The Magic are entering into their third rebuilding season with Rob Hennigan at the helm. The time to start moving forward as a franchise is now! I'm expecting the Magic to be much more aggressive this offseason in free agency and on the trade market as well. Below I will outline my ideal scenarios for free agency, the draft, and the trade market. This is the offseason were we will see if Rob Hennigan is as good as many of us think he is!
1. Ed Davis is a restricted free agent power forward for the Memphis Grizzlies. He has been insanely underutilized, the presence of Zack Randolph is the clear obstacle in his progression. His per 36 minute averages are 13.4 points, 9.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. If those stats don't impress you enough try this fun fact out, According to NBA.com Ed Davis holds opponents to 39.9% shooting at the rim. This is better than defensive stalwarts Anthony Davis, Serge Ibaka, and Joakim Noah! Wow!!! I think we can all agree that the Magic are in desperate need of rim protection. He would fit seamlessly next to Nik Vucevic.
2. Patty Mills is an unrestricted free agent point guard from the San Antonio Spurs. He has been one of the most improved players in the NBA. Mills per 36 minute averages are, 19.5 points, 1.6 steals, 3.5 assist while shooting 42.5% from distance. His three point shooting is for real, he sank 135 out of 318 this season. With the Magic's documented need for a point guard as well as three point shooting Mills is a no brainier as a free agent target. If we draft Dante Exum, it would pretty cool to have an all Australian back court.
3. Lance Stephenson is a complicated player. The unrestricted free agent has a reputation as a head case, but he also has the reputation of being one of the rising stars in this league. I don't know if the Magic have the leadership within the coaching staff or the locker room to keep this guy from being a cancer, but if they could pull it off, this guy is a piece of a championship roster. To steal a quote from Reggie Miller, "every championship team needs a little crazy" that quote definitely befits Stephenson! Rob, woo this guy, let him be the Magic's alpha dog! I think he will soon be a top 20 player in the NBA! Go godfather on him, make him an offer he can't refuse "with team options to keep him in line"
THE 2014 DRAFT
1. FAVORITE PLAYERS FOR PRESUMED 3RD PICK IN THE DRAFT,
Andrew Wiggins, Physically he reminds me of Len Bias
Dante Exum, kid looks like he's going to be a stud, Penny Hardaway comparisons justified
Joel Embiid, one of my peers gave him the best nickname "Kaiju"
2. FAVORITE PLAYERS FOR THE WONK PICK,
Elfrid Payton, the more I research him the more I like him. I'm aware that the majority of readers here believe his Draft stock doesn't justify him being selected 12th. I guarantee as we get into the combine and pre draft workouts he will be one of the biggest risers on draft boards. " I'm so high on him at this point I'd pick him over Marcus Smart and Tyler Ennis!"
Tyler Ennis, even though his lack of athleticism concerns me, he is a special player above the shoulders
Adreian Payne, if a player like Ed Davis is unobtainable in free agency, Payne will be an acceptable substitute.
Clint Capela, Is a player with Serge Ibaka comparisons, the need to compliment Nik Vucevic defensively has been documented above.
Zach Lavine, how rare is it to have a prospect that is an elite athlete, but also has the potential to be a marksman from deep?
THE TRADE MARKET
1. Trade into the second round of this years draft. With our well documented lack of depth at the point guard position, this years draft is so deep at that position, it offers a perfect opportunity to get value from trading into the second round. I would love for Rob Hennigan to grab a player like Jahi Carson, Deonte Burton, Jordan Clarkson, Semaj Christon, or Nick Johnson. One of these players could be our second string point guard. Every team needs a spark plug change off pace player!
2. Trade Arron Afflalo, Charlotte and Cody Zeller are a possibility, draft night keep an eye on the Phoenix Suns at 17 and the Chicago Bulls at 19! Both of those clubs possess multiple first round selections in this years draft. An Afflalo trade needs to happen. There is virtually no chance Afflalo opts into the final year of his contract with the Magic. The trade value clock will start ticking on draft night and will reach its apex at the trade deadline. Post draft night, he will be like the new car you just took off the lot, depreciating with each passing day!
3. Leverage assets to make a move out of the basement! This upcoming season we need something other than being relegated to routing for lottery position. Whether it be our stockpile of draft picks, a young player, Arron Afflalo, or a combination of all of the above. Rob Hennigan must leverage them to improve the team!
1. Pick up the option on Jameer Nelson's contract. We will almost certainly be adding a young point guard this off season, every young player can use a mentor. Hopefully he can find a home with a contender at the deadline.
2. Utilize the hell out of that D-League affiliate
3. Keep Stan Van gundy in the fold for the future.
4. The projected tax line is roughly 77 million for the 2014-15 season and 81 million for the 2015-16 season. Time to start spending!!!!!