Develop young talent: Earl Clark, J.J. Redick, Andrew Nicholson, Daniel Orton, Justin Harper, DeAndre Liggins and Gustavo Ayon.
This is a bit of a farce, or even a stretch, but the Magic have to develop the young talent that they do have.
Why is this a stretch? Because there isn't much of it.
The Magic simply do not have the prospects it takes to build a new team, which is, of course, what makes this entire Dwight Howard deal so important to begin with. The Magic don't have any extra draft picks coming up, and their current "young players" (not even all of their young guys are truly young) are simply not the kind of players that can eventually form a contending team.
Let's look at each one briefly:
Clark is goofy, flat out. He's athletic, can play great defensive man-to-man when his head is in the game and he occasionally makes an outstanding offensive play—a highlight almost worthy of ESPN, if not during garbage time.
Redick isn't young, but he's one of the better players the Magic have who is about to enter his prime.
Will his prime be that great? Sure, I guess, if you want to say that being a fringe starter is great. But, one thing he does have that the rest of these guys don't have is potential trade value. More on that later.
I've seen and heard nothing but good things. But, I have also heard he is a shooting power forward, drafted in mind with the concept of replacing the traded Ryan Anderson.
They didn't re-sign him yet for a reason. He has proven nothing other than the fact that it's amazing he was once considered a real lottery pick talent.
Consider the fact that he told me his knee wasn't injured when he was listed in the media guide as "Injury -- Knee." (Video Above)
I guess he can really shoot and is compared to Rashard Lewis, but he never played at all last year. Lewis was putting up decent numbers as a rookie right out of high school.
I hate when people take a poor man's version of someone and compare him to the actual thing, but I have probably read too many NBA Draft prospect sites where they get paid to do that.
I have no idea what he is capable other than making a lot of noise in the locker room and acting crazy so that we can't hear the players we are actually trying to speak with.
Ayon has the second-best value here next to only J.J. Redick, but he is also a 27 years old second-year player. The fact he is of Latino heritage in a city like Orlando does not hurt at all either. There will be people donning Ayon jerseys.
He can block shots, play defense, work and play extremely hard. The sad part, however, is that Rob Hennigan traded the NBA's Most Improved Player, Ryan Anderson, after a huge breakout year, to obtain Ayon.
But, that isn't Ayon's fault. He's a good player, and hopefully Magic fans give him a chance.