Tuesday , Mar , 28 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Magic make money appear for Howard, Nelson

(Sports Network) – The Orlando Magic front office busted out the cash this
week when they extended the contracts of forward/center Dwight Howard and
guard Jameer Nelson.

In a move to keep the team’s young core in Orlando for a few years, Howard and
Nelson will don Magic uniform’s through the 2007-08 season.

Howard, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, is averaging 15.6 points
and 12.3 rebounds in 70 games this season. Howard also was one of 23 players
recently named to the 2005-06 USA Men’s Senior National Team program.

Meanwhile, the Magic will have a steady point guard on their roster for some
time in Nelson. The speedy guard is posting 14.2 points, 4.8 assists and 3.1
rebounds in 50 games this season.

Nelson’s stock lifted when the team dealt disgruntled guard Steve Francis to
the New York Knicks more than a month ago.

On a sour note, Magic oft-injured forward Grant Hill is contemplating
retirement if he needs more surgery to repair a sports hernia.

The injury, which has hampered professional athletes such as
Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, has limited Hill to just 21 games this
season. He hasn’t played since a March 10 win against Cleveland.

Hill, who has underwent several ankle surgeries in the past, missed the first
19 games of the 2005-06 season. He is averaging 15.1 points, 3.8 boards and
2.3 assists this season.

The Magic have won three straight games and will visit the Chicago Bulls
Tuesday night at the United Center. Orlando is 7-29 as the visitor this
season.

ORL