Marc Daniels: Forget Tanking, Maybe Magic Need A New Owner

Cleveland Cavaliers v Orlando Magic

Sports business website Sportico recently published their NBA Valuations and the Orlando Magic were 26th in their numbers. Sportico says the Magic are valued at $1.53B. The Knicks are valued at $5.42B, number one on the list. In 1991, Rich DeVos paid $85 million when he bought the team. On the market, the Magic might fetch over $2B. A team is worth whatever someone is willing to pay. 

When NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was asked about expansion and how much a new franchise would be worth, Silver said the $2.5B figure put out by some might be too low. The DeVos family has given no indication it is interested in selling the team. Dan DeVos is the chairman of the Magic, taking over after his father Rich DeVos passed away in 2018. Dan DeVos rarely is heard speaking about the Magic. It's not the reason the team has struggled on the court, but I do wonder if Magic fans could pick DeVos out of a lineup. 

I've said many times, a franchise doesn't have to have a visible and outspoken owner like Jerry Jones or Mark Cuban. But I do believe fans like to see and believe their owner is somewhat passionate about the team and you can see and feel that passion at times. When a franchise is sold, a new owner likes to make their mark and sometimes that do with a flashy deal or two. We can speculate what the Magic might sell for. We can also guess what kind of deals a new owner might want to make. But who might that new owner be? Orlando is a growing town. There may not be anyone locally who could afford a sales price that starts at $2B. But there is a generation of younger wanna-be owners who have made their fortune in the global world of tech, product and consumer expansion. 

Ryan Smith is 42. He just bought the Utah Jazz for $1.6B after he came close to buying the Timberwolves. Smith co-founded a tech firm in Utah. Grizzlies' owner Robert Para is 42. At 34, he paid $350 million for the Memphis franchise. He founded a wireless company and today is worth $15B. I don't believe the DeVos family wants to sell the Magic, but if they did there would be a market. Maybe the team needs not just a star who can score and take over games. Maybe the Magic need a star owner to infuse life into a team that needs a jolt...

Players don't tank. Organizations make a decision to rid a roster of talent that can compete nightly and reduce the talent base to where it can't compete nightly. I don't want the Orlando Magic to tank. 

Fans have been through enough over the years with attempts to put out a team that could not win a lot of games over the course of an 82-game schedule. Fans deserve more. Fans deserve an organization that makes every effort to get better. Injuries have crippled this franchise and the loss of Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz will be felt for years. No one knows if either player can return and play at a high level. 

The current roster will not compete with the best teams over the course of the season. They will win some games because Steve Clifford is a very good coach and he will game plan to give his team a chance. What I do want the Magic to do is look at trading your valuable assets at the right time.The Magic must find shooters. They must find players who can create offense. There is a time to trade Nic Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Terrance Ross. It doesn't mean you have to trade them. But finding the moment to maximize their value is the key. Who needs a big? Who needs a shooter? Who wants an expiring contract? The moment to trade those players will not be at the same time. It may make sense to move one well before the trade deadline or another or two at the deadline. What you get back is the biggest question and the Magic should not just give players away if you can't make your team better. Even healthy, this team is still in the 6-10 range in the east. It needs more talent and at some point the front office will need to take a risk and make a deal to address its weaknesses. The Magic are stuck and being stuck stinks in the NBA...

Aaron Rodgers is trying to win a second Super Bowl to enhance a hall of fame career. But did you know Aaron Rodgers had a certain Florida school he wanted to play for coming out of high school? Rodgers had little interest from major programs coming out of high school. While he ended up at Cal after a season at the community college level, Rodgers wanted to play for Bobby Bowden and Florida State. But the Seminoles showed no interest at the time. Rodgers was looking for any major program to show an interest. Heck, he wrote letters and sent videos to convince schools to take a look. Purdue, at the time, didn't that much of Rodgers. They did send a letter back stating "Good luck on trying to be a college quarterback."...

Final thought: 8% of people have an extra rib...not like a slab of ribs and your friend gets 9 bones while you get 8. No, the majority of people are born with 12 pairs of ribs.

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