NBA Rumors: Top 10 Franchises Magic Johnson Would Help the Most
When the Lakers issued a press release announcing the sale of Magic Johnson's minority stake of the Lakers, rampant speculation began to circulate about where Magic would take his “talents” next.
To that end, I present a list of the Top 10 franchises that Magic's presence, business-savvy and basketball mind would help the most.
10. Orlando Magic
Sure they are one of the NBA's elite, but you could have no better pairing in terms of franchise name and the man who epitomized the very essence of word magic from the moment he stepped on the court.
Imagine the marketing possibilities. Magic running the Magic would propel Orlando into the stratosphere.
Additionally, the Magic are ever so close to attaining their championship goals, having the presence of a 5 time world champion and greatest legends to ever play the game fire you up before the biggest of games would pay immeasurable dividends.
Lastly, Orlando is at the cusp of greatness, perhaps Johnson would bring with him a bit of inside information about the lakers that could help the Magic get over the hump.
Pluses -His smile and Dwight's smile would be every photographers dream
Minuses – Not going to happen.
Verdict - Magic squared in the house that Mickey built is the stuff that dreams are made of.
9. Atlanta Hawks
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The Hawks could use some stability within the ownership group and Magic might just provide that.
The presence of a legend ushering in an era of sound decision making just might encourage more free agents to consider a team with considerable talent. If he hadn't recently liquidated them, Magic would have another environment in which to expand his empire of food and Starbucks chains.
It's a long-shot, but Magic might be able to convince former Hawk Doc Rivers to come to Atlanta once his reign in Boston ends.
Pluses – Magic Johnson everything – Starbucks, Movie Theaters, Fatburger et. al. Stability to bizarre Hawks ownership.
Minuses – Joe Johnson is owed $100 million plus whether or not Magic arrives.
Verdict – Atlanta will continue to sell tickets to the Hawks faithful, but Magic has other designs.
8. Los Angeles Clippers
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Remember the hallway series? Neither does anyone else, because it never happened. Perhaps Magic could change all that.
Clippers versus Lakers in 7 games for the hearts, minds and souls of Los Angeles.
Slight possibility of an uproar over Magic shepherding in a new/Donald Sterling free Era with the Clippers right down the hall from the team which spawned his legacy.
Magic would be responsible for the unthinkable – transforming the longtime floundering franchises to a place of legitimacy and respectability.
Perhaps most crucial to this choice, he wouldn't have to move.
Lastly, his statue is right outside the building. Should he turn the franchise around, they might erect another.
Pluses – Sterling as minority owner. Clippers relevance for the first time ever?
Minuses – Dilution of Magic's brand. Venom from Laker faithful.
Verdict - Dueling Magic statues, how cool would that be?
7. Sacramento Kings
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The Kings are in the states Capital so it stands to reason that Magic might want to make waves here.
They, among others on this list, have never been able to get over the hump. Magic would certainly help with the rebuilding stage and offer much needed advice to guard Tyreke Evans.
More importantly, to ensure the Kings don't flee for Vegas, Magic would lend the cache needed to finally get the much fought over arena built in downtown Sacramento.
Lastly his name alone would be sufficient to increase ticket sales and seduce many more corporate sponsors. This would truly become the house that Magic built.
Pluses – Cache, New Arena, Influx of Corporate Sponsors.
Minuses – It's Sacramento.
Verdict – Maloofs aren't selling, but the Kings certainly could use a little Magic.
6. Golden State Warriors
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Again, he would remain in California. Again, he would be celebrated for transforming a franchise that has elicited occasional bouts of excitement if little else.
Magic + Golden State could equal showtime north the Bay.
Like Lincoln before him, he might be labeled a turncoat and/or the great emancipator for uniting the North and the South as they battle for state and conference greatness.
Pluses – Quick commute. Liberates a proud and exciting, but woefully disappointing franchise.
Minuses – Magic already flirted with this opportunity but was rebuffed.
Verdict – Magic won't be taking his talents to the Bay.
5. The Cleveland Cavaliers
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Anything, and I mean anything that distances this team from the LeBron era is a good thing.
The arrival of Magic would reunite Johnson with Laker alum and fellow wing coach Byron Scott. As formidable as the tandem was on the court, imagine what they might do after obtaining positions of power. The buzz would create a flurry of media attention and then...nothing.
Why? At the end of the day talent is king and Cleveland is...well Cleveland. They've got some solid, if not spectacular pieces, but how much to truly build on?
Unless Magic, Scott and can convince players that Cleveland is a destination that is predicated on winning and do it in a hurry, the Cavs might continue to wallow for the foreseeable future.
Pluses: Magic and Byron Scott together again. Won their first game sans LeBron.
Minuses – Numerous. No one outside of Cleveland likes Cleveland.
Verdict – Magic's moral support and little else.
4. Philadelphia 76ers
As much as the Sixers lack talent, they lack something else, star power. This, for a team that has had over the years no less than Dr. J, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson.
As good as Andre Iguodola is, he hasn't got the charisma or the talent to be the face of the franchise.
Of course, the ultimate place star power matters is on the court, but having it in the front office, could inspire free agents to once again embrace the city of brotherly love.
Pluses – Star power. Cheesesteaks.
Minuses – Not on the floor.
Verdict – If the Heat couldn't sell this place out, the turnaround is going to be a long time coming.
3. Indiana Pacers
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Magic and Bird in Hoosertown.
Magic would be turning around a moribund franchise that Bird has struggled to return to prominence.
Isiah, still plotting and planning his return to the Knicks would be watching enviously as Magic and Bird got the glory for resurrecting the Pacers a stones throw from his alma mater.
Pluses - Magic could provide insight for newly acquired point guard Darren Collison and teach the jr. sky hook to the improving Hibbert.
Minuses – None save for that it isn't happening.
Verdict – The rivals responsible for rescuing the NBA won't be reuniting in the cornfields of Indiana.
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
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Clark Kent a.k.a Kurt Rambis is already there, imagine Magic joining him as owner and GM.
This would represent a unprecedented reunion of the most celebrated of all the Lakers and the state from which the franchise originated.
The Timberwolves have made no secret of how much they value guards. Their roster includes forward /guard -Ager as well as guards, Flynn, Webster, Ridinour, Ellington and Telefair.
More than anything, should Rubio ever land on these shores, there is perhaps no one better than Magic to take his already lauded pass first point guard skills along with the teams fortunes to the next level.
Pluses – Lakers reunion. Lakers east. Guard-centric roster has ultimate mentor in Magic.
Minuses – Rubio's not there. It's butt cold.
Verdict – Minny has to have trophy envy after seeing the franchise go out west and continually strike gold. Alas, this reunion isn't forthcoming.
1. Detroit Pistons
There's no place like home. Magic is a Michigan State legend and a Lansing native.
The return of the prodigal son to the place where his legacy initially bloomed before becoming a runaway freight train in LA would create significant buzz. Detroit could certainly use it.
After an amazing run in the 80's courtesy of the Bad Boys as well as a solid run in the 2000's cemented by a championship, the Pistons and GM Joe Dumars have floundered. If anyone on this list could use a little Magic, it's them.
Lastly, it would make my forecast regarding the recent sale of his stake in the Lakers, eerily prescient.
Magic in the Motor City?
Pluses – Hometown hero makes good uplifts a franchise and perhaps the city.
Minuses – Dumars recent track record has left Detroit without many quality pieces.
Verdict – If home is where the heart is, Magic won't be bailing out the Motor City.