Jason Richardson considered Bulls in free agency
When the NBA lockout ended in December, free agent Jason Richardson placed two teams at the top of his list of potential destinations.

Those teams met Friday night when the Orlando Magic hosted the Chicago Bulls at Amway Center.

Richardson wound up with Orlando and he was in his customary spot in the Magic's starting lineup. Before tipoff, he said signing with Chicago was not "really as close as everybody thought it was."

"It was between there or here," he said.

"They are already championship contenders, both teams. But they just really needed a shooting guard there. And, of course, Orlando needed one here. It came down to a feeling, and I felt like there was unfinished business here."

Richardson, who is represented by Dwight Howard's agent, Dan Fegan, agreed to a four-year contract worth about $25 million.

The Bulls filled their shooting guard spot by signing Richard Hamilton, who did not play Friday because of a groin injury.

Q-Rich hurting

Magic wing Quentin Richardson sat out Friday's game.

Thursday, Richardson twisted his left ankle during practice. Then, Richardson suffered some irritation to the skin around the ankle by attempting to treat the injury himself.

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said Richardson suffered what amounts to a chemical burn after Richardson used Icy Hot on the area and then iced the ankle.

But Richardson said before tipoff that he never used Icy Hot at all.

"I wouldn't use Icy Hot for something that was swollen," Richardson said. "Icy Hot is used for people to get loose or whatever. I've never used Icy Hot. I don't use hot and cold rubbing creams, so I don't know where that came from."

Boozer: "Dwight'll be fine"

Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer is one of Howard's closest friends in the NBA.

Boozer also is a savvy veteran, and he would not delve into Howard's long-term contract situation when he was asked what advice he would give the Magic center.

"Dwight'll be fine," Boozer responded. "You guys are going to have to get the ticket and watch the show. You guys are going to have to sit there and wait and watch, like everybody else, to see what happens. But Dwight will be fine."

Bulls superstar Derrick Rose and Howard both endorse adidas and are friends. But Rose said he hasn't spoken with Howard since the summer.

"I know it's been crazy for him, just seeing what's been going on, and I can only imagine what he's going through," Rose said.

Thib's diagnosis

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is a former Boston Celtics assistant coach, so he knows former Celtics big man Glen Davis well.

Thibodeau thinks Davis will fit in just fine with the Magic.

"He'll figure it out," Thibodeau said. "He's a really good player. He's a great defensive player, both individually and as a team defender. He can hit spot-up shots and post-up some. He gives them a different look. When you have Howard and Davis upfront, it's a very physical presence. [Ryan] Anderson, of course, is having an incredible year shooting the ball."

Layups

• Friday's game marked a key turning point in the Magic's schedule. Their first seven opponents had compiled a 15-29 record through Thursday. The Magic's next seven opponents, including the Bulls, had a combined record of 25-21 through Thursday.

• Magic wing DeAndre Liggins did not dress for the game because he suffered a reaction to eating shellfish, Van Gundy said. Center Daniel Orton was put on the active list.

• Rose said he participated fully in the Bulls' shootaround Friday morning and said his left elbow was feeling better after he had injured it Wednesday. "It's fine, and you know, if it was messed up, I still wouldn't tell you," he said, laughing. "It's good."

• Howard called Bulls center and UF alum Joakim Noah a "pest" before gametime, but Howard meant it as a compliment. Asked about Noah, Howard responded, "Joakim, he's very energetic. I call him a 'pest.' He's always reaching and coming back trying getting rebounds and stuff like that."

• Noah, who won two NCAA Tournament titles at UF, was applauded during pregame introductions.

• A film crew for HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" spent much of Friday at Amway Center to collect footage for an upcoming piece on the Van Gundy brothers. Jeff Van Gundy served as ESPN's color commentator.

jbrobbins@tribune.com. Read his blog at OrlandoSentinel.com/magicblog. Subscribe to our Orlando Magic newsletter at OrlandoSentinel.com/joinus.