Tim Povtak has the scoop on the Magic's trade-deadline "activity," which yielded no roster moves. Here's an infuriating quote from the article:
"You have to ask yourself, 'is there something out there that could make us better?' The answer was 'no,'" said Magic General Manager Otis Smith. "So I'm not disappointed at all. I like what we have right now."
I understand Otis is worried about chemistry or whatever, but clearly there were big-men available. The Bulls dumped both Ben Wallace and Joe Smith today, receiving Drew Gooden in return. Less conspicuously, the Pistons dumped Primoz Brezec. And yesterday, the SuperSonics dumped Kurt Thomas. Povtak's article mentions the Magic were in the running for Thomas, but Otis was reluctant to part with Carlos Arroyo in the deal. Carlos Arroyo was the sticking point in a deal to acquire Kurt Thomas?! He was our best trade asset; not only was he the best player we had with an expiring contract, but his contract had the highest value ($4 million). A Jameer Nelson/Keyon Dooling tandem at point guard would have worked just fine. Sure, an injury to one of those guys would have sapped our depth, but not as badly as one might think. Hedo Turkoglu can handle the ball and is more than capable of playing point forward. Ugh.
This whole deadline has been incredibly disappointing. Cleveland certainly improved by acquiring Wallace, Smith, and Wally Szczerbiak, and now shuld be considered a more talented team than the Magic. Add to that the fact that Toronto's Chris Bosh and Jose Calderon both consistently crush us, and we suddenly don't look so good.
The trek to a championship just got a whole lot more perilous.
UPDATE: Some Magic fans are calling for Otis Smith to be fired after his decision not to make a move at the deadline. Hrm.
UPDATE #2: John Denton got Otis to comment on not trading the expiring contracts:
"If we would have [traded the expiring contracts], it might have precluded us from doing anything this summer. I like the flexibility. What you are taking back for those expiring contracts has to be something that you really like. And in a lot of cases it just wasn't much better than what we had already."
Um, what? Trading an expiring contract would have let us upgrade the team significantly right now, plus we'd still have the mid-level exception to use on another solid rotation player this summer. Now, we'll only have the mid-level. We had the chance to upgrade two positions; now, we'll only be able to upgrade one. Nice going.
Otis also mentioned that Tony Battie will not return at any point this season, not even for the playoffs. Brian Cook, come on down!