A superstar player getting moved in the NBA is nothing new. Just two years ago we saw Carmelo Anthony being traded out of Denver and the Nuggets becoming a better team because of it. Usually, a team ridding themselves of the superstar pulls in a hefty haul. Orlando should have taken some notes because they’ve traded their superstar in Dwight Howard and didn’t get much of anything in return. The top talent moved as a result of Howard’s trade was Andrew Bynum and the Magic didn’t even get him. The first round draft picks Orlando received are all protected – meaning that if the team is in the top 10 of the draft, they get to keep the pick. It’s going to take a lot of rebuilding to fix this team.
Who is left in Orlando? Dwight Howard allegedly pushed Stan Van Gundy out of his coaching job and now both are gone. Rookie head coach Jacque Vaughn will have to lead the Magic into the future with a roster that has arguably less talent on it than the Cavaliers and Wizards. Does anyone believe that Jameer Nelson is capable of being a star player capable carrying a team? I don’t. He’s never been that type of player and there’s no reason to believe it’s going to happen this season. He may put up career high numbers, but they’re going to be very empty stats.
Who exactly did the Magic get in return for Dwight Howard, besides the draft picks? Arron Afflalo is a nice defensive guard with a formidable shot, I think he may flourish as one of the better players in Orlando. Al Harrington has been around for a while and has already proved to the NBA world that he is not a difference maker. Nikola Vucevic showed some promise in Philadelphia but is a few seasons away from being a real impact player. Maurice Harkless, Josh McRoberts and Christian Eyenga are going to do nothing to make Magic fans excited. A very lackluster group of players for the franchise player is why this team is on the way down with nothing to look forward to in the future.
Just looking up and down the roster for Orlando will make you feel asleep. Nobody stands out. Glen Davis is an entertaining player to watch and has done well in Orlando since being traded from Boston while Hedo Turkoglu has managed to save his career in Orlando after his disastarous stint in Toronto. J.J. Redick is a great shooter but still extremely inconsistent. If he's ever going to have a breakout season, it's going to be this one. It's now or never for the Duke alum.
This is easily my shortest NBA preview thus far and for good reason. There isn’t much to talk about with this Magic team. Unless you want to watch Jameer Nelson become the next Stephon Marbury or J.J. Redick try to insert his name into the Most Improved Player discussion, there isn’t much to see in Orlando this season. They’re going to have to hope their draft picks they got for Dwight Howard are good, but not too good seeing as how they’re protected. Smart drafting will need to happen as they look to get the best value out of their picks.
Season Outlook: The Magic fall into the Eastern Conference cellar and become one of the worst teams in the NBA.
If you're looking for past teams I've already covered, click my name below the title to see a list of my articles.
Follo me on Twitter! @MichaelRyne