After two straight trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, winning one and losing one, I know the Orlando Magic see themselves as contenders for this year's NBA crown. Get that thought out of your heads Magic front office. You are not contenders. Nobody is.
This year's NBA title was won this week by the Miami Heat. Playing the games now is a mere formality. So here is your next move Magic men. Dump Everybody!
The only indispensable player on the roster is Dwight Howard. Everybody else that makes big money needs to go.
Get rid of Vince Carter. Not only is he taking up cap space, he wants no part of deep playoff runs. The happiest he was against the Celtics was getting pulled in the last few minutes of Game Four. He sprinted off the court with a look of relief on his face.
Get rid of Rashard Lewis. He couldn't hit the broad side of a barn against Boston. He is also pulling down some hefty coin.
Get rid of Jameer Nelson. Get rid of Jason Williams. Get rid of Marcin Gortat.
Trade these guys for future draft picks, or scrubs that make little money. Why? So the next time there are top-tier free agents, you can be a player instead of watching helplessly while some other team in your state buys their way past you.
To do this, you must keep Dwight Howard on board with the plans. He has to know why all of a sudden he is being surrounded by stiffs and will likely miss the playoffs. Make sure he knows it so in the future he can play with a Carmelo Anthony-type player.
I know now is a bad time to show up with a bad team. The new arena is opening up in a few months. At least the new digs should keep butts in the seats for a year or two.
The only way the Magic will be able to match up with Miami someday is to get Dwight another couple of superstars like Chris Paul, Anthony, Gilbert Arenas, Andre Iguodala, Joakim Noah, David Lee, etc. to throw at them.
Carter, Lewis, Gortat and co. couldn't handle Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. How can they be expected to beat LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade? They can't.
So don't even worry about this year. This year is over. It's time to cut and run. Dump salary. Free cap space. It's the only move you have now.