Otis Smith: Should the Orlando Magic Get a New General Manager?
Otis Smith was riding high in 2009 after acquiring Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis, drafting Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson and Courtney Lee and eventually losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. Since then, it seems things have been a little bit too cute in Orlando.
The Magic had a respectable 2010 season, making their way to the conference finals against the Big Three plus Rondo of Boston. During the season however, they traded young upstart Courtney Lee and draft picks, ending up with Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson.
Carter was already on the downward end of his career and blew it in the playoffs. In the conference finals versus the Celtics, he missed two critical, consecutive free throws and cost the Magic their season. He also played slow. That's what happens to 34-year-old shooting guards.
In 2010, the moves stopped making sense. Sure Rashard Lewis got old and his production had declined, but sending him off to the Wizards and picking up Gilbert Arenas was not the answer. Though he's still one of the highest paid players in the league, Agent Zero was just that last season.
Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu were also acquired from the Phoenix Suns in a trade that included Michael Pietrus and Marcin Gortat and seemed like a good idea at the time.
Lack of depth at the center position and a reliable third option outside of Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson, however, caused the Orlando Magic to drop a first round decision to the Atlanta Hawks this year. In 2010, they swept the Hawks in the most lopsided playoff series in NBA history.
The Magic have absolutely no cap room to make solid moves if the NBA lockout ends and that does bode well in their hopes of retaining Dwight Howard.
There likely will not be an NBA season and therefore, Dwight Howard may very well have played his last game in a Magic uniform, in part due to Otis Smith's "win now" approach.
If things play out as they may, the team could lose a lot more than just their general manager.
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