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Fanpost: Are the Magic Being Too Passive?

With a weakened East and a buyer’s market on players, Orlando may be missing a chance at NBA relevance.

NBA: Orlando Magic-Press Conference Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Every now and then, we will highlight and promote some of the more creative Fanposts from the site. The following post was originally made by whitemencanjump on July 9.

I will start off by acknowledging that the Orlando Magic’s plan for a rebuild makes sense, at least in theory. It is rooted in learning from past mistakes and applying lessons learned to achieve a goal of building a sustainable and competitive franchise.

John Hammond and Jeff Weltman are expressing their desire to build through the draft and maintain cap flexibility moving forward. This, from the outside looking in, seems like a very rational and common-sense approach to solving the Magic’s long-running postseason drought.

I believe that true leaders need to be able to alter their strategies based on multiple factors, and ever-changing situations. In this case, I believe that the factors and situations may need a re-evaluation.

There are several circumstances that, from my perspective, give me pause on just blindly supporting the current direction of this rebuild.

NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

First, with LeBron James taking his talents to the Lakers, the Eastern Conference has never been more wide open than it is today. There are only a handful of teams that can be penciled into the postseason given their current roster makeup. The East is truly ripe for the picking!

Second, I want to talk about free agency and what is going on with the market this year. Money is tight and players are accepting bargain team-friendly contracts. Teams around the league are tight on cap space from the undisciplined spending that went on in the summer of 2016 due to the cap spike.

I do acknowledge that the Magic are one of these teams that were reckless and not able to maintain patience. They are now paying the cost for that mistake, in the form of Bismack Biyombo - I mean - Timofey Mozgov!

I know it is easier said than done to unload salary, I just feel that there are teams out there like the Hawks and Kings who, if properly motivated with compensation, could be willing to help the Magic shed some unwanted salary. There are some really talented players out there still looking for deals. Marcus Smart, Jabari Parker, and Rodney Hood are restricted free agents that come to mind. They have their rights owned by teams who are biting their nails right now scared of having to match lucrative offer sheets that have luxury tax implications.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

I am not sitting here pipe dreaming - thinking that the Magic can win the East next season. What I am thinking is when an opportunity presents itself, you take advantage. Right now there is a huge opportunity in the Eastern Conference and also opportunity in regards to being a buyer’s market in free agency. I think if the Magic could pair some talented players with their existing young core, they could grow together with the goal of being a lower-level playoff team over the next several seasons hopefully maintaining enough cap flexibility or enough assets to trade for a star.

I myself am very torn, I see the merits of both approaches, I like the idea of being patient, but I also like the idea of taking advantage of a buyer’s market. I don’t see us nabbing a star in free agency to join a team that isn’t competitive.

I look forward to the discussion in the thread below