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Orlando Magic News & Notes: Labor News, Shaq Takes (More) Shots At Howard

Per the AP, the players and owners have failed to make progress:

Union executive director Billy Hunter says players were prepared to make a “significant” financial move, but found owners unwilling to budge off their positions.

Union president Derek Fisher of the Lakers said he will tell players that “the way it looks right now we may not start on time.”

Fisher added that “we can’t find a place with the league and our owners where we can reach a deal sooner rather than later.”

Per Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, Magic players plan to start working out together next week:

“I just want guys to get together a few days a week just to get back in the flow of things as much as we can and get some weightlifting in and some conditioning and get some shots up,” co-captain and starting point guard Jameer Nelson told the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday.

Nelson and his teammates have a simple goal: They want to replicate their normal pre-training camp routine as closely as possible, despite the lockout. Normally, all of the players who spend the offseason outside of Central Florida would be working at Amway Center to prepare for training camp.

Brian Schmitz put together a to-do list for the Magic when the lockout ends:

2.Define Gilbert Arenas’ role, please. Stan Van Gundy needs to open the point-guard job between Arenas and incumbent Jameer Nelson. This will create competition, if not re-open Gilbert’s no-holds barred Twitter account. Arenas, unhappy how he was used for 49 games after arriving in a trade last season, will learn where he stands. The Magic also will discover quickly if Gilbert sufficiently rehabbed his knee and whipped his body into shape.

Philip Rossman-Reich takes a look at small forwards in his cost/efficiency analysis series:

So is Turkoglu overpaid? If he keeps producing at the pitiful efficiency he produced last year (and the previous year in Toronto), yes. If he can increase his efficiency and produce more for the Magic, Turkoglu might actually be properlky priced. It is a pretty big if though. It seems like Turkoglu has hit his peak and it is not likely he is going back to his 2007-08 level.

He certainly can play better though and the Magic are expecting him to. In fact, considering how much more is left on his deal, the Magic need him to. There is no doubt that Turkoglu can operate effective in Stan Van Gundy’s offense. He just has to do it. And if he does, then his contract will not seem so daunting.

Surprise, surprise. Shaq is taking shots at Dwight Howard:

“If Dwight doesn’t win two or three championships, I’m going to be disappointed,” he told the paper. “He doesn’t have nobody. When I came in the league, I had to go through Alonzo Mourning, Arvydas Sabonis, Kevin Duckworth, Rik Smits. Now I can’t name any other centers besides Kendrick Perkins and Andrew Bynum. Who else is there? That’s it.”

Shaq has always been peeved by Howard’s use of the “Superman” moniker — which Howard says he picked up from rapper Soulja Boy, not O’Neal — and he has been vocal about it for quite some time.

(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).

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Tags: Dwight Howard Hedo Turkoglu Jameer Nelson Nba Lockout Orlando Magic Shaquille O'neal

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