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Aldridge: Orlando Magic Have 25th-Best Offseason This Year

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Veteran NBA reporter David Aldridge, currently of NBA.com, has ranked the offseasons of all 30 NBA teams to date, and places the Orlando Magic 25th. If that seems low, don't worry; Aldridge isn't a hater. In fact, he says "the Magic are in much better shape than most of the teams on this list" because they have Dwight Howard and "quality big man depth." His issue, really, is that he "[c]an't give Orlando a great offseason grade for only matching an offer sheet on [J.J.] Redick."

His evaluation also says Jameer Nelson is the "key man" to the Magic's championship hopes next year, and that the Magic have decisions to make, such as these:

Should they pull the trigger and deal Vince Carter for the likes of Gilbert Arenas, or package Nelson and some of that big man depth and try to get Howard a Pau Gasol-like second? Or should Orlando stand pat and give a team that was playing the best basketball in the league -- until meeting Boston -- another chance to get back to the Finals?

In addition to matching the Bulls' offer sheet to Redick, the Magic split their mid-level exception on backup point guard Chris Duhon and starting small forward Quentin Richardson, while losing Matt Barnes, last year's starting small forward, to the L.A. Lakers.

For more on his methodology, I recommend reading the bolded, italicized paragraphs at the top of the rankings. I'd say he's pretty fair in his analysis of the Magic.