Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
The rebuilding Magic figure to be well out of contention when the NBA trade deadline rolls around in February. Might they unload one of their veterans? Orlando Pinstriped Post considers that question.
Twelve of the 19 players the Orlando Magic brought to training camp are new to the team, but the roster surely isn't a finished product: after trading Dwight Howard, the Magic are in a transitional phase, with few "keepers," so to speak, on the team. As such, some of their veterans may fit better on other teams, ones looking to shore up their depth before the playoffs.
It's possible, and maybe even likely, then, that Orlando will unload one or more of its veterans before the trade deadline. The Magic can add to their war chest by parlaying these veterans into assets. And when a team is rebuilding, as Orlando clearly is, even if it won't admit as much, it needs as many assets as it can get.
Here are some Magic veterans who may find themselves elsewhere on or before February 21st.
One can make a case that Redick is Orlando's best overall player. He's 28, a solid offensive player with a lethal jumper, can run the pick-and-roll from the two position, and competes defensively. Further, he's a team-first player who doesn't simply gun for stats. It's easy to see why a playoff team in need of wing depth and floor-spacing might eye Redick at the deadline.
Redick's attitude, to say nothing of his skill-set, makes him the sort of veteran you wouldn't mind keeping around during a rebuild. But assets are assets, and the Magic can't let sentiment cloud their judgment if and when contending teams begin blowing up Rob Hennigan's phones in late January to ask about Redick.
He'll turn 33 during the season, has a nagging--if not terribly serious--knee injury, and isn't efficient at the offensive end, but Harrington can nonetheless fill it up in a major way. Playoff teams tend to like shoring up their second-unit scoring via trade, and there's no question that Harrington will be available. Orlando selected Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O'Quinn in the 2012 Draft, and Harrington's presence is one impediment to their development, as he undoubtedly merits more playing time than either of them at power forward and center.
The question is cost. Harrington is owed just over $14.7 million over the next two seasons, according to ShamSports, which may be a steep price to pay for bench depth at the deadline. The good news for Orlando and Harrington's potential trade suitors is that only half that amount is guaranteed.
Don't laugh, okay, but Türkoğlu still has a bit of game left. He handles like a guard despite standing 6-foot-10, and his three-point shooting is likely to return to the high-30s after a disappointing 2011/12 season, one in which he played miserably after landing awkwardly on his back. He's miscast in Orlando as a starting wing, and would be much better suited as a reserve on a playoff team, one that knows how to exploit the mismatches his size and handle create.
But trading Türkoğlu will be difficult simply because he's owed so much money. His cap figure for 2012/13 is $11.8 million, and contending teams interested in Türkoğlu's services probably aren't going to be willing to pay that price, as they'd have to part with quite a bit of salary to make the trade legal.
The Magic may not even want to move Türkoğlu, as he is their best small forward, which assessment is more an indictment of Orlando's roster than it is praise for the 12-year veteran's skills.
Richardson signed with the Magic prior to the 2010/11 season hoping to start on a championship-contending team. Two years later and the situation has gone sideways: Orlando's in a rebuild, and Richardson is a situational reserve.
However, Richardson's on a cheap deal--he's owed $5.4 million over the next two seasons--and is a willing, aggressive, and physical defender. Given his desire to win, he may even agree to waive his 15-percent trade kicker in order to facilitate a trade to a contender.
The only way he'll draw any interest is if he rediscovers his outside shooting stroke. He's connected on just 31.5 percent of his three-pointers since joining the Magic, yet triples comprise 59 percent of his shot attempts. If he gets hot in the early season, other teams may perk up. Such an improvement may not be in the offing, as he's a middling 35.5 percent career marksman from deep, but the situation nonetheless bears monitoring.