Magic, Francis to meet Monday to discuss future

Magic guard Steve Francis wants to stay in Orlando and hopes his suspension for conduct detrimental to the team is lifted so he can play Wednesday night, his agent told The Orlando Sentinel.

Francis has been the subject of trade rumors since his suspension on Thursday, reportedly for refusing to re-enter a blowout loss at Seattle on Wednesday. But his agent, Jeff Fried, told the Sentinel on Saturday that Francis wants to remain with the Magic and has not "given any indication otherwise."

Francis and Magic officials are scheduled to meet Monday in Orlando to determine his future with the team, coach Brian Hill said, adding "I'm sure we'll be able to move forward."

Fried told the newspaper he will ask the team if it intends to trade Francis. Francis is to meet with his teammates on Tuesday, and Fried said Francis is hoping to practice on Tuesday and return to action on Wednesday.

"Talking with Steve, he has remorse. He was disappointed in himself at that moment ... He knows the coach makes the decisions," Fried told the Sentinel.

"At this point, I'd very much like to discuss with them issues on the court or trades. ... Let that be done face-to-face," Fried added. "That is their decision [whether to trade him]. Hopefully, when the air is cleared ... I'd just like to say that [trading Francis] is pretty premature on that end."

But Magic assistant GM Otis Smith said the Magic "had not reached that point" and that "Steve has value to us," the newspaper reported.