Friday , Feb , 23 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Magic don’t turn any tricks at deadline

(Sports Network) – While they were rumored to be in contention to land
Florida native Vince Carter from the New Jersey Nets by way of trade, the
Magic, much like the rest of the NBA, did nothing as the trade deadline came
and went on Thursday.

The Nets were interested in moving Carter, who can opt out of his contract at
the end of the season, and the Magic were seen as a good fit because he was
born in Daytona Beach. However, it appears the Magic didn’t want to shake up a
team that is second in the Southeast Division and seventh overall in the East.

Carter and his 25.1 points per game would have combined nicely with Dwight
Howard’s team-leading 17.9 points and 12 rebounds per game. Those two would
have formed a powerful duo that few teams in the conference could match.

However, it wasn’t guaranteed that the Magic could retain Carter after this
season, making the acquisition a big time gamble in a wide-open conference.

It’s also possible that the Magic just didn’t want to give up any youth, or
expiring contracts, to land Carter and instead will go with the arsenal it
already has.

In addition to Howard, the Magic have seen the return of guard Grant Hill, who
missed seven games because of a right knee injury but has played in Orlando’s
last two games. Hill has been solid this year as the former first-round pick
is netting 14.7 points per game.

Also coming into his own this year for the Magic is 25-year-old Jameer Nelson,
who is netting 13.3 points per game. However, he is averaging only 4.1 assists
per game to lead the team, which is tied for 27th in the league with just 18.4
assists per game.

Orlando will play its next two games at home, starting with a tilt against
Detroit on Friday. Then, the team will embark on a tough four-game road swing
that features some tough Western Conference clashes, including games in San
Antonio and Dallas.

Orlando is just 9-18 on the road this season.