OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA (LIFE GOES ON): A FREE-AGENCY BATTLE PLAN FOR THE ORLANDO MAGIC

What the hell happened?

Seems like just yesterday the Magic were the surprise of the NBA, crashing the 2009 Finals with their unorthodox line-up when almost nobody saw them coming.

Here we are two years later and all that promise is gone, buried underneath a pile of bad contracts, gambles-gone-wrong and the almost certain departure of their franchise player.

Is there any hope left here?

Well maybe, but you’d have to squint just right to see it. Assuming they won’t be able to convince Dwight Howard to re-sign (and that’s where the safe money is right now), they’ll need to be ready to turn the page and figure out this mess going forward.

Pining for lost loves isn’t going to help anyone at this point. Time to face the music.

RIGHT MOVE


Blood from a stone


As everyone in basketball circles will tell you, it’s nearly impossible to get full value when trading away a superstar. In the case of Dwight Howard, Orlando might be able to come pretty damn close to equal return. That is, if they handle it the right way.

Teams are gonna be lined up around the block for Howard, and they should be. As a player, he’s a bonafide superstar. As an attraction, he’s even more valuable. If Orlando is committed to moving on, alot of their future success will depend on squeezing every last ounce of compensation out of this deal.

For example, a mixture of young talent and draft picks would be nice, but finding a taker for one Hedo Turkoglu’s contract is crucial, here. Heavy price to pay, but I’m pretty sure someone will pay it when push  comes to shove.

The point is, patience will be the key here, and once you’ve traded Howard there will be no turning back.

WRONG MOVE


Being overly sentimental


Sometimes, you’ve just got to see the writing on the wall. Sometimes, you’ve just gotta move on. By removing emotion from the equation and resolving yourself to making the best deal you can, you have a good shot at emerging somewhat unscathed. Do it right, and this is still a good team with a good fan base and a desirable location for would-be free agents. Do it wrong, and you’re left with a depleted team and angry season-tciket holders.

Make a move with your head, not your heart, and you’ll be just fine.

BOTTOM LINE


Assuming they are able to get decent value for Howard, this will still be a pretty interesting team. There is still alot of talent here, even if most of it is complimentary. This may be the end of the road for the Dwight Howard era, but this team can land on it’s feet if they keep their wits about them.

-John Hathwell

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