Has the window of opportunity closed on the Orlando Magic?

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Saturday, December 18, 2010 with No comments
A couple of weeks ago I entered the Amway Center in Orlando for the first time and it was the most impressive cathedral to basketball that I've ever seen.  My best friend gave me a tour of the palace and during the hour we spent walking around, going up stairs and down stairs and even out to the balcony where a bar is located, I kept reminding him that I had something to say, it wasn't a bad statement, it was just the thought that was on my mind.  As we reentered the palace I looked at him and said, "You know you guys have to win a championship asap to justify this building.", and his response as we walked towards our seats was simple ...."I know!"    If only the Amway Center could have been completed two years prior when the Magic made their improbable run to the NBA Finals eventually losing to the Lakers in five games.

Critics will say that the Eastern Conference is weak but that is not the case, right now there is a war brewing on the East between the haves and the have not's but the Orlando Magic are at a crosswords of which faction they belong in.  It all started during the off season of change, the Magic decided against making any significant roster moves, their biggest move being the replacing of Matt Barnes with Quentin Richardson.  They stood their ground and watched the Miami Heat become the premiere team in the NBA overnight and saw the Knicks sign Florida's own Amare' Stoudemire.  The Bulls even grew strong with the signing of Carlos Boozer but the Magic mostly stayed the same, riding the twosome of Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard who has been together now for seven seasons.  Franchises aren't perfect and though they won't admit it, the Magic have made a few terrible personal decisions along with some great ones that were made but one in particular has hurt them the most thus far.

Currently the Orlando Magic has a player on their roster who's averaging 12.4 points per game, grabbing 4.2 rebounds a game, and blocking .04 shots per game.  Those are decent stats for a superb bench player or even a low level starter, but not some one who's making $19.5 million which is also the highest salary on the team.  It's not Rashard Lewis's fault that the Magic offered him the the contract nor is it his fault for accepting the contract, it's his fault for not living up to the expectations that the team had for him and now the Magic are admitting their mistake by shopping Lewis to other teams to try to unload his massive contract.  He's the classic case of playing hard to get paid and then once paid you simply vanish.

It was Lewis's contract that prohibited the Magic from giving Hedo Turkoglu a raise and when he informed the Magic that he was going to become a free agent the Magic traded for Vince Carter and absorbed his massive contract....interesting.  The thinking was that they would actually pay a little more a for aging star that was never the type of player who could lead a team deep into the playoffs anyway and around league circles is known as one of the softest players in the NBA.  During the same summer that the Magic denied Hedo his raise, they gave Marcin Gortat with a career average of 3.8 points per game and 4.5 rebounds a game a five year deal worth 34 million dollars....smh!

When news broke this morning that the Orlando Magic have gotten aggressive over the last couple of days to shake up their roster I couldn't help but to laugh hysterically.  It took Magic management 25 games to realize that their team is not good enough to compete with the Celtics, Heat, or even the Bulls during a seven game series.    Even the new look New York Knicks would give this current Magic team a run for their money.  Leave it to the Magic, instead of them going after and trying to convince Carmelo Anthony to sign long term to play with Dwight Howard, they are looking to add Gilbert Arenas by trading away either Rashard Lewis, Vince Carter or possibly both.  I'm for the Magic trying to trade away two of the worst contracts in the NBA, but not for erratic Gilbert Arenas.  The guy is a joke and can't be taken seriously and Gil will never lead a team to an NBA championship in his current state.  The news that absolutely blew me away today was the news of the Magic trying to reacquire Hedo by trading Gortat to the Suns....LMAO!  With Carmelo Anthony basically begging the Nuggets to trade him, this is what the Magic are working on?  Have they become this desperate since they obviously don't have faith with their current roster?  Has the window of opportunity closed on the Orlando Magic's current team, the answer is yes and they must rebuild.  This will be a very interesting week for the Magic because I think that they see the mistakes that they've made and now they are scrambling to fix them.