NBA Previews: Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic was at the epicenter of the offseason when it first began. For many NBA fans, the Dwight Howard saga would not end. At long last, they traded him away for a bunch of garbage and some picks. They went from a top tier team to a lottery one. The team has gone into rebuilding mode.

Turkoglu won’t be laughing at the end of the season.

Key Free Agent Acquisitions

Good: None

Bad: None

Key Losses to Free Agency

Good: None

Bad: None

Re-Signings

Jameer Nelson– A three year deal worth $25.2 million for Nelson. It is not a good signing but the Magic had no choice. I do not like Nelson. I do not think he is a good point guard. Howard definitely made him look a lot better than he actually is. Why Nelson was offended when Howard said he would rather have D-Will than him is something I do not understand. Nelson is garbage.

Draft/Trades

Andrew Nicholson– Orlando’s 19th overall pick was a good selection. Nicholson will provide good minutes off the bench and could become a solid forward. If Glen Davis gets hurt, he can serve as a reliable replacement.

Kyle O’Quinn– Selected 49th overall, O’Quinn is also a good pick for the Magic. He is strong, a good rebounder, and defender. However, whether he will get good minutes as backup is something that is not known yet.

Ryan Anderson to New Orleans– Ryan Anderson had a great season last year. He won the Most Improved Player award. However, his big season demanded a bigger contract which Orlando did not give. Instead they traded him to New Orleans for Gustavo Ayon. Ayon is not a household name, but he played well for New Orleans.

Dwight Howard to Los Angeles– The trade finally happened. For a lot of NBA fans, including myself, it seemed like this saga was going to continue to drag on. Orlando received Arron Afflalo, Nikola Vucevic, Al Harrington, Maurice Harkless, Christian Eyenga, Josh McRoberts and draft considerations. How does the cliché go? Quality not quantity? The Magic received a lot of players in return but nothing great. Afflalo is not as good as people make him out to be, Harrington is old, and McRoberts is not good. Eyenga will be a bench warmer more likely than not. Vucevic was doing a nice job in Philly until LaVoy Allen took him out. The player that may turn out to be the best is Maurice Harkless, the rookie out of St. John’s.

Prediction

The Orlando Magic will enter this season with a brand new team. They got rid of Dwight Howard, arguably the best player in franchise history, and replaced him with role players. It will be a long season for Orlando and it will be a while before they get back to the playoff team they had been the past few seasons.  I have them finishing fourth in the Southeast division and thirteenth in the Eastern Conference.

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Comments

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5 Comments

  1. The trade wasn’t great, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as people make it out to be. They didn’t trade him for a few draft picks and some players that are going to be backups or anything.

    They wanted draft picks and young players to build around. They got what they wanted.

    Vucevic is a solid young player. He showed some very nice play for the 76ers when he was given an opportunity.

    Harrington is a career 14 point per game scorer.

    Aaron Affalo is a solid defender and capable of scoring 15ppg.

    Moe Harkless is a sleeper pick. This kid can play some serious ball.

    They also got Josh “McRambis” McRoberts and Christian Eyenga, but they are more of throw in players than expected key contributors.

    The draft picks are not that high, but they help improve depth over the next few years and they got a 17.8 million trade exception that could be flipped for a key player.

    Not only that, but they dealt him out West to the Lakers. If they had traded him to the Nets it was very possible he would come back and haunt them in the future. Plus Brook Lopez is just a scorer. He doesn’t rebound or play much defense.

  2. I like Harrington but I don’t expect him to produce like he has in previous years. Afflalo was good before he got his big contract. Last year he didn’t do well. That’s why I I’m not crazy about the pick up because after a solid season people bombarded him with compliments and he got awarded a nice contract then fell on his face. I do agree with yout on Harkless. He could become something.

  3. I like your projection with the Magic, while I think they will be slightly higher (but not by much). Howard is not the franchises best player in history. Give me Shaq and Penny anyday over Howard. Though Penny did not have much success outside of Orlando, he was still a household name and played awesome for a couple years. Shaq is the best though.

  4. Thanks for the feedback, Stephan. I had Penny and Shaq in mind when I said Howard was arguably the best player in franchise history. However, I believe Howard was better than Hardaway.

  5. They should have taken the Houston trade, plain and simple.
    Morey was offering a ton of young players/picks and Houston will be in the lottery for at least a couple of years.

    Dwight < Shaq, or even McGrady during his Orlando prime.

    You're right about Nelson. He's a backup on any non-lottery team. Turk will be moved before the end of his contract, if not outright released at the end.

    Letting Anderson go was a mistake, however a mistake that benefitted my Hornets. I just wish they didn't have to give up Ayon (great motor) in the trade.
    Getting Anderson at 8m a year may have been a steal.

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