2013 NBA Free Agency: Orlando Magic Swimming in the ‘Kiddie Pool’ Means Tanking in 2013
The Orlando Magic started off their summer on the right foot when the took Victor Oladipo with the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. They found themselves a future star with a tenacious defensive aggressiveness and potential to be a force in the league.
With free agency starting this week, many wondered whether or not the Magic will be making any significant moves to try and put them in a better position for the 2013 season.
In a word, doubtful.
General manager Rob Hennigan told the Orlando Sentinel recently,
“I would say that I wouldn’t envision us making a huge splash this summer. We’ll probably swim in the kiddie pool.”
To further explain his strategy, allow me to give you another one word reasoning: tank.
The Magic are clearly putting themselves in a position to find a cornerstone piece in next year’s 2014 NBA Draft that figures to be a heck of a lot better than this year’s class. Not only that, but free agency next summer will feature some heavy hitters, namely LeBron James.
It’s not a horrible strategy by any means. Of course, the fans would like to see a winning team on the floor every season but because this is a business as well, the front office are thinking big picture. If they can use this year as another solid year in center Nikola Vucevic’s development and get Oladipo’s feet wet, there’s a high ceiling for 2014′s possibilities.
The big issue now is going to be dealing with the contracts of Hedo Turkoglu and Al Harrington, both whom are expected to be bought out. The Magic are better off taking the hit this year when their salaries are only half-guaranteed, rather than waiting it out and dealing with it in the all-important offseason of 2014.
If Magic fans can be patient, the potential is there in Orlando. Depending on how their draft position looks next June, things could be looking up for the franchise. With ample cap space and a solid draft pick next summer, the Magic are in place to improve tremendously.