The Orlando Magic find themselves in a difficult spot as the 2012 NBA trade deadline approaches. The future of the franchise hangs in the balance as it decides what to do with All-Star center Dwight Howard. Does management heed the trade request he made during training camp, or instead retain him, hoping he can be convinced to re-sign when he becomes a free agent in the summer? Can the team make a trade for a high-level star before Thursday to appease Howard's request for a stronger supporting cast and boost its chances of competing with the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls atop the Eastern Conference?
In this series, Orlando Pinstriped Post runs down the roster to look at the Magic's assets. All salary information comes from ShamSports.
Age: 27; Position: Shooting Guard
Contract details: On a veteran contract worth $6.19 million (nothing guaranteed) through 2012/13.
Key career stats: 13.4 Player Efficiency Rating, 14.8 points per 36 minutes, 58.5 percent True Shooting, 40.4 percent three-point shooting.
My take: Now in his sixth season, Redick has worked hard to secure a place in the rotation of a good-to-great team. He's maxed out the talent that made him one of college basketball's most feared and hated players, transitioning from a shooting specialist to a solid all-around scorer who doesn't make many mistakes at either end of the floor.
Make no mistake, though: Redick's shooting off the catch is still his greatest strength. He can help any team space the floor, and his ability to handle the ball without making many mistakes--he boasts a career turnover rate of 9.8--only boosts his efficiency and utility more. Other teams may be interested, but he's drawn such high praise from coach Stan Van Gundy that the Magic might be reluctant to part with him. Having said that, nobody on this Magic team is untouchable, and Orlando could almost certainly be persuaded to part with him if it meant upgrading another position.
Age: 29; Position: Point Guard
Contract details: On a veteran contract worth $6.75 million ($4.75 million guaranteed) through 2013/14.
Key career stats: 11.0 Player Efficiency Rating, 9.4 points per 36 minutes, 6.3 assists per 36 minutes, 2.2 turnovers per 36 minutes, 52.2 percent True Shooting, 36.2 percent three-point shooting.
My take: Duhon is another player rumored to be among the contracts the Magic wish to foist upon any team trading for Howard. His contract is inexpensive, but he's failed to live up to it in his year-plus with the Magic, averaging three points and 2.4 assists per game on 40.1 percent shooting. There are players in the NBA D-League who can match or exceed that level of productivity, and for a fraction of the cost. For that reason, there's no trade market for the former Duke Blue Devil, and the Magic's only realistic shot of shedding his salary involves packaging him with Howard.
Age: 31; Position: Small Forward/Shooting Guard
Contract details: On a veteran contract worth $5.4 million through 2013/14. The last season is his option. Has a 15 percent trade kicker.
Key career stats: 12.9 Player Efficiency Rating, 14 points per 36 minutes, 6.4 rebounds per 36 minutes, 50.3 percent True Shooting, 35.6 percent three-point shooting.
My take: Like Duhon, Richardson is one of Orlando's 2010 free-agency signings who simply hasn't lived up to his cheap contract. The Magic aren't as eager to dump Richardson as they are Duhon, mostly because Richardson, despite his poor shooting, provides energy, above-average rebounding for a wing, and physical defense. The trade market for him is small, given his contract and the fact that he plays the sport's most ubiquitous position.
Age: 26; Position: Power Forward/Center
Contract details: On a veteran contract worth $19.4 million through 2014/15.
Key career stats: 11.4 Player Efficiency Rating, 12.9 points per 36 minutes, 7.2 rebounds per 36 minutes, 49.4 percent True Shooting.
My take: Orlando acquired Davis, a longtime friend of Howard's, before training camp in exchange for Brandon Bass. Like Bass, Davis is undersized for a power forward, but can play either power position because of his strength. They both favor two-point jumpers off the catch and are known for their hustle and energy.
Unfortunately for Orlando, Davis has proven a far inferior version of Bass in every respect. Among players who don't shoot the three-pointer, he's the NBA's least-accurate. Even if he regains his touch from mid-range, he remains an offensive liability due to his inability to create for himself and struggles to finish at the rim.
Davis' trade value has never been lower, and there's no reason to believe the Magic will be able to unload him.