Magic Must Get “Creative” In Trade Talks


The Orlando Magic seemingly don’t have the cap room to make any kind of big news. General Manager Otis Smith has been quoted as saying that the team has to get “creative” to even attempt to re-sign SF Hedo Turkoglu.

How creative can the team get? Creative enough that Turkoglu will be replaced by a better, bigger named player? As I mentioned early the week in “Turkoglu’s Potential Replacement,” there are several big names not only on the Free Agent market, but on the trading block.

One huge name that has been floating around the rumor mill is Amar’e Stoudemire. There is a chance that the team will not have Amar’e, Steve Nash, or Shaq after next season. Shaq has been linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers while Nash is a free agent after next season and even has an option that the Suns can pick up for the 2009 season. If they don’t, Nash would become a free agent. Stoudemire can opt out of the 5 year, 73 million dollar contract he signed in 2005 after next season. The Suns would much rather gain something in return then let these players just walk away. Stoudemire was born in Lake Wales, Florida and attended 6 different high schools but graduated from Cypress Creek High School in nearby Central Florida. Paired with Dwight Howard, they would be the biggest “Twin Tower” force since the Admiral and Tim Duncan paired up for a couple of championships. Amar’e has a much more refined offensive game (he has averaged over 20 ppg every year since his rookie season, excluding 2005 in which he played just 3 games) and would make it impossible for teams to double Dwight Howard, allowing him to possibly get even more dunks, a category in which he regularly leads the league. Stoudemire suffered a severe knee injury in 2005 and played just 53 games last season, but he played in 79 the year before and in all 82 the season before that. Of course, Stoudemire is only 26 and would likely command at least the 14.6 million dollars per year that he makes now. ESPN is also currently reporting a developing story in which the Suns would send Amar’e to Minnesota for Forward Al Jefferson and the #6 overall pick in Thursday’s draft.

Chris Bosh has been linked to the team because of his relationship with Magic Center Dwight Howard. They spent a lot of time together on Team USA in China, even talking to girls in a Beijing McDonalds together. The two are very good friends and there has been a lot of speculation that they would love to play together. Last year, Jay Marrioti of the Chicago Sun-Times said that, “[Chris] Bosh will flee Toronto and look at Orlando and Western Conference teams.” Chris Bosh said of Dwight Howard, “After we talked I saw he was a lighthearted guy, he loves joking, and he just plays hard on the court. He’s my good friend,” said Bosh. The two both have goofy personalities. I can only imagine the videos that Bosh could come up with if he had Dwight Howard on his side. Bosh has a very good jumper, which is key due to the inside presence of Howard. Bosh, who becomes a Free Agent after next season, could be had. The only question is if the Magic have the parts. Bosh has averaged over 22 ppg and almost 10 rpg over the past 4 seasons. Bosh has been an all star in each of the last three seasons and his time in Canada, like most big time NBA players seems to be coming to an end. If Bosh really does want to come to Orlando and it sounds like he does, some kind of sign and trade could possibly be worked out. I’m sure the Magic would have to send a re-signed Turkoglu and Gortat, plus other salary dumps like Tony Battie. I’m not sure if they have the tools to make a deal like this but from a Raptor perspective, you’d have to rather get Turk then wait a year, lose Bosh and gain nothing in return. Bosh has also been linked in potential deals with the Miami involving last year’s #2 overall pick, Michael Beasley.

Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks is another interesting case. There are several rumors circulating that Smith is available. Smith played AAU ball on the Atlanta Celtics with Dwight Howard. Smith averaged 17.1 ppg and 7.5 rpg last season and is extremely athletic. The Magic could probably afford Smith but being able to acquire him is a different story. The biggest question about this is; would the Hawks trade Smith within the Southeast Division? My guess is probably not.

David Lee is a name that floats around pretty much every team’s rumor mill. Lee is a double-double machine and he had a fantastic season in 2008-09. The 26 year old PF averaged 16 ppg and 11.7 rpg, while playing in 81 games for the Knicks. Lee is a high energy guy and looks like he would be a good fit with Orlando. With the Knicks already known to be pursuing Marcin Gortat, the teams could work out a sign and trade involving these two players. The Magic would have the two leading double-double men in the league in their front court.

There are several other routes the Magic could take. Maybe they won’t sign a PF at all and leave Lewis there. I’d still stay what’s most likely to happen is Hedo re-signing with the Magic, but the real catch would obviously be acquiring Chris Bosh. He’s a legit superstar and would make this team nearly impossible to defeat. The Magic would have four 2008-09 All Stars in Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis, Chris Bosh and Dwight Howard and a promising rookie (Courtney Lee) would round out the starting 5. Of course, all of these acquisitions seem to be nothing more than pipe dreams. And if not of that works out, there’s always Fran Vazquez, right? Right?