As the NBA Trade Deadline approaches, every team in the league is taking stock of what assets they can utilize to give them the best chance for future victory. Some teams are looking to rebuild, like the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors, while others are looking to put the final piece in place to make them be able to contend this postseason. The Orlando Magic fall under the latter category.
Otis Smith, who is the Orlando Magic's President of Basketball Operations, has stated numerous times that he believes the current team has the talent to bring home the Larry O'Brien Trophy. However, the Knicks' recent acquisition of Carmelo Anthony and rumors that team superstar Dwight Howard may be interested in bolting from Orlando.
The addition of 'Melo in the East may officially have pried the title of hardest conference away from the West. As of right now, the Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat and New York Knicks are all capable of knocking the Magic out of the playoffs and winning the NBA Finals.
However, Otis Smith has become a fantastic poker player when it comes to trades, as he does not even give the slightest hint that one may materialize. For instance, the trade that acquired Vince Carter from the New Jersey Nets took everyone by surprise. Hopefully, a few trades do occur, as the Magic have some giant holes in their rotation. They are very weak at the back-up center slot, and they do not currently have a player that can excel at creating his own shot. Plus, their mid-season acquisitions of Hedo Turkoglu, Gilbert Arenas and Jason Richardson have not exactly worked out as planned.
If the Magic are not capable of contending this post-season than this could force Dwight Howard to pursue options outside of Orlando, and this would not be the first time the Magic fan-base lost their prodigious center.