So I think it's pretty safe to say, Magic fans, that this is definitely not the team you expected to be taking the floor around this time last year. Dwight was still here. Anderson was still here. JJ was still here. If I recall correctly even some guy named Stan was still here. The Hennigan Era has seen the shuttling of Dwight to Los Angeles, J Rich to Philly, Gustavo from New Orleans then out to Milwaukee, along with JJ...Duhon finally gone, etc etc.
Nowadays Orlando's (Youth) Movement consists of fresh faces like Nik Vucevic, Tobias Harris, Moe Harkless, and Andrew Nicholson. E'Twaun Moore, Kyle O'Quinn and even DeQuan Jones figure to be (low cost) rotation players who you would expect to continue to expand their games with age still on their side (combo guard Doron Lamb has a couple games to prove whether he's going to be sticking around as well). So where does this leave the rest of the
old fogeys veterans on the team moving forward through next season?
Jameer Nelson- He was one of the first major expenditures of the Hennigan Era, a major cog of Orlando's '09 Finals squad and with rejuvenated numbers this year, as current co-captain and resident Mighty Mouse, I would expect to see him as part of the team moving forward for at least the tenure of his contract... right?
Aaron Afflalo- You had to have an inkling at the beginning of the year that it was really going to come down to JJ or AA, and when you looked deep within yourself you had to know that it couldn't be both. The axe has fallen, and Afflalo remains a Magic man, signalling the green light for AA to take on higher levels of responsibility in solidifying Orlando's backcourt along with Nelson.
Now this is where it gets interesting:
Big Baby Davis- How injuries can change everything. This was to be his break out year, as inefficient as he may be, and for the most part Baby looked to be growing up and taking on a leadership role finally. His loss to the injured list altered the direction of the season and turned the primary focus to developing the youngsters who will now form the foundation of the franchise for seasons to come. Davis' absence has created opportunity amongst Orlando's young bigs, especially for rooks like Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O'Quinn. With versatile big Tobias Harris in the fold as well gnawing away at more 4 minutes, where does that really leave Glen?
Al Harrington- While it initially looked like we would never get to see him suit up, Harrington has finally gotten some tick recently. He played well in a win over Philly, but you can see the wear and tear on this NBA lifer (I think some people forget he came to the L right from high school, this guy has been playing in the League like half his life) with hardly any lift or defense left in him. I would imagine this is more of a farewell kind of party for Big Al and we won't be seeing him past this season.
Beno Udrih- A throw in from the Milwaukee trade, but he has performed well as a backup court general. Well anything looks more fluid then E'Twaun starting the offense. You would think that he's currently auditioning for a gig this offseason, while Orlando would move to possibly snag a quicker, younger PG (in the Draft?), maybe in the form of a Marcus Smart.
Hedo Turkoglu- Oh Hidayet, Hidayet. How could you Lance Armstrong us like this? Too soon? Ok, too soon. Hedo might be the first athlete ever to really deserve a hall pass on this whole juicing thing, because, well, look at him. He's hardly a Turkish Lebron, and it's looking more and more likely that this will be the last we see of our former Mr. 4th Quarter.
So what say you Magic faithful- who stays and who goes, and what direction will Orlando go in this year's Draft and Offseason?