I have to be honest, for a team that made it's way to the NBA Finals last year, the Magic have made some major moves beyond expectations. I'm not saying that the direction that Orlando is heading is bad, but it's clear that they are making their move for the ring now - potentially leveraging longevity for a shot at it all. At the end of the day, it comes down to the two options in the philosophy of building a professional sports team. Design a team that can win a championship or design a team that can win a string of championships?
"Okay Vince, if I win this thumb war, you come over and play for us next year."
While the Magic seemed to have taken advantage of the feeding frenzy of next years' Uber draft they have indeed acquired an aging Vince Carter in exchange some potential future producers (Alston and Courtney Lee most notably). Now, this isn't to say that Vince doesn't have anything left in the tank; he did just come off of a season of 20.8 points per game and 4.7 dimes per game.
Let's just say that the clock is officially ticking for the Magic to grab that trophy.
Vince Carter. Dwight Howard. Jameer Nelson. Rashard Lewis. Those are four extremely potent bullets in a now fully loaded gun. Even for a team that made the NBA finals last year, it's tough to argue that they didn't get better with the addition of Vinsinity.
The only issue I see is the loss of the depth of their bench. In order to get Carter over, Orlando dealt away Rafer Alston, a solid backup to Jameer Nelson. (To their credit on this hole, they did sign Jason Williams away from the Heat) Additionally, they moved away Courtney Lee, their rookie guard who showed the league that he can play with the elite in last years' postseason. Add to all of this the fact that Orlando did not succeed in keeping Hedo Turkoglu, a key cog in their success in their 2008-2009 season and one is left wondering if having Carter is truly greater than the potential holes they have created in their already proven roster.
Can Orlando get it done this year?! Despite some of these issues, I don't see why not. This will definitely be a team to watch.
- Finished Season 59 and 23
- Beat Cleveland to win the Eastern Conference Championship
- Lost to the Lakers in the NBA Finals
- Traded Rafer Alston, Tony Battie and Courtney Lee to the New Jersey Nets for Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson
- Offered a 4 year deal to Brandon Bass (from the Dallas Mavericks)
- Signed ex Warrior (who then went to the Suns) Matt Barnes
- Signed Jason Williams from the Miami Heat
Recent Ex Warriors on current roster:
2009-2010 Around the Association
- Atlanta Hawks: Sorry, Mrs. Jackson. The Hawks are for real.
- Boston Celtics: Sheed in Green + Another Answer
- Charlotte Bobcats: They Do Exist
- Chicago Bulls: Ring Around the Rose-y
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Now or Never
- Dallas Mavericks: The Curse of the Dampier
- Denver Nuggets: If it ain't broke...
- Detroit Pistons: The Return of the Bay Boys
- Houston Rockets: Yao-ch!, that's gotta hurt
- Indiana Pacers: A One Man Show
- Los Angeles Clippers: Warriors South No More
- Los Angeles Lakers: Big Brother, Little Brother
- Memphis Grizzlies: Going Back to Vancouver
- Miami Heat: Need to get the point
- Milwaukee Bucks: Saving a few buck$
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Donde esta Senor Rubio?
- New Jersey Nets: The Year of the Yi
- New Orleans Hornets: Two first names, one great point guard
- New York Knicks: Is it summatime yet?
- Oklahoma City Super Sonics
- Orlando Magic
- Philadelphia Sixers
- Phoenix Suns
- Portland TrailBlazers
- Sacramento Kings
- San Antonio Spurs
- Toronto Raptors
- Utah Jazz
- Washington Wizards