Off-Day Open Thread: What if the Magic's New Additions Disappoint?

John Hollinger doesn't think much of the Magic's moves this summer. In his exhaustive look at each free-agent signing by every NBA team this summer, he writes the following of the Magic's moves:

Mickael Pietrus inked a four-year, $23 million deal to become Orlando's defensive stopper. Last season, he fouled so often [ed. note: 5.5 fouls per 36 minutes] it's inconceivable he could stay on the court long enough to have much of an effect, but the Magic won't be playing him at power forward in crazy smallball lineups. Nonetheless, this seems like the classic "midlevel curse" contract -- Pietrus never was much good at Golden State and was signed as much for potential as for production.

[....]

Orlando inked Anthony Johnson to a two-year, $4.2 million deal to be its backup point guard, but his game slipped in the latter part of last season. In all likelihood, he'll be a major dropoff from the Keyon Dooling-Carlos Arroyo pairing that held the job a year ago.

[....]

Orlando's Adonal Foyle is a great guy and a decent third center.

Let's assume Hollinger's right, and Orlando's newcomers fail to match or exceed the production of their predecessors. The question, then, becomes the following: will the production of the Magic's "core four" of Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, and Hedo Turkoglu be enough to offset the lack of production of the newcomers?

Right now, it's too early to tell, and it's entirely possible that Pietrus and Johnson play quite well. But the subject is one the Magic, and their fans, need to consider. Given the upgrades Cleveland and Toronto made, as well as the healthy return of Washington's stars, a spot in the top half of the Eastern Conference playoff bracket is no longer a certainty.

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