The TPE is a huge. About 17 million. Now I totally understand the Magic's idea of getting under the cap and fixing it, etc. etc. However, if the Magic look better than advertised don't you have to at least explore the option of a team who may be struggling looking to unload a star??? Here are a few options to me that the Magic should explore if these are real options.
1. Rudy Gay- I have mentioned this in other posts so I will be quick. If Memphis looks stuck, you have to believe they would love to unload him. And if Moe Harkless, excuse me Maurice Harkless, surprises I would move Afflalo or Redick whichever Memphis wants for him. Even if Orlando does not look good, Gay is marketable and would not change Orlando's plan of building through the draft.
2. LaMarcus Aldridge- The. Most. Underrated. Player. In. The. NBA. Nobody knows about him because he plays in Portland. But this guy is a beast. He will be a free agent in a year and a half. If Portland can't get a star to play with him, he is gonna bolt. Now, their rookie PG looks great, but he is a rookie still. If Portland struggles, will they part with Aldridge and go full rebuild already??
3. Brandon Jennings/Monta Ellis- I doubt either one will stay in Milwaukee. Milwaukee is a GREAT sports town, but football(Pack/Badgers) and baseball dominate that city. Jennings is due for a contract this offseason and Ellis's contract expires after next season. Jennings is especially interested because his contract is still a rookie contract. In theory you could trade for Jennings and add one of the two I mentioned before. Jennings and Aldridge???
4. Eric Maynor & Kendrick Perkins-I know, I know. Ideally this does not sound good. Maynor off ACL injury and Perkins on an awful contract. However, as John Hollinger stated in his article (here http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/PERDiem-121101/teams-facing-desperation-mode this is an insider article) What if OKC adds the Toronto pick??? Very, very, very tempting.
5. Al Jefferson- This would be more of a luxury trade. IF, by somehow Orlando is playoff contending, why not trade for him? This guy is a beast in the post. Just a beast. His contract expires so it does not hurt the long term goals for Orlando. Literally no downside to this trade. And if Orlando is playoff contending, they trade for him, they will not have to make luxury payments for three months of work. The DeVos family has money.
6. Josh Smith-This would be just like Jefferson. However probably a little more exciting to fans. Let Smith test Orlando and see if he likes it. He is not a number one, but he is young and exciting. Great on defense, and does not really require any offensive sets. Would fit great in our new Read React Up Tempo Offense. And he fits into any defense.