Looking to make it back to the NBA Finals again in 2010, the Orlando Magic have seemingly built a very good team. However, a closer look shows that there are some very glaring needs on this team, glaring enough that they need to fill them if they hop to remain on top.
Returning Players- Rashard Lewis (SF); Vince Carter (SG); Dwight Howard (C); Jameer Nelson (PG); Marcin Gortat (C); Mickeal Pietrus (SF); Brandon Bass (PF); Ryan Anderson (PF); JJ Redick (SG – Qualifying Offer); Matt Barnes (SF – Player Option)
Team Payroll (10 Players) – $79,677,182
Estimated Salary Cap – $56,000,000
Team Needs- Back-up backcourt; athleticism
Position Needs – PG, PF
Picks – 1st Round (#29); 2nd Round (#59)
Analysis- In the midst of winning two straight games to climb back into their series against Boston, what seemed to be weaknesses a few days ago, don’t look as bad. The front-court which hadn’t looked good at all got a boost when Stan Van Gundy remembered that Brandon Bass was on his team. While the team could use another strong forward to help Howard down low, the most pressing need for the team will be to find a solid back-up (and possibly an eventual replacement) for Jameer Nelson. This is not the deepest point guard class, but there are plenty of players with value at the 29th spot where Orlando has their first round pick. With 3 point guards (Wall, Bradley, and Bledsoe) likely off the board by the time the Magic pick, the talent drop-off is noticeable, but there are some players here who may be good fits for the Magic. Elliot Williams would be a great addition if he has lasted this far. A point guard with nice size (6’4), Williams does a great job getting into the lane and is also big enough to play in the same back-court as Nelson. Another option at the end of the first round is Kansas point guard Sherron Collins who would provide a solid back-up to Nelson, but really doesn’t provide anything different. A sleeper PG to look out for at this pick is Mikhail Torrance of Alabama. Another big point guard, Torrance is a good passer, though he has a tendency to play out-of-control at times. If the Magic was to look at front-court help at #29, they could have a shot at players such as Larry Sanders, an athletic power-forward who can also play at center, or Gani Lawal, a more physical presence who is also comfortable playing out to 15 feet. With the second to last pick of the second round, and having little flexibility with their roster, I would look for the Magic to take an international forward who can play overseas for a few seasons. Some interesting prospects at this point of the draft include Paulao Prestes from Brazil and Tibor Pleiss, a seven-footer out of Germany.
That’s it for the Magic, make sure to check back tomorrow for a look at the needs of a possibly Lebron-less Cleveland Cavaliers team