Do You Believe In Magic?

In an off-season where several teams made very good moves (a shocking turn of events in the NBA), it has been one franchise that has gone in the complete opposite direction: The Orlando Magic. Granted, this is a team that made the playoffs last season, but they were still two games under .500. This was a team that needed some serious improvement.

They needed to get a point guard. They needed to get Dr. Thunder, Dwight Howard some help in the frontcourt. They needed another scorer. They needed some defense. Basically they need to tweak everything that wasn't Dwight Howard.

Sure enough, they signed Howard to a 5-year extension, effectively keeping one of the best young talents in the game locked up for what will become some of this best years. Then they made sure that was all they could do for the next five years.

Coming into this off-season, Seattle's Rashard Lewis was considered one of the biggest names in the free agent market. Averaging 22 points per game, and six boards in 2006-2007, Lewis was projected to be making somewhere in the $70 million range. He was looking like a fine pick-up for the Magic, a solid scorer who could take some of the defensive pressure off of Doc Thunder.

Then his contract was announced: $126 Million over six years. What once looked to be a wise signing has now turned into an awful contract. After being saddled with Grant Hill's deal over the last several years, the Magic will be paying out a max contract the same year Hill's contract came off the books. Great move. Way to tie up all that cap space.

Following the Lewis deal, the Magic saw it fit to let Darko Milicic walk. He has underachieved his entire (short) career, but that isn't to say that the 22-year old can't improve. Never the less, the Magic made no attempt to re-sign him or get anything back for him. And so, letting Darko go without trying to move him via sign-and-trade (like Seattle did with Lewis) dropped Orlando slightly under the cap.

This means they no longer have a mid-level exception with which they can sign anyone else. They can now only sign players to minimum-salary contracts. So, in essence, because of the Dwight Howard extension, the RIDICULOUS Rashard Lewis contract, and stupidly getting nothing for Darko, the Orlando Magic have added one player to their unimpressive roster of talent and are pretty much stuck with this same team for the next five years. Sure they've got Dwight Howard, but they've also got the likes of J.J. Redick coming off the bench.

Hats off to you, Orlando. You have a franchise player in Howard that is already on his way to becoming a force in the East and in the span of about two weeks you bury your franchise for the next five seasons. Well done, indeed. Even Isaiah is impressed.

1 Responses to “Do You Believe In Magic?”

  1. # Blogger Rusty

    Where is your post on the steelers trivia challenge?  

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