With a loaded 2014 NBA Draft fast approaching, the Orlando Magic have a myriad of options and opportunities to remake the team into a playoff contender next season.
With the draft loaded with NBA caliber college players, the Magic will have a plethora of talent to pick from. Whether it be Duke stud Jabari Parker, high-jumping Kansas swingman Andrew Wiggins or Australia’s star point guard Dante Exum, Orlando really could not go wrong picking any of them, although the Magic’s biggest need is at point guard.
The Magic’s offseason blueprint seemed to be intact. Then, Sunday happened.
That was when it was reported that Minnesota Timberwolves star Kevin Love told the team that he was not going to sign a contract extension and was going to test the free agent waters at the end of the 2014-15 season. For those of you not in the know, that is code for “I want to be traded.”
With that information on hand, the Timberwolves will now be actively looking for a new home to ship Love to. And with this information in mind, Orlando will now have to reassess if they want to roll the dice on the draft or use their lottery pick to acquire Love’s services.
The Magic certainly have some raw meat to dangle at Minnesota. For starters, they will have their coveted lottery pick, and for added incentive, the team has some valuable assets and the cap room to do a sign-and-trade deal with the Timberwolves. Aaron Afflalo and Andrew Nicholson could become part of a broad trade package that Minnesota really could not refuse.
In addition to the lottery pick, the Wolves will be getting back a top tier shooting guard and a power forward who has tremendous upside. In return, the Magic will have a future franchise star and could also obtain Ricky Rubio, who will fill the Magic’s point guard needs.
Imagine a starting lineup with Rubio and Victor Oladipo in the backcourt, with Love, Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic anchoring the frontcourt. That is a playoff worthy lineup in a weak Eastern Conference. Shore up the bench and the Magic could be back to their rightful place as contenders in the East.
The Magic can surely take their chances in the draft, but with a superstar now expressing that he does not want to stay in icy Minneapolis, it may be time to convince the Wolves and Love that warm and sunny Central Florida will be the best fit for him.