After last night’s embarrassing 74-69 loss to the 76ers, one thing is clear: it’s time for the Orlando Magic to trade Dwight Howard. His departure is inevitable, and it’s obvious this team isn’t working even with him.
The Magic are sitting at 12-9, third in the Southeast and sixth overall in the Eastern Conference. Their mediocre play is not because of Dwight. In fact, you could count his poor performances on one hand… and still have enough fingers to give Orlando the peace sign as he leaves. The Magic simply aren’t a quality built team.
Orlando doesn’t have a true point guard, or even one that can stay healthy for that matter. Their shooting guard options are less than inspiring, and then you have Hedo Turkoglu at small forward and Ryan Anderson at power forward. The problem with Turk and Anderson is that neither one is a slasher or low-game player. Both shoot outside shots and in fact, are decent three-point shooters. But wait, so are shooting guards Jason Richardson and J.J. Redick. In reality, this is a team of outside shooters and Dwight Howard. It’s not a recipe for success. On the nights where Orlando is hitting 50 percent of their shots, they’re unbeatable, but that’s a rarity. The fact is this team needs a complete overhaul, and trading Dwight is the way to get it started.
We already know Howard is out the door come the end of the season, so Orlando has to get something for him. The problem there is the team doesn’t want to trade him within the Eastern Conference and then watch him beat them year after year. I have to say, suck it up Orlando. Sometimes you have to take the lesser of two evils. Would you rather see Dwight go to new Jersey for nothing in return and watch him beat you every year, or trade him there and get something in return to help remold the team?
It sounds as though Orlando is going to wait until the All-Star break to trade Dwight since the game is in Orlando. That makes sense, but that’s sketchy waters. If one of the trade partners loses a trade piece to injury (like New Jersey and Brook Lopez earlier this year) or they get tired of waiting and make a different move, the situation will only get worse. Plus, the closer you get to the trade deadline, the less leverage Orlando will have. Start working on deals now because the Magic need a new trick if they’re going to entertain fans ever again.
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- In addition to covering the NFL, MLB, NBA, and College Football for RotoExperts, Jake Ciely (a.k.a "All In Kid") is also a poker fiend and a Maharishi in the world of sports wagering. Jake was a finalist for the FSWA's 2010 Newcomer of the Year award. You may email Jake @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JakeAllinCiely