Ryan's Place

Monday, July 25, 2005

Francis Most Likely Staying Put

From Tim Povtak at The Orlando Sentinel:

Several NBA teams have called the Orlando Magic this summer, wondering about the availability of talented but sometimes tempestuous guard Steve Francis.

None have gotten very far.

When Francis attended the Magic's summer-league games in Las Vegas earlier this month, he met with Magic officials to talk about several things, including the trade rumors that continue to circulate around him.

What he learned from that meeting was that he wasn't going anywhere. But it wasn't just the Magic getting the calls from other teams.

"I'd be misleading you if I said, 'I have not received calls from around the league,' people wondering what Steve wanted to do," said Francis' agent, Jeff Fried, who was vacationing in Florida last week. "The interest from other teams was genuine. But Steve likes Orlando. And based on our discussions with the Magic, they like him here."

The upcoming addition of point guard Keyon Dooling led to one rumor that he could be traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, possibly for Lamar Odom. There was talk about a trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves. There was talk about him going to the Boston Celtics for Paul Pierce.

In other Magic News:

Magic fans can stop worrying about the availability of first-round draft pick Fran Vazquez from Spain. Shortly after the collective bargaining agreement is finalized, which is expected to happen Thursday, Orlando will finish the contract buyout from his European team.

Some scouts in Europe are beginning to compare him to Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies. By European standards, scouts say he has good explosiveness and agility, which could make him an immediate contributor for the Magic.


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