NBA News and Rumors – September 28, 2009

Otis Smith explains the reasons behind Orlando’s offseason personnel moves

Warriors will look to deal Jackson, who wants to play with Knicks

The veteran will either be traded or offered a buyout

Otis Smith explains the reasons behind Orlando’s offseason personnel moves

Brian Schmitz

The Orlando Magic return to work on Tuesday, 108 days after their surprise run ended in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Training camp will resemble more of a meet-and-greet than a reunion, however.

Despite making their first Finals appearance since 1995, the Magic boldly remade their roster this summer, bringing in five new players. The biggest change was letting go of Hedo Turkoglu and trading for Vince Carter.

General Manager Otis Smith considers the moves — the Magic could wind up with two new starters — to be part of a process of building a perennial contender.

In a question-and-answer session with the Sentinel’s Brian Schmitz, Smith also explains why the timing is now right to acquire Carter and why trading Marcin Gortat doesn’t make sense — yet.

Q: Otis, you’ve employed an unusual strategy: Reach the Finals and then tear up your team. What’s up with that?

A: You can punt around and say our goal is to get back to the Finals, but we want to win championships. And we want to win a championship today. The pieces we added were the pieces we thought we needed to add to win.

I thought it would be virtually impossible to bring back 10 guys and get back to the Finals. It will be equally as difficult to even bring back different guys and win a championship. So the task is equally as great.,0,2967636.story

Otis Smith explains the reasons behind Orlando’s offseason personnel moves

Former Knicks and current Warriors head coach, Don Nelson, told the San Francisco Chronicle that he will try to trade Stephen Jackson, who asked to be dealt earlier this year.

"I’m not angry at him," Nelson told the paper. "I understand. And we’ll try to accommodate him if it works out and is the right thing for the team. …

"If it’s good for the team, we’ll look at it. It’s got nothing to do with Jack or a request. We’ll accommodate him if we can; if it’s good for him and good for us, we’ll certainly look at it."

Earlier in the offseason when asked where he wanted to be traded, Jackson told Dime Magazine, "Either Cleveland, anywhere in Texas or out here with Al (Harrington) in New York."

Harrington and Jackson were teammates in Oakland before Harrington was traded to the Knicks in the beginning of last season. The idea of bringing Jackson, who is used to playing in an up-tempo system, could be appealing to Donnie Walsh and company with the guard/forward being in the final year of his contract.

The veteran will either be traded or offered a buyout

Newly acquired Antonio Daniels won’t play for the Timberwolves after all.

As they also did this week with veteran center Mark Blount, the Wolves have given Daniels permission to find a trade that will allow him to play more elsewhere. If the Wolves can’t trade Daniels, 34, for a contract similar to his $6.6 million deal, the two sides already have agreed to a contract buyout.

Daniels is hopeful of signing one more sizable contract and didn’t think he would play enough behind young point guards Jonny Flynn and Ramon Sessions to do so. Wolves boss David Kahn obtained Daniels from New Orleans for Bobby Brown and Darius Songaila in a Sept. 9 trade that was all about ridding the team of the remaining two seasons on Songaila’s contact.

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