File Photo by Red Huber, the Orlando Sentinel
Otis Smith has finally seen the light.
The Magic's General Manager told reporters, including John Denton of Florida Today, that he is indeed looking to acquire a power forward before the playoffs:
"It would be really nice to have another big body, but quite frankly we've played really well with what we've had," Smith said. "You'd be crazy to not want to help your team get better. But you have to do something that's going to make sense and not just because you feel like you have to make a move."
I wrote earlier this week that power forward was the Magic's weakest position. Let's take a look at which power forwards might be available, and what it might take to acquire them:
Reggie Evans, Philadelphia 76ers:
- The Good: Based on rebound rate, he's the best rebounding power forward in the NBA.
- The Bad: He doesn't do anything else, and he's an exceptionally poor free throw shooter. Additionally, his contract runs for another four years.
- What It Would Take: The 76ers are better than their record indicates and have plenty of young talent. However, they're pretty thin up front, so trading Evans would be difficult for them to do.
My offer: Keyon Dooling, J.J. Redick, and the draft rights to Fran Vazquez for Louis Amundson and Evans.
- Why it works for us: The Magic need rebounding, and Evans is an exceptional rebounder. Amundson is a throw-in to make the salaries match.
- Why it works for them: Dooling and Redick can provide solid backup minutes to two-guard Willie Green, whose current backup is the woefully inept Gordan Giricek. Additionally, Dooling's expiring contract combines with Giricek's to give the 76ers a bit more cap room this summer, which they earmark to re-sign restricted free-agent Andre Iguodala. Fran Vazquez sweetens the deal and gives the 76ers a decent backup power forward whenever he chooses to leave Europe.
Chuck Hayes, Houston Rockets:
- The Good: He's a fantastic rebounder (16.0 rebound rate) for his size (6'6"), even in the big-man-heavy Western Conference. Think of what he can do out East!
- The Bad: Like Evans, he's a non-factor offensively. Like Evans, he's also a poor free throw shooter, connecting on 27% (!) of his attempts this season.
- What It Would Take: Not much, which is surprising given the Rockets' eagerness to re-sign him last summer. He's regressed a bit and is losing power forward minutes to rookies Luis Scola and Carl Landry. The Dream Shake, the best Rockets blog on the internet, has an entire section entitled, "I like you, Chuck Hayes, but I like winning more."
My offer: Carlos Arroyo for Steve Francis and Hayes.
- Why it works for us: Hayes can give us 15-20 solid minutes a night. Honestly, I feel better about our chances with him in the lineup than I do with Brian Cook, who is two inches taller but a much worse rebounder. Francis, who is out for the season, is a throw-in to make the salaries match. The Magic would buy him out.
- Why it works for them: Arroyo is much more consistent than any of Houston's other point guards (Rafer Alston, rookie Aaron Brooks, Mike James) and can distribute the ball well.
Joe Smith, Chicago Bulls:
- The Good: Although not much of a rebounder, he's leaps-and-bounds better than Rashard Lewis in that regard. He also has good range on his jump-shot; that is, he won't hog the painted area from Dwight Howard
- The Bad: There are indeed better rebounders available.
- What It Would Take: Not as much as one might think. The Bulls want to make a playoff push, and the best way for them to do that is to upgrade their point guard rotation. Chris Duhon may have scored a career-high 34 points Thursday night, but he's still Chris Duhon.
My offer: Arroyo and James Augustine for Smith.
- Why it works for us: In addition to getting a solid, reasonably priced (~$10 million over 2 season) veteran, the Magic free up a roster spot by trading two players for one.
Why it works for them: I'll let Matt from Blog-A-Bull explain:
The Bulls don't get a 'prospect', but would I really want [J.J.] Redick? I'd rather see if they could re-sign Arroyo cheap enough to where bringing Duhon back is definitely not an option.
Kurt Thomas, Seattle SuperSonics:
- The Good: He's a strong, powerful banger of a big-man averaging 7.5 points and 8.8 rebounds for a woeful Seattle team in the midst of rebuilding. He boasts a robust 18.8 rebounding rate and defends the post well. He's in the last year of his deal, which is worth approximately $8 million.
- The Bad: At 35-years-old, he's creaky; indeed, health is an issue.
- What It Would Take: This part is where it gets tricky. Carlos Arroyo and Keyon Dooling are two solid trade assets, but they're both point guards. The SuperSonics have a log-jam at that position already, and there's no reason for them to add to it. Additionally, there's no incentive for them to want to trade Thomas' expiring contract when they can keep it and let it come off their own books.
My offer: Arroyo, Augustine, Keith Bogans, and Redick for Thomas and Delonte West.
- Why it works for us: Thomas bolsters our frontcourt for the rest of the season and for the playoffs, and West can play combo-guard a la Keyon Dooling.
- Why it works for them: Arroyo is a huge upgrade over West and has an expiring contract to boot; Augustine and Bogans also have expiring contracts, and Augustine would instantly become Seattle's third-best big man (after Nick Collison and Chris Wilcox, ahead of Johan Petro, Mouhamed Sene, and Robert Swift); and Redick is a sweet-shooting prospect who would get the chance to flourish playing ahead of Damien Wilkins.
Charlie Villanueva, Milwaukee Bucks:
- The Good: He's a tall, versatile four/three with decent range. He's also an underrated rebounder.
- The Bad: He's having the worst season of his young career, and his contract runs for another two years.
- What It Would Take: Probably not a heckuva whole lot. He's losing minutes to Yi Jianlian and the Bucks don't seem too impressed with him.
My offer: Augustine and Redick for Villanueva.
- Why it works for us: We get a solid "buy-low" option without giving up anyone who sees significant playing time.
- Why it works for them: Redick instantly becomes the Bucks' backup two-guard; he won't lose minutes to Charlie Bell (having arguably the worst season in NBA History) or to Awvee Storey, that's for sure. Augustine has a small expiring contract and provides the Bucks with the sort of hustle coach Larry Krystkowiak admires.
Which of these deals sounds most appealing to you?