David West opted out of the final year of his contract with the New Orleans Hornets making him an unrestricted free agent when the lockout ends. There will likely be many teams pursuing him, but no team needs his services more than the Orlando Magic.
The Magic are desperately trying to convince superstar center Dwight Howard to remain in Orlando, but he has already refused to sign an extension saying he will test the free agent market after his contract expires at the end of next season. The Magic will need to build a championship caliber supporting cast around Howard to convince him they are serious about winning and provide him the best shot of winning a title.
Signing David West would be a huge step in the right direction.
West tore his left ACL near the end of last season, but he owns career averages of 16 points and seven rebounds per game. He is a former All-Star and would definitely improve the Magic's chances of retaining Dwight Howard. West is a strong post scorer, a good rebounder and provides another big body in the paint along with Howard and forward Brandon Bass.
The Magic had next to no size last season behind Dwight Howard after the Marcin Gortat trade, and West would contribute greatly in that regard.
While the Magic will likely allow Jason Richardson to walk through free agency, the Magic have an abundance of guards with Jameer Nelson, Gilbert Arenas, JJ Redick and Quentin Richardson. The acquisition of David West would make them one of the most balanced teams in the league in terms of size and speed.
The Magic would have three legitimate post options in West, Howard and Bass, while having plenty of shooters to surround them with. Teams will be more reluctant to double the Magic's shooters with West also in the post.
This signing would be huge for Orlando and put them right into the championship mix once again. This team would be able to challenge the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat for the top spot as well as the Eastern Conference crown, but would that be enough to convince Howard to stay in Orlando? The answer would be yes.
Once Howard sees the Magic are relevant in the Eastern Conference and have a legitimate shot at making the Finals, he will likely be convinced that the Magic can provide him a significant chance of winning a title and choose to remain with the team.
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