Looking towards summer

Right, so all that Dwight Howard business has been sorted out, at least for the next 15 months. That will be about 100 regular season games, but D12 has frequently reiterated that he wants "help" in order to reach the Finals, and of course the coveted championship.

So I think this summer will be quite important.

Internally - Jameer has a player option, which he'll probably take. Smith, Liggins and Orton are all UFAs. Not too sure about Ish, Orton's good as gone if another team expresses interest in him and I think Liggins will get a pay rise. A great summer and training camp for Ish could see him fighting Duhon for the backup point guard slot. Earl Clark has a 2nd year option - it depends how he performs in the playoffs, and if he's able to sufficiently impress to earn a pay rise elsewhere.

Though I think Ryan's the biggest issue of them all. There aren't a lot of players like him (Kevin Love, ...?) and the team this year has a new dimension of a second rebounder beside Dwight. Just like JJ a few years back there will be a team that will offer him a front loaded contract (my guess)

I don't follow college basketball, so I'm not sure if it's any true that this year's draft will be 'stacked'. Orlando will probably get somewhere in the 25-30th pick. However, Fran Vasquez has indicated he wants to play NBA, just before he turns 30. With Big Baby figuratively and literally clogging up the Magic front court, I'm not sure what Vazquez can immediately contribute or if the team stands better to get talented wings by trading him?

Externally - I'm not sure how much cap space the Magic have... so some of these players might be out of the Magic's picture.
Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns – $11.7 million – Unrestricted: a lot of money, but definitely will be an upgrade. At the moment though, he's loyal to PHX.

Raymond Felton, Portland Trail Blazers – $7.6 million – Unrestricted: Overpaid at the moment, but does he really improve the Magic? I'd argue Jameer recently has been a lot better than him.

Eric Gordon, New Orleans Hornets – $3.8 million – Restricted ($5.1 million Qualifying Offer): it's gonna be a long shot to get him, and the team would need to move JJ or J-Rich.

Mickael Pietrus, Boston Celtics – $1.2 million – Unrestricted
Courtney Lee, Houston Rockets – $2.2 million – Restricted ($3.2 million Qualifying Offer): Magic reunion? But as with Gordon, there are issues of where to fit these players.

This FanPost was made by a member of the Orlando Pinstriped Post community, and is to be treated as the opinions and views of its author, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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