Posted by Fran Blinebury
ORLANDO – Turns out that while most of the NBA seemed to be camped out on the doorstep of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade when the free agency period opened on July 1, Magic general manager Otis Smith was ringing the bell of Chris Duhon.
“It came down to he liked us and we liked him, weren’t courting other people and he wasn’t courting other people,” Smith said of the point guard who agreed to a four-year, $15-million deal with the Magic. “It just made sense.”
Smith made his first public comments on the deal just a few minutes after Orlando’s summer league team dropped to 0-2 after a 78-73 loss to Utah.
“When you look at Chris, I think you look at a guy who defends the position,” Smith said. “And defend the position well. Also, you have to look at the guy who could possibly start for you in the event you have an injury for that position. You also have to do your due diligence in that area.”
Smith said the Magic will use part of the mid-level exception to sign Duhon. He also said the move does not affect any plans the club has for free agents Matt Barnes and Jason Williams.