Marc Daniels: Pluses And Minuses Of The Magic Deals And Notes!


Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks

Let's keep it short and simple on the Magic. Management concluded the current core's ceiling was not much better than what was the last two seasons and so the plug was pulled. Jeff Weltman also made it clear the organization is now building around Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz, two players coming off severe injuries. With the shift to building on those two it will be interesting to see how Steve Clifford changes what the Magic run. 

I give Weltman credit in recognizing the model was not working and trying a quick rebuild. Will it work? I have no idea. But a quick thought on each deal made:

--Vucevic to Chicago: Wendell Carter Jr. has some skills and the Magic are hoping a new team is what he needs. Bill Donovan moved him out of the starting lineup and brought him off the bench the last seven games. He may be ready to take next step, but he may also be no better than what he currently is. The two first-round picks(top 4 lottery protected) are nice assets to have and this may have been the best deal on the table and to get a young center and two picks was worth it for Orlando.

--Gordon to Denver: It's a perfect fit for Gordon where he now has a star in Jokic to play and he will be asked to be a defensive specialist as well in the west where AG may find himself guarding LeBron, Kawhi and Luka in matchups. But Gordon now joins a title contender. Not sure Gordon has another level so his goal of being a superstar is not likely to happen but he will now play in meaningful games late in the season and likely deep into the playoffs. The Magic get Gary Harris who has seen his points and minutes drop from a career high 17.5 points per game in 2018. Harris has struggled to stay healthy and has appeared in just one of the last 24 Denver games. He has one year left at $20M but is still just 26. RJ Hampton could not get minutes with the Nuggets and might be a risk worth taking. He passed on college and the G League to go to the NBL(based in Australia) and played in 15 games averaging 8.8 points and 3.9 rebounds. The first round pick in 2025 seems like a long time from now but it's an asset with some value.

--Fournier to Boston: He was not going to be resigned and two second round picks are meaningless. The $17M+ in a trade exception is a nice thing to have but you have to use it and most trade exceptions usually are not fully used.

I praise Weltman for pulling the plug on a plan that maybe peaked. It's a risky move to now build around two guys out with ACL injuries. The part I can't stand is once again Magic fans face another rebuild and they have been asked to be patient for now almost a decade since the Dwight trade. It stinks because by now you'd hope the Magic made that jump from hoping to make the playoffs into a team who could contend in the east. But that might still be years away.

NOTES: Aaron Gordon is only 25 but feels like he's 29...Victor Oladipo to Miami because Pat Riley is a playmaker...Raspberries are a special treat...I am addicted to the television series "Below Deck"...Not sure about this Tony LaRussa return to the White Sox. Speaking of the White Sox, I always liked Harold Baines...Ever wonder what NFL teams think of Mel Kiper's Mock Draft?...Trevor Lawrence looks like the movie star Disney would create to play quarterback in a movie where the plot is hard to believe...I don't know the last time I carried cash...MLB wants to cut down on baseballs being doctored by pitchers during games. Cheaters never win...Pete Carroll is 69 years old and looks great...Is it me but UConn women's basketball team is always playing for the title...Who sees the rolling hot dog at a convenience store and concludes it's something you must have?...Leonard Hamilton is easy to root for but his team has a tough matchup against Michigan this weekend...Any time the movie "Stand By Me" is on, I'm in for the remainder of the film...Why do we make such a big deal about these college Pro Days when a quarterback is working out? No one is rushing him and there are no defensive backs covering his receivers. The last time I watched an NFL game there usually is a defense trying to stop the offense...Ever hear anyone tell you about the money they lost on Wall Street yesterday? Only hear from the guy who wants to tell you how much he made...After that first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, I don't think I go to TruTV on purpose until next March...I feel great after a fresh haircut...Do you think Mark Cuban knows exactly how much money he has?...Oklahoma basketball coach Lon Kruger announced his retirement. Kruger is 68. He coaches six seasons at Florida and took the Gators to a Final Four in 1994. Kruger played college basketball and baseball at Kansas State. He was a 9th round draft pick of the Atlanta Hawks and even had a tryout as a quarterback with the Dallas Cowboys...Even if you don't like auto racing, watch "Formula One" on Netflix. You will get hooked...Sailing looks fun...Do baseball players play pepper anymore?...

Final thought: The cupcake dates back to 1796 in a recipe that called for a light cake to be baked in a cup.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


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