If Dwight leaves – or is traded – the objective would be to rebuild. Typically, there are 3 approaches, in a nutshell:
- Trade to a team with cap space so that while dumping undesirable contracts (i.e., Hedo, Duhon) we take the minimum amount of salaries back, hence shedding salary in the process. There lies the value of trading to NJ whereby we dump about $30M but receive about $3M (Lopez’s salary). Prior to amnestying Outlaw ($7M), Magic had to take some salary back from NJ, but now they may be able to absorb not only Dwight and Hedo’s salaries but also Duhon’s.
- Trade for proven players (not necessarily 1st tier) to – at least temporarily – shoot for another contention while bringing in pieces which are not hard to move. Two intriguing and realistic trade scenarios have been presented by Jeff and MagicfaninTN. I, particularly find dealing with Lakers both risky and expensive.
- Break the team totally … try to get under the cap … rely on the draft … and potential FA signings.
There could be smart combinations of any number of these three options depending on the situations presenting themselves. In other words, there are no right or wrong approaches, but rather suitable or non-suitable approaches. The disadvantage in options #2 and #3 is the lack of immediate salary dumping, and that is why I prefer option #1 but I see no value in rushing to trade Dwight, none whatsoever.
Historically, Magic has been lucky in drafts, which the law of averages – especially with the new arrangements – rule in favor of a drop. On the other hand, Magic has been most successful in top FA signings (i.e., T-Mac, Rashard). The aforementioned assertion further supports the merits of option #1.