Posted by: sportsandbeans | September 3, 2007

Padding Pockets? =)

by Migs

With the acquisition of former Sonic forward Rashard Lewis, the Orlando Magic suddenly have the opportunity to make a whole lot of noise in the lowly NBA Eastern Conference.

Did they sell their soul in the process, though?

I’ve read many articles, and listened to a whole lot of interviews between scouts and basketball analysts lately regarding this matter. One consensus emerged- the Magic have hamstrung themselves because of the Lewis deal.

With Rashard Lewis, you get a guy who can easily net you over 20 points a night, while getting you anywhere from 6-8 rebounds. He can shoot the 3, and is insanely athletic at 6,10″. Pair him with Dwight Howard, and what you get is a combo that is sure to strike fear into the hearts of opponents for years to come (Lewis is 27, and Howard is only 21).

Does he possess the leadership and game-altering skills of a Lebron, Kobe, or Jordan? I would be inclined to say, sadly, no. At best, he’d be the second best player on a good team- ala Pippen. Paying him $125 Million, over six years, seems to be a little to taxing on the squad’s cap flexibility, no matter how good the cager you’re signing is (most times).

The era of signing players to big, bloated, contracts is passe. The name of the game these days, I think more than ever, is financial flexibility. In addition to this monetary blunder, Orlando GM Otis Smith, and Darko Millicic plus his agent, Marc Cornstein, have started World War III with each other over the Magic’s refusal to honor a supposed verbal agreement stating that Millicic would be resigned, and for more cash. Those in the Magic Kingdom could have at least done a sign and trade for Darko, instead of just letting him walk. This assertion comes in light of the fact that they seemed to have overpaid for Lewis, and that the team seems to be in dire need veteran leadership on and off the court with the departure of the oft-hobbling Grant Hill.

On the brighter side of things, the hiring of Stan Van Gundy as the head coach of the Orlando Magic should prove to be a shrewd move. If his handywork in Miami was any indication, then the Floridians are in for some serious mentoring.

Then again, Howard and Lewis are NOT Shaq and Wade.

Hedo Turkoglu is NOT Udonis Haslem.

Tony Battie is not Alonzo Mourning, post or pre kidney trouble.  

And well, Stan isn’t Riles. No way.

This comes as yet another example of “show me”.

As was alluded to earlier, because Orlando’s in the East, the immediately have a shot at making a big impact. Whether they have enough mustard to making “Magic” happen is another story altogether.

The East ought to be quite the draw this year. Lebron’s Cavs are the defending Eastern champs, the Celtics have been revitalized, and the Magic look good. Despite this, the best still seem to reside out West- that is, as long as the Duncans, Parkers, Nashes, Nowitzkis, Deron Williamses, and yes, Nellies, of this world, are alive an kicking.




  1. this is boring

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