The Magic's trade deadline history has been colorful

The second-year center might be the league's best value at $1.7 million, and opposing coaches and players are raving about him.

For Orlando, he's untouchable — or should be, especially in a rebuild.

The Magic have lost two franchise centers, Shaq and Dwight. It took them eight years to replace Shaq, landing Dwight in 2004. Nik isn't in their superstar strata, but he'll be an anchor for a decade in a league void of quality bigs.

He'll still need to be surrounded by a free-agent star (or two) for the club to return to contention.

The Magic can extend Vucevic's contract after next season, his third in the league. It should be a slam-dunk, considering Nelson, Al Harrington and Big Baby Davis (if they are still here) come off the books after the 2014-15 season.

Vucevic easily would be a $10-million-a-year player on the open market.

A Kobe hoax?

Lakers star Kobe Bryant says he beat former Magic SG Tracy McGrady three straight games of one-on-one while the two were on a promotional tour in Germany years ago.

Apparently, Kobe told Manti Te'o the story and not ESPN because T-Mac said it's all a lie. McGrady says he and Kobe were never in Germany together.

"I played T-Mac. I cooked him. Roasted him. Wasn't even close. Ask him, he'll tell you," Bryant said. "When I was about 20, we were in Germany doing some promotional stuff for that other sneaker company, and we played basketball every day.

"We were in the gym all the time. We played three games of one-on-one to 11. I won all three games. One game I won 11-2. After the third game he said he had back spasms and couldn't play anymore."

Upon hearing the story, T-Mac tweeted, "That's far from the truth. No one in the NBA is playing 1 on 1. Me and KB never went to Germany together either."

Hello, Oprah?





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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