So… what now?

When I first caught wind of the Vince Carter trade, I thought it meant Hedo Turkoglu was coming back. I figured that by dealing for Carter, the Magic were entering full-fledged “win right now” mode. And if that’s the case, Turkoglu certainly helps them win right now. But after crunching the numbers and listening to Otis Smith speak last night, I see little to no chance that Turkoglu comes back. Even though the Magic said they’d dip into the luxury tax to sign Turkoglu, we’re talking about the team going at least $10 million over the tax threshold. And I can’t imagine the Magic paying tens of millions for several years and letting go of what little flexibility they have going forward. Here’s the situation entering next season. Orlando Magic salaries, 2009-10 Rashard Lewis: $18,010,791 Vince Carter: $16,123,250 Dwight Howard: $14,410,581 Jameer Nelson: $7,600,000 Mickael Pietrus: $5,292,000 JJ Redick: $2,839,408 Anthony Johnson: $1,900,000 Ryan Anderson: $1,317,120 Total: $67,493,150 Expected tax threshold: ~$69,000,000 As you see, the Magic have very little space to work with. There are plenty of exceptions, such as the mid-level exception (expected to be worth about $5.5 million), so the team has options. Check out the team’s depth chart. Orlando Magic depth chart, as of now PG: Jameer Nelson, Anthony Johnson SG: Vince Carter, JJ Redick SF: Mickael Pietrus PF: Rashard Lewis, Ryan Anderson C: Dwight Howard Not only do the Magic need to fill out the roster, but they still have several gaping holes in their rotation. A more-than-serviceable big man is a must because Howard is in foul trouble so often. It’s unclear if Pietrus is comfortable as a starter. JJ Redick hasn’t proved to be a reliable player in extended minutes, even though I do like him. This team has a lot of work to do, and that’s something we’ll get into in the coming days and weeks. For now, I pose this question: what do you think the Magic should do?

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