Harper’s agent told the Orlando Sentinel on Thursday that although he and Harper have discussed potential opportunities in Europe, it’s probably in Harper’s “best interests” to remain in the United States and wait for the lockout to end.
“We’re exploring all opportunities for Justin,” said Lance Young, Harper’s agent.
“I think that’s the bottom line. We have talked about Europe. As a second-round pick, he’s not guaranteed anything. But right now the European market, just like with our economy here, the European deals are down 20 to 30 percent compared to what they were a couple of years ago. I just think a guy like Justin would be a player that could really help the Magic, and I think that staying
But if NBA offices are shut down and all transactions are halted, Howard might be forced to stay with the Magic all season — except he won’t play a game. Meaning Orlando could lose out on A) having a team good enough to convince Howard he wants to stay because he can win there; B) the Magic won’t have an opportunity to trade Howard and get a Carmelo-like deal where they can restock the roster instead of letting him walk with nothing in return; or C) the Magic miss out on at least one more year with Howard meaning they miss out on a chance of having a good team that can compete. That’s a lot to think about if this lockout starts stretching into 2012.
If Redick was good enough to start for Chicago – the team with the NBA’s best record last season – shouldn’t he be good enough to start in Orlando?
Opinions of Magic fans seem to be mixed when it comes to Redick starting, with the primary concern being his ability to defend opposing shooting guards. His height (6-foot-4) and wingspan (even shorter, 6-foot-2) don’t help him against bigger guards — such as Joe Johnson — and his lateral quickness isn’t adept enough to defend creators like Dwyane Wade (although, to be fair, who can cover Wade one-on-one?). Stan Van Gundy has called Redick his “best team defender” outside of Dwight Howard, but that doesn’t change the fact that Atlanta specifically targeted Redick with its isolation offense during the most recent playoffs.
The Magic have a new NBA Development League affiliate: the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
The Miami Heat and the Minnesota Timberwolves also will have the option to funnel players to the Skyforce.
(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com) and is the co-host of the ESPN1080.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).