Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Magic GM likes depth to fill Nelson void
By Ric Bucher
ESPN The Magazine
While the Orlando Magic traded for a replacement when point guard Jameer Nelson went down last season, general manager Otis Smith said Wednesday he's not inclined to do so this time.
Nelson underwent surgery Wednesday to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. He is expected to be out four to six weeks. He had shoulder surgery last February that kept him out more than three months before he made an unexpected return for the NBA Finals.
"If he were going to be out longer it might be different," Smith said. "The way we play, inside-out with a lot of pick-and-rolls, I feel very comfortable with what we have."
Jason Williams, signed as a free agent in August, and Anthony Johnson will handle point-guard duties in Nelson's absence. Rafer Alston, acquired last season in a three-way trade with Houston and Memphis shortly after Nelson's shoulder surgery, was dealt to the New Jersey Nets in the offseason trade that brought Vince Carter to the Magic.
While Smith also would consider adding available free agent Allen Iverson if he sustained another injury, he said he doesn't see him as a good fit as a one- or two-month fill-in at point guard.
"I'm not excluding Allen," Smith said. "You just can't look at this from a short-term fix. You have to consider the long-term chemistry of your team. If we lost somebody else, then Allen might make more sense."
Ric Bucher covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine.