NBA AM: Magic To Begin Interviewing GM Prospects
The Orlando Magic are coming off a season in which the franchise recorded its sixth consecutive postseason appearance, which ended in a first round playoff ouster at the hands of the Indiana Pacers.
However the biggest storyline in Orlando since their season ended hasn’t centered on the team’s second straight first-round playoff elimination, but rather, the state of their front office and the long term future of All-Star center Dwight Howard in Orlando.
Earlier this week, the team fired head coach Stan Van Gundy and mutually parted ways with president of basketball operations Otis Smith. Both moves were widely believed to put Orlando in a better leveraged position to get Howard to sign a long term contract extension to remain with the Magic.
But those moves were only the first step in convincing Howard the franchise is building a winning blueprint for the future. The next step to be evaluated will be the candidates hired to fill the voids left by Van Gundy and Smith.
According to Orlando Sentinel reporter Joshua Robbins, Magic CEO Alex Martins is set to start interviewing candidates for the team’s vacant president of basketball operations position as early as next week. The timing here is critical for Martins to execute flawlessly since the 2012 draft is set for June 28 and finding a replacement for Smith will also aid in the selection process of a new head coach.
According to the report, potential candidates include Indiana Pacers general manager David Morway, Boston Celtics assistant general manager Ryan McDonough, former New York Knicks executive Donnie Walsh, and former New Orleans Hornets general manager Jeff Bower.
Another name reportedly thrown in the mix the Magic plan to pursue is current Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak.
The Magic are also expected to push Howard to make a quick decision on his future with the team rather than going through the daily grind of his possible free agency like the club endured throughout the 2012 season.
Outside of Howard’s situation, Smith’s replacement will have to hire a new head coach, decide on the future of potential restricted free agent and Most Improved Player award winner Ryan Anderson.
For the time being the existing scouting team and support staff will continue preparing for the draft and evaluating free agent options until Martins hires a permanent replacement to handle the basketball operations department full-time.
Draft Prospect Arnett Moultrie Ready To Showcase His Motor: Former Mississippi State standout Arnett Moultrie has ascended scouts boards leading up to next month’s draft. Entering the season, Moultrie was widely considered to be a second round pick by most NBA scouts but now finds himself projected to be selected in the 15-20 range, with a chance to even reach lottery status as he has plenty of workouts with teams scheduled in June.
Moultrie is out to prove to franchises that he has a high motor and is ready to defend and rebound immediately at the next level. He averaged 16.4 points and 10.5 rebounds during his junior season at Mississippi State and led the Southeastern Conference in rebounds.
HOOPSWORLD caught up with Moultrie at IMPACT Basketball and discussed his pre-draft training regimen in preparation for the draft.
Quick Note On NBA Draft Lottery & Odds: The NBA draft lottery is set for May 30. Here’s what you should know about the team’s jockeying for position.
- The top three selections are the only picks decided by the lottery. After that, the rest of the first round selections are based on a team’s regular season record.
- The Brooklyn Nets will keep their first round pick if it winds up in the top three, but the Portland Trail Blazers will get it if it lands outside of this slot (part of the Gerald Wallace trade).
- The Utah Jazz will get the Golden State Warriors’ pick unless it falls in the top seven
Percent Chance: 25%
Percent Chance: 9.9%
Percent Chance: 13.8%
New Orleans Hornets
Percent Chance: 14.8%
(team has two picks, one via Minnesota Timberwolves which has 1.1% shot, their own has 13.7% chance)
Percent Chance: 7.6%
Percent Chance: 7.5%
Golden State Warriors
Percent Chance: 3.6%
Percent Chance: 3.5%
Percent Chance: 1.7%
Portland Trail Blazers
Percent Chance: 0.8%
Percent Chance: 0.7%
Percent Chance: 0.6%
Percent Chance: 0.5%
Celtics’ Bradley Done For The Season? The Boston Celtics finished the season on a tear behind the inspired play of Hall of Fame bound forward Kevin Garnett down the stretch. But one of the players who also played a key part in Boston’s late season run was second year guard Avery Bradley who earned a spot in the starting lineup and quickly solidified himself as one of the premier young perimeter defenders in the game.
However, Bradley has been limited in the Celtics’ postseason run because of a left shoulder injury. On Thursday, Boston’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge hinted that his young guard may be out for the remainder of the season.
“We’ll probably find out more here in the next few hours, but it’s looking that way,” Ainge told Boston sports radio station WEEI in response to whether Bradley will return. “I think these reports are accurate — at least the reports I’ve read. Someone said it was a 90 percent chance that he’s done for the season, and it’s looking that way.”
“Avery needs surgery,” Ainge added. “So he should have a summer full of rehab, and should be ready to go next year.”
Bradley has endured three dislocations of his left shoulder in the postseason alone and the surgery will attempt to repair the structural damage caused due to the tears. The estimated timeframe for recovery is four to six months and is the same type of injury which sidelined Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay at the end of the 2011 season.
Without Bradley in the lineup, veteran guard Ray Allen will be forced to play more minutes while also battling injuries himself. The Celtics will host the Philadelphia 76ers in game seven of their second round playoff matchup on Saturday.
NBA Chats: There is one NBA chat today starting with Yannis Koutroupis who will drop his weekly chat at 11 a.m. EST. You can always find the next upcoming chat here: Upcoming NBA Chats or if you are looking for a chat that already completed try here: Previous NBA Chats