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The Orlando Magic Should Talk to Antonio McDyess, Assuming He's Willing to Listen

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A custom Antonio McDyess #24 Orlando Magic jersey

This jersey would look good on a certain veteran power forward...

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Matt Watson of NBA FanHouse and Detroit Bad Boys knows a thing or two about Antonio McDyess and believes the soon-to-be-free-agent power forward would be an excellent fit with the Orlando Magic:

[Orlando has] been missing a legitimate power forward to compliment Dwight Howard since, well, forever. McDyess is a rugged interior defender and rebounder and could help prevent Howard from being overworked on both ends of the court. And while Howard is a dominant post-presence and Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu are dangerous three-point shooters, they don't have anyone with McDyess' reliable mid-range jumper.

I don't think there's any question that Dice could help the Magic. He could help any team, really. So I could go through a bunch of stats and analysis to try to prove that Antonio McDyess is a good basketball player, but that'd be a waste of time because it's so damn obvious. Let's call it a given and then move on to the more important question: can the Magic afford to sign him?

Magic GM Otis Smith doesn't seem to think so, but he might be wrong. After some quick number-crunching three weeks ago, I determined the Magic had only $445,779 to spend until hitting the luxury-tax threshold. Turns out my math was a bit fuzzy, as the NBA will pay a portion of the salaries for Adonal Foyle, who earns the veteran's minimum, and for Mike Wilks, whose season-ending injury suffered in training camp guaranteed his contract. Wyn from Canis Hoopus, SB Nation's Timberwolves blog, put together a salary spreadsheet for everyone on the network to use, and his data show the Magic have $938,709 to spend before hitting the tax threshold. Could the Magic sign McDyess for that amount of money?

In a word, yes.

If McDyess is willing to play for the veteran's minimum, he'd only cost Orlando, or any other team looking to sign him for that amount, $797,581. To sign him, the Magic would have to clear a roster spot by waiving Wilks, which would not be a tough decision. They have to pay him whether he's on the team or not, and as he's not expected to play again until next season, and as he was playing on a make-good, training-camp contract when he was injured, the decision to waive him would be a no-brainer.

So, to recap, here's what must happen for the Orlando Magic to sign Antonio McDyess:

  1. McDyess' agent, Andy Miller, negotiates a buyout with the Denver Nuggets.
  2. The Magic cut Wilks
  3. The Magic contact McDyess and Miller and offer...
    • ...a minimum-salary contract
    • ...a significant role in the team's rotation
    • ...the chance to play alongside Dwight Howard
  4. The Magic pray to whichever God they believe in their offer trumps those of all the other teams in the league bidding for McDyess' services.

Obviously, that's a heckuva lot more easier said than done. Any number of factors could derail the Magic's plans, the most likely being that another team is willing to offer Dice more than the minimum salary. There's also the possibility that the Magic would want to sign McDyess, but not for him to play significant minutes. Don't laugh. Last year, the Magic were in negotiations to sign Chris Webber before talks broke down after the team refused to guarantee him a featured role. For Orlando's sake, I hope they aren't as bullish with McDyess, assuming they even get him on the phone. As Watson mentioned, they've needed a legit power forward for ages--consider this piece I wrote last summer, when this site was still on Blogspot--and McDyess can be that guy.

At least try to make it happen, Otis.