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The Magic and Gortat: Will They or Won't They

So it seems the panic Mavs fans felt this afternoon upon reading quotes from Gortat that he was hearing Orlando would match the Mavs offer was more than premature.  The Orlando Sentinel also had a quote from Gortat which put things in a better light.

"Doesn't look like they're going to pay all this money for a backup guy who plays only 10 minutes a game. Just gotta get ready for probably trip to Dallas."

Although, he also repeated that he was hearing things that made him think Orlando would match.  Of course, Magic GM Otis Smith already knows what he is going to do.

Smith said the two deals don't necessarily have to do with each other. He also said he's figured out what he's going to do, but said he was "still working on a few other things."

"Until those things transpire, it's a little bit premature for us to get into what we're going to do and what we're not going to do," Smith said.

And reportedly Donnie Nelson knows what Orlando is going to do as well.

The players are not normally the ones that hear first that they are being kept or sent on.

All I can say is that the Mavericks seem pretty darn confident about this thing. I'm not saying there is a deal here. But I think the fact that Donnie Nelson has known Otis Smith since the Golden State days may help the situation here.

They know they are going to have to do business down the road.

Bottom line: Gortat is going to be a Maverick. That's the betting favorite right now.

And really that's what makes the most sense.  The idea that Orlando, a team already in luxury tax territory, would give someone the full MLE to play ten minutes a night seems far-fetched -- especially given the announcement that the salary cap will be reduced even more for 2010.  And given that Dallas has already begun making other moves, including working with Orlando on the Marion trade and letting Bass leave, they are almost certainly operating on the assumption that Gortat in Dallas is well beyond a 50/50 chance.

But Orlando remains silent, so we can't help but be a little bit nervous.  Hopefully we don't have to see the Dallas front office go into full blown panic mode if their first offseason acquisition turns out not to be.