Roster deadline comes and goes, no big names hit the market — UPDATED

I wrote earlier in the day that no big names came free before the all important buyout deadline day on Sunday. That was according to the official league transactions, but ESPN is reporting that both Joe Smith and Drew Gooden reached buyouts with their teams BEFORE the deadline, and now both are free to sign with which ever team they choose and they will both still be eligible for the playoffs. So what does this mean for the Magic? It could have any number of ramifications. It’s likely that Gooden and Smith will both joins teams in the Eastern Conference. This means that if the Magic don’t get in on the bidding, they could watch one or two of their competitors pick up a valuable piece late in the season. On the other hand, if the Magic could add either Smith or Gooden, they could drastically help themselves down the stretch. Smith is still a very capable scorer, while Gooden could provide the team with some much-needed rebounding help. If I had to guess, my money would be on Smith re-joining Cleveland, now that Mikki Moore signed with Boston. That leaves Gooden, who had a decent stint with the Magic from 2003-04, as the most viable option. I think Gooden would fit in well on the court; my only concern would be how he would play in the locker room. The Magic only have 13 players on the roster, and – with Jameer Nelson out for the year – only 12 healthy bodies for practices. If a player is on a roster as of March 1, he’s not eligible to play for another team in the playoffs. So from here on out potential roster moves outside of Smith and Gooden are essentially limited to the NBDL. Here a few players that I wouldn’t mind the Magic giving a shot to make the team. Luke Jackson, SG/SF, Idaho Stampede D-League stats: 16. 9 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 4.2 apg, 45.3% from three-point range Jackson was the No. 10 overall pick a few years ago by the Clevland Cavaliers, but after struggles with injuries he bounced around the league. He spent most of last season with the Miami Heat before being waived as a byproduct of the Shaq trade. The 6-foot-7 Jackson can shoot the three and handle the ball, and would be good insurance on the end of the bench. Richard Hendrix, PF, Dakota Wizards At only 22 years old, Hendrix would be worth the short-term risk. He’s 6-9, and is tearing up the D-League, averaging 13.8 ppg and 11.6 rpg. He would give the Magic a legitimate rebounding threat off the bench in case Dwight Howard was to get in early foul trouble. Patrick Ewing Jr., SF/PF, Reno Bighorns This move seems like a no-brainer for the Magic. Ewing is a good defender and a great all-around athlete. With his father already on board as an assistant coach, it would seem to make sense for everyone involved. So far this season, Ewing is averaging 15.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg and 3.0 apg in the D-League this season.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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