5 Changes the Orlando Magic Must Make This Offseason

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5 Changes the Orlando Magic Must Make This Offseason

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Douglas Jones-USA Today Sports

Last season, the Orlando Magic finished with the worst record in the NBA. While it was disappointing to finish last, things are looking up for the team. They got rid of diva Dwight Howard, acquired two young pieces in Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic from the Howard trade, and they have a $17.8 million trade exception to land a top free agent. They jettisoned J.J. Redick for forward Tobias Harris, who turned out to be a great acquisition. Harris didn't play much for the Milwaukee Bucks, but he's been averaging 17 points, nine rebounds, a block, and a steal per game for the Magic. In addition, they've drafted Victor Oladipo second in this year's draft, who scouts compare to a Dwyane Wade with a better shot. They've got a ton of nice, young talent who just need more experience in order to jump to the next level.

Last season, the Magic gave up more points than they scored. They didn't play much defense, two key players were rendered ineffective with injuries, and they didn't have a great go-to player. Point guard Jameer Nelson was injured for much of the season, and his injury definitely crimped the team's offensive capability. Backups at the point guard and center spots are important.

The team has two veteran players who are not interested in the team's rebuilding efforts. Will the team keep them as mentors or trade them? The Magic will not be contenders in 2013, but they can build for the future. Let's take a look at what changes need to be made so that they will not remain stuck as the worst team in the league forever.

Robert Lin is a writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @rlin2k or Google+.

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Waive Hedo Turkoglu and Al Harrington

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Howard Smith-USA Today Sports

The Magic are rebuilding. Hedo Turkoglu and Al Harrington didn't play much last season, and the same goes for this season. The team should either trade them or waive them. If the players are waived, only part of their contracts are guaranteed. The Magic will only have to pay Turkoglu $6 million of his $12 million salary. For Harrington, it will be $3.57 million this season and $3.8 million next season versus about $15 million if he remains on the roster.

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Get Another Shot Blocker

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Douglas Jones-USA Today Sports

When Glen Davis went down with a foot injury, Vucevic was the team's only legitimate rebounder and shot blocker. They may already have a quality backup in Kyle O'Quinn. Last season as a rookie, he averaged 4.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in about 11 minutes of action. However, if it was adjusted to per 36 minutes, it would be 13 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks. Free agency doesn't have any quality front court players, so O'Quinn is the team's best bet.

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Find Another Point Guard

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Sam Sharpe-USA Today Sports

The Magic lost many games and lost by blowouts in more games when Nelson was unavailable to play. He was injured for about a third of the games. Rookie Oladipo is learning to play point guard, but it is not his natural position. The team should find a true point guard to back up Nelson. There's a handful of point guards available. One is undrafted free agent AJ Slaughter. He had 25 points, nine assists, and seven steals while playing for the Magic's summer league team against the Boston Celtics. Then there's Andrew Goudelock, who spent last season in the Developmental League averaging 21.4 points and 5.8 assists. Through three summer league games with the Chicago Bulls, he's averaging 22.7 points per game. Next, there's Josh Selby, who averaged 25 points, six boards, and five assists in the D-League playoffs. All of these players are young and can be signed cheap.

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Play Uptempo

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Jeff Griffith-USA Today Sports

The team is young and athletic. They should get out in transition every time.

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Tank Again

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Brian Spurlock-USA Today Sports

The 2014 draft class is said to be as deep as year 2003, when LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Wade arrived. The team should just let their young players play and not worry about the wins. They can pick up Marcus Smart to be their point guard of the future. They can fill out their front court need by drafting either Julius Randle or Jabari Parker. Having the overall worst record doesn't guarantee the number one pick. All they have to do is have a bad record and they can come out positive in next year's draft.

The other option is to package some of their young guys for an elite player or find quality cheap, young players. That's how the Houston Rockets rebuilt their team. They always tried to win yet still managed to pick up two superstars in James Harden and Dwight Howard.

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