You’ve no doubt read that Jamaal (“The Other Canadian”) Magloire is on the outs in Portland these days, and the Blazers may be inclined to deal him. As fans of a team with a dearth of talent at center, does it make sense for the Sonics to inquire about a 6’11” former all-star in the last year of his contract?
Yes and no. Here’s a brief rundown on the positives and negatives to getting Magloire.
1. Attitude. Magloire is working on his 3rd team in 3 years, and it would shift to 4 if he’s dealt. That’s never a good sign.
2. Poor foul shooter. This might be a fluke thing, but for the past 2 seasons Magloire has been abysmal. Like I said, it could be just a fluke, as he was solid at the start of his career and decent at Kentucky.
3. Not a great passer, when compared to Collison. Also has a higher turnover rate.
4. Makes $8.5 million this year
5. Not an especially agile defender.
1. Gets to the line often (6.3/game for career/40 minutes), especially in relation to Collison (3.2) or Petro (don’t ask).
2. Playoff experience. He’s not Sam Perkins, but he has played 36 playoff games. To some people, that matters.
3. Solid defensive rebounder; again, his numbers are vastly superior to Collison. 4. Decent shot-blocker. Not as good as he was at the start of his career, but capable of blocking at least a shot a game if given 30 minutes.
5. Not especially foul-prone. This is something of big importance; both Collison and Petro attract fouls like Britney Spears attracts bad publicity. Magloire’s ability to stay out of foul trouble enables him to stay on the court longer, and keeps opponents from getting to the bonus so quickly.
6. Contract expires at the end of the season.
I look at it from this perspective – the Sonics are one decent offensive player away from contending for a playoff spot. Allen, Ridnour, Lewis, and Wilcox aren’t going anywhere, and who knows if/when Wilcox will ever figure out a way to get 15 points a night. That leaves the center position as the best way to add points.
Petro is not going to take this team to the playoffs at this stage in his career; if anything, he’s going to be a hindrance. Collison is inconsistent, and while his peripheral game is nice, he has way too many bad games to be a starter in this league.
Magloire is not a long-term solution for the Sonics, but he doesn’t have to be. He needs to keep the center spot warm for one season until Petro develops, and Swift gets healthy.
In my mind, putting Magloire on this team adds instant offense and catapults Seattle to a chance for the playoffs, a chance which is non-existent at the moment.
Here's how it could work: Deal Danny Fortson and another piece (Wilks, the Greek guy, or Desmon Farmer) to the Blazers for Magloire. If Seattle has to throw in a 2nd-round pick, so be it. The Blazers save some money, get a guy (Fortson) who they can hold onto and wait for his contract to expire, or deal away. Plus, they shed somebody who will start squawking because he's not getting minutes.
If Bennett and the Sonics’ new ownership is serious about keeping this team in town, they need to do something to create excitement. A 38-win team with no chance at the playoffs is not exciting. A 45-win team that makes it as a 7th-seed and a decent chance for a 1st-round upset is.
What do we have to lose?
Tack this to your wall and wait a couple of months for it to ripen:
" I'm not going to look over anybody's shoulder. I don't think that's right. I think when you hire someone to do a job, let them do it. But they know that I'm there, I'm available. I can help them in any way."
Lenny Wilkens, on Rick Sund and Bob Hill