NBA players hoping to sign with new teams for the 2012 playoffs must clear waivers by March 23rd. Though the Orlando Magic own the Eastern Conference's third-best record and appear to be in decent shape, and though they already have a full roster, they could choose to waive a player to make room for a newcomer who's received a buyout from his current team. Should Orlando pursue such a player in the hopes of bolstering its bench?
Point guard Derek Fisher and swingman Jason Kapono are among the more prominent names available, and center Ronny Turiaf is rumored to be on his way to receiving a buyout from the Denver Nuggets. Other NBA veteran free agents Orlando could sign are point guard Earl Boykins; centers D.J. Mbenga and Kyrylo Fesenko; and swingman James Posey.
Could any of these players help Orlando? A look at their stats follows the jump.
|PG||Earl Boykins||2010/11||17.0||2.3||5.9||1.6||0.1||52.6||Derek Fisher||2011/12||8.2||3.0||4.6||1.3||0.1||47.9|
|SF||Jason Kapono||2011/12||7.2||1.9||1.5||0.4||0.0||47.6||James Posey||2010/11||10.3||6.3||1.5||1.0||0.3||48.5|
|C||Kyrylo Fesenko||2010/11||8.4||8.5||1.4||0.3||1.3||44.1||Ronny Turiaf||2010/11||8.4||6.5||2.9||1.1||2.3||64.8|
Are any of those players significant upgrades over the guys they'd presumably replace in the Magic's rotation if they were signed? Some of them seem promising, in the low-risk/medium-reward way. Boykins, for example, averaged nearly a point every two minutes while scoring at league-average efficiency for the Milwaukee Bucks a season ago, but hasn't been able to find work this season. Given the Magic's dire need for bench scoring, he'd be an intriguing addition to the team. A glaring problem, however, is his height: at 5-foot-3, his presence on the court is an invitation for opposing guards to post up.
Turiaf and Fesenko might be worth a look too. Turiaf has indeed played this season, but in only four games, as he suffered a broken hand early in the year. Turiaf doesn't score or board terribly well, but he's an excellent passer out of the high post, a skilled and willing post defender, and strong screen-setter. He's absolutely an upgrade over Glen Davis and would make a solid insurance policy in case Dwight Howard encounters foul trouble in the postseason.
At 7-foot-1, Fesenko would give the Magic great size in the middle, and he's an okay defender. The biggest issue is that, for all his size, he cannot shoot worth a damn, with a career field-goal percentage of 49.8. Opponents would feel free to utterly ignore him at the offensive end.
Oh, and he averages a foul once every 4.9 minutes, but that's not an issue for a deep bench guy.
Which of these players, if any, piques your interest? If you were to play Magic GM, whom would you waive to make room for one of these guys?