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News » Vying against Bass, Gortat 1st preseason game pits Mavs vs. Magic, what could have been

Vying against Bass, Gortat 1st preseason game pits Mavs vs. Magic, what could have been

Vying against Bass, Gortat 1st preseason game pits Mavs vs. Magic, what could have been Basketball fate has a sense of humor. How else can you figure the Orlando Magic stealing two players from the Mavericks this summer, then getting teed up as the first preseason opponent tonight at American Airlines Center?

Actually, "stealing" is a little strong. But the Magic definitely prevented the Mavericks from getting center Marcin Gortat, a primary free-agent target. And they signed Brandon Bass away from the Mavericks .

Tonight, both will be at AAC as members of the Magic.

"Brandon is a good friend, a family friend, but Kris Humphries is definitely filling in thus far," Jason Terry said. "And you know what? Brandon owes me some money, and I think he did just get paid, so hopefully I can collect."

Bass indeed parlayed his two seasons in Dallas into a four-year contract with the Magic worth $18million.

He returns tonight with a reasonable shot to start at power forward.

Less certain is where Gortat fits in with the Magic. The Mavericks tendered him a five-year, $34million offer sheet in July. The Magic surprisingly matched the offer, even though they have the league's best center, Dwight Howard, playing ahead of Gortat. The Mavericks replaced Bass with Humphries and Gortat with Drew Gooden.

"I'm really happy for him," coach Rick Carlisle said of Bass. "He got himself a heck of a deal. He played very well for us. But we like our situation now.

"One of the things about this league is there's always going to be dynamic change. There's going to be guys you really like but you just can't keep. And so you got to adjust and fill your roster spots with other guys."

As president Donnie Nelson added: "What he did here was terrific and we wish Brandon nothing but the best - just not in our backyard."

Meanwhile, the preseason opener cannot come soon enough for the Mavericks , who spent the opening week of training camp at SMU and have grown tired of scrimmaging against each other.

"I wouldn't care who we play as long as it isn't a Maverick uniform," Terry said.

That it's the Magic, however, should get the Mavericks' attention more than other teams might. Orlando is coming off a trip to the NBA Finals, not to mention a busy off-season, where they added Vince Carter and Bass while losing Hedo Turkoglu.

Day in camp

Sunday: The Mavericks got a brief break. "In my mind, the guys have earned a day off," coach Rick Carlisle said. "We go back to work on Monday morning and we got one of the Finals teams on Monday night, so we'll get a gauge on where we are."

Spotlight on ... the centers: Drew Gooden and Erick Dampier are co-starters, for the moment, Carlisle said. "They're both going to be key guys for us," he said. "Both guys will be starters at certain times and the key thing is, regardless of who's starting, that they're working in lockstep with what we need from that position. I love both those guys. They're both pros and really good team guys. And they both want to win."

Notable: Shawn Marion said he's having an interesting time getting the lay of the land in Dallas. "Dallas is a great city, but it's not the easiest city to figure out," he said. "You got three highways coming together. And if you don't know where you're going, you can be out in the middle of nowhere. And the speed limit? It's 30 mph in my neighborhood. And they (policemen) are looking."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 6, 2009


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