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UPDATED: Where Might the Magic's Free Agents Go? Miami a Strong Possibility

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I updated this post to reflect the fact that the Magic lost Grant Hill in free agency last summer, which I somehow overlooked earlier. Thanks to commenter OVERWADED for bringing that serious oversight to my attention. Additionally, I updated the list after the jump to reflect the Phoenix Suns' potential interest in one of Orlando's current free agents.

With all the draft nonsense last week, it was easy for us at 3QC to lose sight of the fact that the NBA's free-agency period starts Tuesday.

So I'd like to thank Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (via Dee Gugel of the Orlando Sentinel) for shocking us out of our stupor with today's Florida Sports Buzz feature. Apparently, the Heat have their eyes on some of our free agents (emphases Jackson's):

Riley said he still might trade for a point guard, with Memphis (Kyle Lowry, among others) considered in play. Otherwise, the Heat believes it can find a stopgap starter from a free agent group including Chris Duhon, Carlos Arroyo, Keyon Dooling, Anthony Johnson, Tyronn Lue, Jannero Pargo and Anthony Carter. And the Heat likes restricted free agent Sebastian Telfair, though Minnesota can match any offer.

[....]

[Heat GM Pat] Riley pointed to the potential to lure a player from ''teams that have three or four unrestricted free agents.'' Keep an eye on Orlando (Arroyo, Dooling, Maurice Evans) and Golden State [...]

Last year, the Magic only lost two three players to free agency: little-used point guard Travis Diener to Indiana; more notably, backup power forward Darko Milicic to Memphis; and swingman Grant Hill to Phoenix. Nobody expected Diener or Hill to come back, and although Milicic's departure surprised plenty of people, we should have expected the Magic to ignore him if it meant focusing on signing Rashard Lewis, which they did.

But the circumstances surrounding its summer -- limited cap space, high expectations entering next season, the higher quality of its own free agents -- will magnify the impact of any Orlando's free-agent losses, especially if they eventually sign with archrival Miami.

What follows after the jump is a list of Orlando's free agents, what they can provide, and which teams might be interested in them.

Thanks for sticking with us. As promised, here's the list of Orlando's four best free agents, their best qualities, and which teams might have an interest in them.

  • Carlos Arroyo
    • Provides a pass-first mentality and depth at the point guard position.
    • Might interest Denver, Miami, New York, and Phoenix.
  • Keyon Dooling
    • Provides tenacious perimeter defense and the ability to create his own shot. He can play either guard position competently.
    • Might interest Denver, Miami, New Jersey, Toronto, and Utah.
  • Maurice Evans
    • Provides above-average perimeter defense and three-point shooting.
    • Might interest Miami, Philadelphia, and Toronto.
  • Adonal Foyle
    • Provides above-average post defense and six fouls.
    • Might interest Dallas, Minnesota, New Orleans, and San Antonio.

I can't imagine any NBA team lining up to sign Orlando's other free agents, Pat Garrity or James Augustine, although the Magic tendered Augustine a qualifying offer and thus have the right to match any offer another team makes for his services.

Given how important the first four guys in that list were to Orlando's success last season, one could argue that this summer's free-agency period will prove more important to Orlando's title hopes than last summer's did. In Lewis, they got their big prize. Now, it's a matter of keeping the role-players around. Otherwise, the Magic could find themselves taking a step back next season.