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Test of time awaits Price

Granted, he is on the downside of his career, but Mark Price isn't with the Magic just to lend valuable knowledge to his new teammates.

Price, 33 and entering his 12th season in the NBA, is expected to play significant minutes this season and contribute regularly, particularly on offense.

Coach Chuck Daly wouldn't say Tuesday how much court time he expects Price to get, but more than one player said they think the former All-Star point guard obtained from Golden State in a Monday trade still is fresh enough to make a sizable impact.

"If they're getting him and making this trade, I'm sure he's going to play a lot of minutes," guard Penny Hardaway said. "I don't know what "a lot' is to him, but he's going to play valuable minutes _ put it like that. Because when he's in there, he's always a threat, handling the ball against the pressure and knocking down wide-open shots."

Price, who averaged 11.3 points and nearly 5 assists last season, was expected to arrive in Orlando late Tuesday and take part in his first practice today.

DROPPING THE TWO: Price was careful not to ruffle any feathers in the hours after the trade for Brian Shaw and David Vaughn.

Although he has worn jersey No. 25 for years, he quickly agreed to switch to No. 5 instead of wrangling with forward Nick Anderson, who wears 25.

"Nick has been there since the start of the franchise, and he has that number and deserves to keep that number," Price said. "That's not a big deal."

IS IT YOU?: With 15 players on its roster after releasing former NCAA Player of the Year Ed O'Bannon on Sunday, the Magic has until Thursday to designate 12 for its active list.

Teams typically keep two or three extra guys by assigning them to the injured reserve list even if they aren't hurt.

Expect the Magic to make one cut and put two players on the injured list.

Aging center Tim Kempton likely will get released. The injured reserve guys figure to be rookie center Jason Lawson and either top draft pick Johnny Taylor or second-year forward Brian Evans.

DID YOU HEAR?: Center Rony Seikaly, who grew up in Greece, supposedly is considering playing overseas next year instead of in the NBA.

Seikaly's contract runs out next summer, and he reportedly is worried about how his free-agent status would be affected if the owners renegotiate the collective bargaining agreement after this season.

By the way, Seikaly's ailing right foot, which kept him out of the final three preseason games, appears fine.

NO EASY MONEY: What seemed an easy way for Anderson to earn $1-million may not be so easy.

An incentive clause in Anderson's new contract will pay him a million-dollar bonus if he averages 2.9 free-throw attempts per game.

Piece of cake, right? But during the eight preseason games, Anderson didn't take a single free throw.

It's a touchy subject for the veteran forward, who thinks fans and the media harp on his shooting whenever it's off.

When told by reporters he didn't get to the line in the preseason, he said: "I've been taking the ball to the hole. You going to make me make the man call the foul?"

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "This is a wonderful thing for an old guy, to have a ball team like this to be around. I'm not doing much these days. Every once in a while, Helen (his wife) makes me count the money to make sure we can afford all this." _ Magic owner Rich DeVos, who had a heart transplant in June, at a home preseason game.

DID YOU KNOW?: The Magic won't have much time to ease into the regular season. After opening at home against Atlanta on Friday, it goes on a four-game road trip to Boston, Milwaukee, Chicago and Detroit.

_ Information from other sources was used in this report.