizona isn’t the one that you might remember – the last Lil Penny TV spot aired several years prior – but he isn’t the tragic hero that you’ve grown to mourn either.

Not yet at least.


In 1999, Hardaway is coming off a decent lockout-shortened 1998/99 campaign, an abbreviated season in which he suited up for every game. That bolded 50 you see in the ‘G’ column of his Basketball Reference profile means more than just league leader – it means hope.

To recap, Hardaway was named to the All-NBA 1st team two times before his 25th birthday. Put another way it’s even more impressive; after winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1994, he finished 1995 and 1996 as one of the top two guards in the NBA. Not bad young blood1.

What came after the early accolades but before his exit from Orlando is all too familiar. In the first year after Shaquille O’Neal’s departure, Hardaway would miss 23 games to injury. The following season a pair of knee surgeries would limit him to just 19 total.

At the time of the injuries, few knew what to make of the All-Star’s frequent stints on the sidelines. Doctors barely knew what the future would hold for NBA players with degraded knee cartilage, never mind teammates or fans.

Nobody bonded with me at that time,” Hardaway has since told SLAM. “No support. It was weird. Nobody would say, ‘Hey man, are you OK?’ Nothing. It was more that people thought I was faking.”

Suffice it to say, Hardaway’s once meteoric star faded as quickly as it appeared on the NBA horizon. In its wake, a once beloved superstar with an elite ceiling but mysteriously compromised body.Read more

The Magic Should Pay Ibaka; Hezonja Returns To Rotation

Second-year shooting guard Mario Hezonja will get a shot at reclaiming his spot in the Magic rotation, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. The 21-year-old slipped out of head coach Frank Vogel‘s core lineup in mid-November.

For the next little while at least, expect Hezonja to back up starting small forward Aaron Gordon when the Magic elect to run a small ball lineup with Jeff Green at the four. After racking up 13 DNP-CDs in the first 40 games of the season, Hezonja will take what he can get.

In another piece, John Denton of the Magic’s website, explores other ways Vogel is shaking up his lineup – including returning Nikola Vucevic to the starting lineup.

  • The Magic should pay, and perhaps overpay, to keep Serge Ibaka in Orlando, writes Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel. Schmitz argues that the 27-year-old big man has been the team’s best player on both ends of the floor. Ibaka has averaged 15.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game through Orlando’s first 40.

Magic Notes: Dragic, Crabbe, Vucevic, Harkless

Orlando is among several teams that have contacted the Heat about Goran Dragic, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN.com. The Magic are looking to solidify their point guard position, which belonged to Elfrid Payton when the season began, but was taken over by D.J. Augustin in late November. Dragic still has three years and more than $54MM left on his current contract. He is averaging 19.0 points and 6.5 assists in 32 games this season, but has missed time recently with back problems.

There’s more news today out of Orlando:

  • After losing six of their last seven and dropping to 16-24, the Magic need to act quickly to save their season, writes Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel. Offense has been a problem for Orlando all year, and Schmitz says the team needs to find a scorer who can create his own shot. He suggests Allen Crabbe of the Trail Blazers as a realistic target and suggests offering, possibly with shot-blocking center Bismack Biyombo going to Portland in return.
  • Nikola Vucevic will be back in the starting lineup tonight, with Biyombo coming off the bench, according to Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Vucevic was demoted along with Payton in the November shakeup. Coach Frank Vogel plans to utilize more “small-ball” lineups with Jeff Green moving to power forward and Mario Hezonja back in the rotation as a backup small forward.
  • The Magic made a huge error when they gave up on Maurice Harkless two years ago, Robbins argues in a separate piece. After three disappointing seasons in Orlando, Harkless was traded to Portland in the summer of 2015 in exchange for a second-round draft pick in 2020. He was a regular starter for the Blazers during last year’s playoffs and has started all 40 games in which he has appeared this season. “It was a tough situation: a lot of guys trying to figure it out, including the staff and the front office,” Harkless said of his time in Orlando. “It was a unique situation. It was tough. Obviously, it wasn’t going to work out for everybody. I think a change of scenery is what I needed.”

Latest On Paul Millsap

The Hawks officially traded away one veteran player on an expiring contract this weekend, sending Kyle Korver to Cleveland in a deal that netted them a future first-round pick. Moving Paul Millsap would net an even bigger haul, but it’s not clear yet whether the Hawks are ready to trade their standout big man. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, the Hawks haven’t yet been aggressive in fielding offers for Millsap, though they’ve suggested to rival teams that they could be serious about moving him.

A Saturday report from ESPN’s Marc Stein indicated that Atlanta would be seeking at least one “quality” first-round pick to headline a trade package for Millsap. Stein didn’t specify how many other pieces would be required in such a deal. Meanwhile, other reports identified the Sixers, Nuggets, Raptors, Pelicans, and Kings as teams that have expressed some level of interest in Millsap. The Trail Blazers have also been “sniffing around,” per Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).

In addition to those clubs, the Magic can be added to the list of potential suitors, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. While O’Connor doesn’t say that Orlando has conveyed interest in Millsap recently, he writes that GM Rob Hennigan “has a long-standing infatuation” with the three-time All-Star. A league source tells O’Connor that the Magic made a push to trade for Millsap last summer before acquiring Serge Ibaka and signing Bismack Biyombo instead.

With Ibaka and Biyombo now in the mix, along with Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, the Magic’s frontcourt situation is crowded, making them an unusual fit for Millsap. Still, if Hennigan and the front office decides to shake things up by moving more than one of those frontcourt players, a Millsap deal would make more sense. So far, the club’s new-look frontcourt hasn’t been a success — Orlando is 16-23, good for 12th in the East.

The Hawks nearly dealt Millsap on two separate occasions in 2016. Atlanta had a deal lined up with the Nuggets at the trade deadline, but opted against trading him away. The Hawks were later prepared to deal him to the Raptors in July if Al Horford had re-signed with the team. Millsap can opt out of his current deal and become a free agent at season’s end, and he’s expected to do so, though there are conflicting reports about whether or not he has already made that decision.

Magic Waive Arinze Onuaku

The Magic have waived Arinze Onuaku, the team has announced over Twitter. The announcement came after Friday’s game against the Rockets, a significant contest in that it featured Onuaku’s brother Chinanu Onuaku.

In eight games for the Magic this season, the 29-year-old forward averaged just 3.5 points per game, he was signed to a one-year deal in September after impressing the team in Summer League

Onuaku’s release comes on the eve of January 7, the last day that teams can waive players with partially guaranteed contracts.

Previously Onuaku has seen limited action with Cavaliers, Timberwolves and Pelicans.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 1/6/17

Here are Friday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

9:24pm:

  • The Magic have recalled guard C.J. Wilcox, the team announced via press release. Wilcox has appeared in four games with the Erie BayHawks this season, averaging 12.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

9:01pm:

8:07pm:

6:00pm:

3:32pm:

  • The Knicks assigned Maurice Ndour and Marshall Plumlee to their D-League affiliate, the Westchester Knicks, according to the team’s Twitter feed. Both players will be able for tonight’s game.
  • The Bulls have assigned Bobby Portis and Paul Zipser to the Windy City Bulls, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs have assigned Dejounte Murray to their D-League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, according to the team’s website. Murray is averaging 15.8 points and 6.8 assists in 34.2 minutes per contest during 11 games Austin this season.

NBA D-League Assignments/Recalls: 1/3/17

Here are Tuesday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:

  • The Magic have sent C.J. Wilcox to the D-League, the team announced today in a press release. For Wilcox, whom Orlando acquired in an offseason trade, it’s the second time this season he has been assigned to the Erie BayHawks. During his first assignment, he averaged 10. PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 2.5 APG in two games with Orlando’s NBADL affiliate.
  • A day after being recalled to the NBA, rookie guard Bryn Forbes has been re-assigned to the D-League, the Spurs announced today in a press release. While Forbes has appeared in 13 games so far this season for San Antonio, he has seen much more playing time for the Austin Spurs, averaging 23.4 PPG in seven games for the NBADL squad.

Turner Makes Magic Pay For Drafting Hezonja Over Him

  • The Magic were reminded of what they could have had with the No. 5 pick in the 2015 draft on Sunday. Pacers big man Myles Turner dropped 23 points and 12 rebound on his former coach Frank Vogel, while Mario Hezonja – the player Orlando did select – failed to crack double-digits in minutes for the 13th time in 14 games since November 9.

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