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Report: Magic want veterans, not to rebuild after Howard

Dec 28, 2011, 8:08 AM EDT

Orlando Magic v Oklahoma City Thunder Getty Images

Right now, the Dwight Howard soap opera is on hiatus.

The Magic have stopped all trade talk and are focusing on this season and convincing Howard to stay in Orlando. I’m pretty sure opening day did not help their cause. In the least.

Eventually Orlando is going to have to trade Howard. His demand is still on the table and he is not likely to re-sign there — they have to get something for him. But that something is not young players because the Magic are not looking to strip down and rebuild just yet, reports Marc Stein at ESPN.com.

Sources familiar with Orlando’s thinking say that a picture of what the Magic will ultimately expect in return for their anchor has indeed begun to emerge, telling ESPN.com this week that Orlando would not hold out for youth and draft picks as the league-owned New Orleans Hornets were ordered to do in the Chris Paul sweepstakes. The Magic, sources say, would instead prefer to bring back multiple established veterans who can keep the team competitive.

Reason being: Orlando has moved into a new arena last season and has an 85-year-old owner in Rich De Vos. Sources say De Vos has little interest in starting over/rebuilding, as evidenced by the recent decisions to trade for Glen “Big Baby” Davis and re-sign Jason Richardson even though Howard’s future is so murky.

The Magic will not get equal value in trading Howard away. You never do when you trade a superstar. But to demand veterans so you can be competitive means the Magic are likely headed for mediocrity — the dangerous NBA middle ground. Teams that are good enough to make the playoffs but not be contenders; teams that are not bad enough to go up in the draft and get a superstar that way. They get stuck in that middle with no easy way out.

The one deal that seemed closest to happening was a three team trade where the Magic got Brook Lopez from the Nets and Gerald Wallace out of Portland, with Howard going to New Jersey. That is what I’m taking about — the Magic would be good, a playoff team, but nowhere near the Heat or Bulls. Or even the Knicks.

I like better what Utah did, what New Orleans did trading their stars. They got good young players and picks that jump-start the rebuilding process.

But that may not be Orlando’s plan. It’s something to watch for. This trade may be different than most superstar trades.

  1. fordman84 - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    Ahhh, maybe that is what Cuban and Donnie have in mind when getting back together the 1999 All star team.

    Oh, you said good veterans and not over-the-hill-and-about-to-retire? Dang it.

  2. david8726 - Dec 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    So Magic fans might get screwed out of getting pieces that will help them rebuild because their ancient owner wants to watch an old, mediocre team rather than a young, potentially good team before he dies.

    Lovely.

  3. vstyle23 - Dec 28, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    First of all D12 is overrated. If we took Bynum and another player such as meta, or even Gasol, Orlando would be a much stronger team. With meta and Bynum we would recieve defense as well as offense. Dwight gives Orlando defense but little offense. Bynum would give them offense and some D, Metta would bring Defense and spread the floor for three which is what Stan likes. The only thing is D12 and Mamba together, scary!!

    • therealhtj - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:44 PM

      If you can talk the Magic into taking MWP and his remaining 3 yrs / 21mil off the Lakers books in a D12 deal, Dr. Buss has a luxury box loaded with aspiring playmates he’d gladly introduce you to.

      But if D12 is so overrated, why is the idea of him teaming up with Kobe so scary?

  4. shorttracknews - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    Trading him to the Bulls still makes the most sense. Deng, Noah and a draft pick should get it done

    • dirtydavis - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:31 PM

      Throw in a pack of newports and 6 pack of zimas.. they got themselves a deal

  5. genericcommenter - Dec 28, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    To be fair to Rich De Vos, his roster construction strategy has improved greatly over the years. When he first became an owner, he only wanted to sign 2 good players. To stay on the team and earn their paychecks, he required those 2 to each bring 2 friends to camp. Then each of those friends would also need to bring 2 friends until the training camp roster was full. He would then construct a final roster from a combination of the 12 best players and their friends with the highest Nutralite vitamin consumption.

    • raidmagic - Dec 28, 2011 at 2:09 PM

      LMAO That’s funny!!!

  6. rohlo - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    trade em to houston get some good quakity players as they have a lot of depth and a draft pick or two..howard and the rockets would be top3 in the west no lower than 4 which is where the magic and if he were on the nets they would still be 4 or 5 in the east..thing is the west would be a better fit for his play and the east has 3 4 mega teams now anyways as where the west doesnt have any mega teams and it would be a better chance for him to play ion the finals!!

    • rohlo - Dec 28, 2011 at 1:36 PM

      sorry my typing sucks today!! lol

    • therealhtj - Dec 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM

      He wouldn’t resign with Houston. If they want to gut their roster to rent D12 for half a strike-shortened season, then Houston’s not the well-run organization they have everyone thinking they are.

  7. goforthanddie - Dec 28, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    Veteran players are a known commodity; you have a good sense of abilities/ceiling/etc. Not all draft picks/young players pan out.
    I can see where someone is more interested in a guaranteed return over a possibly-better, possibly-worse one.

    • borderline1988 - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:10 AM

      True. Look at Cleveland. Got the 1 and 4 picks last year, and while I like Irving, they aren’t winning championships with those players or going far in the playoffs, if they ever make it.

  8. vstyle23 - Dec 30, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    @therealhj, the reason why Kobe and Dwight together is scary is because Dwight needs another number one who is the primary. As much as I don’t like Kobe, he’s probably the best number one to team up with D12 to make him even better. Dwight drawing attention down low opens up everything for Kobe. Scary!!!

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