Orlando Needs to Start Tanking
We have reached the half way point of the NBA season and it is safe to say that this will not be the year the Orlando Magic snap their longest playoff drought in franchise history. The Magic find themselves just a game out of last place in the East after an exciting hot start to this season. However, that hot start did not last long as the Magic quickly came back to reality. Now one can say injuries had a lot to do with the team’s poor performance, but injuries aside, the talent is simply not there. Orlando clearly need a superstar if they are going to be relevant again. Something they’ve been missing since Dwight Howard left town.
Now if you’re wondering how the Magic land a superstar, the answer is quite simple…Tank! Tanking is the only way the team can assure themselves of landing one of the three difference makers that will be available in the upcoming draft. Of course Orlando’s players won’t purposely throw games, so management will need to unload a player or two to make sure they land in the top 3 of this year’s draft. Players who could be on the chopping block include: Evan Fournier, Elfrid Payton, and Mario Hezonja. Now if Nikola Vucevic was not injured, he too could be on this list. Really, the only players who are safe on the current roster are Aaron Gordon and rookie Jonathan Isaac. These two are viewed as building blocks for the future and should be considered safe during the rapidly approaching trade deadline.
As for what the Magic will be looking for in any trade is either veterans on expiring contracts, or future draft picks. Even if it’s a low first round draft pick, the Magic may be able to package that for an even higher pick in the upcoming draft. The main objective is trading away players who are not part of the long-term picture while getting closer to securing a potential superstar in the upcoming draft. Now regardless of who comes and goes it should be an exciting few weeks leading up to the NBA trade deadline next month.