Dec. 15 is the first day that free agents who signed last summer can be traded. The Lakers signed Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams, and Brandon Bass in the offseason, hoping those veterans would help generate a playoff push, but Los Angeles dropped nine of its first 11 games. The question for teams like the Lakers, Pelicans, and Nets is whether it’s best to hold on to veterans or deal them for assets and simply prepare for next season. Some free agents haven’t made the expected impact, such as Miami’s Amar’e Stoudemire, who has played 12 minutes this season.
The Magic are not actively looking at trades or changes, and they likely won’t do much in the way of outbound shopping this year. While every team is open for business, the Magic are truly using this season to figure out who are really the long-term pieces to the championship puzzle. The Magic are going to face some tough decisions in the immediate future, mainly because as bright as some of the parts are, the Magic are still one player away from being a serious contender, and that may require cashing out some duplication to get there.
While speaking to members of Utah and Dallas media Friday morning, Deron Williams feigned that that night’s game against his first NBA team was no big deal. “It was six years ago,” Williams said, making some wonder if his time in New Jersey and Brooklyn seemed longer than it actually was in light of the fact that only four and a half years have passed since he was traded to the Nets.
Even so, the 31-year-old — who’s made peace with Sloan, by the way — is enjoying his return to his childhood home, Dallas. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid, playing here,” Williams said. “It’s finally come true.” All the better that part of his Utah life joined him for his dream in Dallas. “It (Utah) will always be with me,” Williams said. “It will always be a part of me.”