Though I’m still trying to make sense of a) the Knicks being blown from the very start of last night’s visit to Miami and b) as thorough a 2nd half collapse as you’re likely to see from the Nets in Sacramento, I’ll instead turn my attentions to the Magic Kingdom. As you might recall, Orlando squandered their first round draft choice in June of 2005, selecting Spaniard Fran Vazquez with the 11th overall pick.
Despite the Magic’s wishful thinking, Vazquez (above, right) remains in Spain, and as the Sun-Sentinel’s Brian Schmitz writes, Orlando are eager to trade their rights to the player.
The Magic will look into trading the rights to 2005 lottery pick Fran Vazquez, perhaps as soon as the Feb. 22 trade deadline, said General Manager Otis Smith.
Smith reached the conclusion after the 6-foot-11 Spanish forward told him last week that he wasn’t ready to join the Magic anytime soon. He has a four-year contract with FC Barcelona.
“If something makes sense, we’ll do it,” Smith said of possibly trading Vazquez’s rights. “I think he has value . . . The thing is, he’s hard to trade because he’s still over there.”
He recently said in an interview that he was “happy” playing in Spain and intended to honor his contract with FC Barcelona.
“I think his confidence about playing here [in the NBA] is better than it was a couple of years ago,” Smith said. “I’m not saying he’s 100 percent warming up to the idea, but he’s better.”
Smith said that if “we had Vazquez in our pocket” the Magic might be more open to entertaining trade offers for PF Darko Milicic before the deadline. But the club’s preference is to re-sign the 7-foot-1 Milicic this summer. Smith said the Magic will still listen to teams asking about Milicic only because Milicic will be a restricted free agent after the season.
Given the circumstances, if Smith can get anyone of value for the rights to a player who has already rejected numerous overtures to play in the NBA, he deserves some sort of prize. Perhaps an autographed copy of Bo Outlaw’s upcoming spoken word album?