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Friday is a big day for Magic rookie DeAndre Liggins

Friday is a big day for the

Orlando Magic

's rookie shooting guard,

DeAndre Liggins

.

The remainder of Liggins' league-minimum $473,604 contract will become guaranteed officially.

It became guaranteed unofficially when the Magic did not waive him before 6 p.m. Tuesday. That was the last opportunity for the team to waive him and have him clear waivers before Friday's deadline.

Liggins didn't hear the news until he spoke with his agent,

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Henry Thomas

.

"I'm a rookie, so it's something new to me," Liggins said. "I didn't know anything about a deadline or anything about it. I just come in every day and try to work hard."

Liggins has not appeared in a regular-season game yet, but Magic officials are high on him.

"He's a super-competitive guy," coach

Stan Van Gundy

said. "He's a smart guy. I think he's got everything he needs to be a very, very good defender."

Power forward

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Justin Harper
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, another Magic rookie, already had a guaranteed contract. The two-year deal he signed in December was fully guaranteed.

Rookies such as Liggins and Harper were affected badly by the lockout and by the compressed schedule.

The lockout forced the cancellation of the summer league and prevented them from working out with assistant coaches and strength-and-conditioning coaches. Now, the compressed schedule is taking away practice days and, therefore, is stunting their development.

No offense intended
Dwight Howard

did not diss

Rich DeVos

prior to the Orlando Magic's 102-89 victory over the

Miami Heat

on Wednesday night.

But that's the impression going around the Internet these days after DeVos, the Magic's 85-year-old owner, visited the locker room before tipoff and granted a rare interview to several reporters.

The confusion stems from an ESPN.com report that reads, in part: "While players such as

Jason Richardson

and

Daniel Orton

went out of their way to greet DeVos, Howard did not acknowledge the wheelchair-bound owner upon entering the locker room or during DeVos' media session."

That statement is factually correct, but it does not provide complete context to readers.

DeVos visits the Magic locker room and practice facility when he attends games at

Amway Center

, and Howard typically says hello to him. Howard sometimes greets DeVos by saying, "Hi, Boss!" That nickname, "Boss," is the same word CEO

Alex Martins

uses when he greets DeVos.

Howard probably did not say hello to DeVos on Wednesday because DeVos was in the middle of speaking with several reporters, and Howard didn't want to be drawn into what could have become an awkward — and public — conversation about his long-term plans.

Howard has been reticent to speak to reporters lately. He has grown tired of the constant questions he faces about his future.

Howard was surprised by the ESPN.com report. In the locker room afterward, Howard saw messages on his smart phone in which people asked him why he ignored DeVos.

Layups

Jameer Nelson

turned 30 on Thursday.

• The Magic had Thursday off. The team is scheduled to hold a shootaround Friday morning at Amway Center to prepare for its game against the

Atlanta Hawks

.

• At 10 a.m. Sunday at

Lake Eola Park

in downtown Orlando, the

NBA

will give away over 1,000 tickets to its All-Star Jam Session. Those tickets will be placed on an oak tree for fans to grab. In addition, Liggins and a professional face-painter will be on-site. Each fan who gets his or her face painted will receive a free Jam Session ticket. The Jam Session will be held Feb. 23-26 at the

Orange County Convention Center

.

OrlandoSentinel.com/magicblog. Subscribe to our Orlando Magic newsletter at OrlandoSentinel.com/joinus.

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