Orlando Magic: 3 Biggest Needs to Fill This Offseason

Alvaro Alfaro@@alverrroCorrespondent IIAugust 6, 2012

Orlando Magic: 3 Biggest Needs to Fill This Offseason

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    The clock is ticking for the Orlando Magic to enter rebuild mode after the eventual Dwight Howard trade.

    Currently there are a few holes in the starting lineup that will only get worse after D12 is traded. A team cannot replace a player of his magnitude in one fell swoop, which is why the starters will only get weaker once he leaves.

    While the whole team isn't a bunch of scrubs, there are a fair amount of players that have been digressing for years. 

    Here is a rundown of the positions that need to be filled this offseason, as well as the positions that are currently locked down. 

Power Forward

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    As of right now power forward is the only position locked down by both Glen Davis and Andrew Nicholson.

    In the playoffs, Big Baby's numbers nearly doubled in Howard's absence. His stats jumped to 19 points per game, 9.2 rebounds and more importantly his free throw percentage increased to .773 percent.

    Nicholson is also a good player in his own right. Last season for St. Bonaventure he averaged 20.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and shot .571 percent from the field. 

Shooting Guard

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    Throughout his six year career J.J. Redick has improved nicely to the point where he's become a very good guard coming off the bench.

    Last year Redick posted career highs across the board. He averaged 11.6 points, had a .911 free throw percentage and shot .418 percent from three point land.

    In the 2012-2013 campaign Redick could arguably start in place of J-Rich because he has improved the point where he's not a liability on defense anymore.  

    While one shooting guard's career is taking off, the other seems to be slowing down.

    At 31 Jason Richardson is still a decent option at shooting guard even though his numbers dipped last season.

    Richardson doesn't have the highlight dunks anymore, but he can still stroke it from the three-point line when open.

3. Point Guard

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    At 30-years old Jameer Nelson is just mediocre at this point, which is why a young point guard is a must for this team.

    His numbers have been dipping since his injury shortened season in 2008-2009 when he averaged 16.7 points per game on .503 percent shooting.

    He'll never get back to his All-Star level so the best thing to do is find a replacement. In the 2011-2012 campaign Nelson averaged just 11.9 points and 5.7 assists

    The 29-year old Chris Duhon is not even a decent backup. With all due respect the man doesn't have the skill set to run the ball up the court without making a mistake. 

2. Small Forward

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    Orlando is in dire need of a young athletic small forward.

    Hedo Turkoglu is too old to guard and score effectively against the young small forwards in the NBA today.

    Turkoglu's backup, Quentin Richardson isn't even good coming off the bench at age 32. In reality he's just a fat shooting guard playing the three.

    This season Turkoglu and Q-Rich will be going up against athletic small forwards like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Danny Granger, Carmelo Anthony, Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Harrison Barnes.

    It's safe to say they'll be outmatched in every one of those match ups.  

1. Center

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    With Howard's eventual departure the biggest need going forward is a center that's worth a damn.

    While no center in the league can fill his shoes on both offense and defense, the Magic desperately need a player that can at least be productive.

    It's slim pickings in the NBA since there are only a handful of players that can chew bubble gum and walk at the same time. That's the prime reason why any trade proposition that crosses the Magic's front office must come with a decent center.