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Marcin Gortat: “I would love” to Finish Career with Orlando Magic

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Washington Wizards center and former Magic player Marcin Gortat said Friday he doesn’t expect his NBA career will continue after his current contract expires following the 2018-19 season, and he added he would love to end his career with the Orlando Magic.

“I would love to join the team for maybe two or three months, or maybe half a season at least,” Gortat told the Orlando Sentinel after the Wizards completed their shootaround Friday at Capital One Arena.

“I’m going to be a old guy, so I don’t know if Orlando would be interested or not. But I would love to join the team back again just to wear the uniform, put the white and blue stripes again on me and be able to say I’m a Magic again and just come back home where I belong. That would definitely be a dream come true to do that for me. Whatever the team wants to do — play me, just be in the rotation or just be a bench player — I would definitely be there for the team.”

Gortat will turn 34 years old next month, and he’s in his fifth season with the Wizards. The final year of his contract — the 2018-19 season — will pay him a salary of $13.6 million.

A starter for the Wizards, Gortat entered Friday averaging 9.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 27.3 minutes per game this season.

The Magic acquired Gortat in 2005 in a draft-night trade, and he served as a key cog in the Magic’s run to the 2009 NBA Finals, serving as Dwight Howard’s backup at center. Gortat always has credited former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy and former Magic lead assistant coach Brendan Malone for developing him into a quality player.

Source: Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel

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Sources: NBA Targeting Pre-Christmas Start, 72-Game Regular Season

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The NBA’s league office informed the Board of Governors on Friday that it is targeting to start the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22, three days before Christmas Day, and would like to play a 72-game campaign, sources told The Athletic.

This would mean a return close to the NBA’s normal schedule, significant financial ramifications to start early, a potential finish before the 2021 Summer Olympics, and allow a window for stars to play in the Olympics, sources said. The NBA wants to continue to incorporate the play-in tournament that was utilized in the Orlando restart to determine the eighth seed in the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs, according to sources. ESPN first reported that a Christmas start and playing fewer than 82 games would be discussed on Friday’s call.

The National Basketball Players Association would need to sign off on any plan to start the season on Dec. 22.

Source: Shams Charania of The Athletic

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Sources: Pacers Interested in Gordon Hayward

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Something to keep an eye on once we find out when NBA teams can start making trades: some within the Pacers organization continue to have interest in trading for Celtics’ Gordon Hayward, per SNY sources.

It’s unknown what Boston would want in return for Hayward — or if the club is even open to moving him.

In an NBC Sports podcast in June, the Indianapolis Star noted that Hayward would be a player of interest for the Pacers in the offseason.

Hayward, who starred at Butler, can become a free agent by opting out of the final year of his deal, worth roughly $34 million. It’s hard to see Hayward opting out of his deal without the assurance of a long-term extension in place.

Source: Ian Begley of SNY.tv

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Sources: Warriors Work Out Deni Avdija

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Steve Kerr and other members of the Warriors organization worked out Maccabi Tel Aviv prospect Deni Avdija on Thursday morning in Atlanta, according to sources. By all accounts, it was a positive get together, one in which the 19-year-old Israeli impressed observers. Not only did Avdija perform well in the workouts, but Warriors officials were blown away after meeting with him. The universal takeaway was that he’s a “great kid” with an immense work ethic.

Source: Ethan Strauss of The Athletic

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