I've quickly drummed up a few notes about how the Magic and their players are going this season and possibly in the future too. Enjoy.
2008-09 Orlando Magic
- Hedo has a player option to opt out next season. He has confirmed that he will opt out unless he gets more money. GM Otis Smith has not configured contracts too well and we are near the luxury tax. Otis has done everything needed not to hit the luxury tax, including letting go Keyon Dooling. In these tough economics times I would expect he wouldn't want his franchise hitting the luxury tax. Meaning Hedo will either be traded before the deadline, or he will walk for nothing. I will be very very surprised if Hedo is re-signed on a lucrative deal. If that happens I would expect some players would be let go, maybe along the lines of Bogans etc.
- We have an overflow at SG, with Pietrus, Bogans and Lee. We also have Redick, but nobody really counts him. We have no real PF, just Brian Cook and Tony Battie. Rashard Lewis plays there, but there is a reason Dwight gets a ton of rebounds yet the Magic lose the rebounding battle -- because our PF is standing so far away from the basket.
- Courtney Lee may develop nicely as a draft pick, but it was still a non-sensical move. When we have no real PF and Darrell Arthur and DeAndre Jordan were sitting there on draft day, it was really sad to see them go.
- Bogans, Lee and Battie have really improved our bench play. It is definitely not the best bench in the world, but it is good enough. Last season we had Bogans, Dooling and Foyle playing minutes off the bench. I still don't feel safe when Dwight goes off, but I feel a lot better when Battie is there rather than Foyle or Gortat.
- Trade rumors have surfaced for a bench PG for awhile now, as Cook and Redick are decent trade bait. It was Crittenton at first, but that died down, it would have been fantastic to get him. At the moment rumors for George Hill have surfaced. I don't see the Spurs letting him go personally.
- Our play is better than ever. Hedo, Rashard and Dwight are playing very well. Jameer Nelson is no longer one of the worst starting points in the league and is very serviceable. Pietrus adds some scoring punch, although I'm not seeing him as a top defender like first suggested.
- The rest of the NBA seems to be finally taking us seriously as we a taking it to all competition and have a fantastic record that seems like we have a very high chance of getting an ECF berth. After that, it really is anybodies game and you can't write anybody off.
- Dwight Howard is absolutely dominant. He is currently in mine, and many others, top 3 MVP candidates.