Your daily preview of what to expect in Magicville . . .
That’s the provocative theory CBSSports.com’s Matt Moore is proposing. Read his article here.
Let’s sum up Moore’s argument:
1. Just because Paul says he wants a trade to the Knicks doesn’t mean the Hornets have to trade him there. In fact, it’s possible that Orlando could offer better trade chips (Jameer Nelson, Brandon Bass/Ryan Anderson, J.J. Redick and a future first-round draft pick) than New York (Chauncey Billups, Landry Fields and Ronny Turiaf). Other potential bidders would be scared off by the prospect of seeing Paul play for them for one year and then walk via free agency next summer.
2. It’s true that the Magic would face the risk that Paul would not re-sign with them, and that they also could lose Howard next summer. But what if Paul and Howard spend a full season together in Orlando, form the greatest point guard/center tandem since Magic and Kareem and challenge for a title? That might be too tantalizing for Paul and Howard to walk away from.
3. Paul would have incentive to be traded to Orlando sooner than later, LeBron or Melo route" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.cbssports.com/nba/story/16285295" target="_blank">as Moore’s colleague, Ken Berger, has noted. After six months pass, Paul could become a free agent in July 2012 and then re-sign for a max deal. Howard could also become a free agent and reap a huge payday. Win-win for both guys, right?
4. And if the Magic lose both players? Well, beginning in 2012-13, that would be disastrous. But at least Orlando would have tons of room under the cap to make a dent in free agency.
So that’s Moore’s argument. Intriguing, isn’t it?
But here’s the biggest problem: It would make no sense to the Magic to do this if — note the emphasis on the word “if” — Howard already has made his mind up that he doesn’t want to stay with Orlando under any circumstances. Right now, it’s unclear what Howard’s thinking. And if Howard doesn’t want to stay, then Paul wouldn’t either.
Other stories to follow:
• Today, the Magic should announce the details of their preseason home-and-home series against the Miami Heat, a pair of exhibition games that, if there was going to be a season, has seemed likely since early October.
• And Magic fans could get a Christmas present . . . in the form of a Christmas Day game. As former Orlando Sentinel staff writer Zach McCann posited yesterday, it’s possible that the Magic will open their regular season Dec. 25 against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City. The league is expected to announce its slate of Christmas games today.
What I’m reading:
• Deron Williams will not sign extension with Nets, agent says (The Record, Al Iannazzone)
• Ready, Ainge and shoot (Mark Murphy, Boston Herald)
• Hawks workout" rel="nofollow" href="http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-hawks/smith-is-first-to-1248475.html" target="_blank">Smith is first to show for Hawks workout (Michael Cunningham, The Atlanta Journal Constitution)