DEAR BRIAN: Hi! Are there any rumors of us making a trade within the organization? Will we possibly keep the expiring contract players? Is there any news about Stevenson's knee and whether he has decided to go through an operation soon? -- Fendi Lim

FENDI: Long time, no e-mail. Stevenson says he needs offseason knee surgery, but he plays pretty strong for a guy on one leg. Kelvin Cato, Tony Battie and Stacey Augmon have expiring deals. Augmon is done. Cato could be traded by the deadline. The Magic want to re-sign Battie, but at the right price.

DEAR BRIAN: Why can't the Magic just adopt their old unis as their permanent gear? Whoever designed their new uniforms really had no creativity. Their old gear really looks sharp and is worthy to be on the court. The new patsy blue they wear is really annoying to watch. It makes them look soft. Why not just have them wear pink mini-skirts and a matching pink with white pin-stripes halter-top? Anyhow, what is the chance of the Magic going back to their old unis? Would the league "allow" that? Then next year they could use that awful new uniform as their throwback. -- Bob, Orlando

BOB: Unfortunately, the league fashion police say no. Sorry, but the "halter top" gives me pause. Anyway, my feeling is always if you're a good team, you can play in plaid and it won't matter.

From the Jan. 2, 2005 OrlandoSentinel.com Magic Newsletter:

DEAR BRIAN: Grant Hill's contract is up a few years. Have the Magic considered re-signing or extending Hill's contract? If so, what price tag do you think he will come with now after all the surgeries and missed games? -- Sidney Gudino, Apopka

SID: I think the Magic will have a tough decision regarding Grant. They respect him immensely. But after everything they've been through with him, they could part. I know Grant wants to stay in Orlando,but the Magic will not get crazy financially. He'll be 35 heading into a training camp for the 2007-2008 season. I'd guess they'd offer him two-year deal for about $10 million. I'd love for him to stay and become the Magic's ambassador, a role held once by Dr. J (Julius Erving).

DEAR BRIAN: What is the deal with the Orlando Magic and the likelihood of them getting a new arena? What are the chances they will get any public financing? Is it possible that the Magic will seek to relocate? -- Steve Gibelli, Portland, Conn.

DEAR BRIAN: Is there anything new on the arena issue? I haven't heard anything about this in months. I think it's pretty safe to assume a brand new facility isn't going to happen, but has there been any more talk about renovating the TD Waterhouse Centre? The thoughts of losing the Magic gives me knots in my stomach, but as time goes on, I'm getting a very bad feeling about all this. -- Brian Balzer, Titusville

STEVE & BRIAN: Aw, you hit on the $300 million question --- which is about what a new arena costs these days, if not more. It's simple: If Orlando wants to be a big-league sports town, it will try to work with the Magic and get a penny bed tax passed toward the arena. It's just not an arena for the team; the Magic only use it 25 percent of the time. It's an investment in Orlando entertainment. I say they will end up getting it, but might have to go through the usual threats to leave.

DEAR BRIAN: Given how well Travis Diener played in his first two NBA games, why has he not been playing that much lately? He had a high 14 points against the Bucks [on Dec. 3], and had another great game the next night [against San Antonio]. Why has he not been playing since? -- Molly Brauer, Milwaukee, Wisc.

MOLLY: I like Travis a lot -- he's good Wisconsin people. He has been on the inactive list form time to time. Travis' shooting ability will keep him in the league for a while, but he needs to get physically stronger to handle bigger players. He's overmatched most times. Plus, this might not be the right situation for him, given the Magic have Steve Francis and Jameer Nelson as point guards. Plus, they really don't play a traditional point-guard offense.

From the Dec. 26, 2005 OrlandoSentinel.com Magic Newsletter:

DEAR BRIAN: In Grant Hill's first game back this year, they ran clear out plays at the end of regulation and overtime with Hill on the wing looking to score one-on-one. Is this too much to ask of him too soon? -- Dan Hill, Orlando

DAN: Dan, good observation. It probably was a little bit too much to put on Grant so soon. Although he had an incredible game in Dallas and made Mark Cuban sweat through his tye-dyed T-shirt, Grant was out of gas the next couple games. I think you'll see him get better as the season goes on.

DEAR BRIAN: I was wondering what you think of Dwight Howard's play this season? I think he takes too many layups which mostly get blocked. I think Dwight needs to play more aggressive and dunk that ball like Amare Stoudemire and get more free throws. -- Leon Qiao

LEON: Leon, you could be a coach one day. I agree whole-heartedly with you about Dwight, that he could be more aggressive. I, too, forget that he just turned 20 and doesn't have the experience. I think it isn't in Dwight's nature to play with that sneer and attitude like Kevin Garnett did as a youth. But it will come, and I think the Amare Stoudemire comparison is fair. Except that Stoudemire has a great point guard helping him ---- NBA MVP Steve Nash.

DEAR BRIAN: Why is Bo Outlaw not getting any minutes at all? He is a heart and hustle player, a veteran and deserves to be on the court for his defense and rebounding. Is he in the Brian Hill "doghouse?" -- Edward Silvers, Orlando

EDWARD: Edward, I don't think Bo is in Coach Hill's doghouse. Bo is just limited in what he can do these days. But I agree: If he's not contributing, why is he on the club? I don't think Coach Hill feels comfortable with Bo unless it is in specific situations. This isn't new to Bo: He seldom played with Phoenix last season.