Wednesday, February 4, 2009
So what do the Magic do now?
Yesterday was a dark day for Magic fans. It's looking like Jameer Nelson will be out for the season with a torn labrum. Lovely. Here at TPASTBM, tears were shed, walls were punched, whiskey was chugged, and the existence of God was questioned. Now that the sun has risen again, it's time to get solutions oriented. That said, we each put on our Otis Smith glasses and size 14 designer dress shoes and got to work.
What do the Magic do now?
The Big Train - The key is not to panic. Obviously a point needs to be brought in, the question is who, where, and for what price. The answer: Carlos Arroyo. He knows Van Gundy and the system. He is currently over in Israel, and from what I have heard is not too happy. The only problem would be that the Magic would have to buy out his contract. Get on the phone with Tel Aviv and make it work so Carlos is ready to go right after the All-Star break. What this also does is allow the Magic to still make a move for more rebounding help down low, which until yesterday was the biggest hole on the team. Also, perhaps more importantly, this does not tie up money for this summer when Hedo opts out. The same couldn't be said if Orlando traded for Tinsley, Atkins, or Watson.
Jareth Cutestory - The answer is simple: Kill the Batman. Excuse me, I thought I was in a warehouse discussing illegal financial transactions, and not sitting at my computer ready to discuss what to do to keep my Magic from missing out on an opportunity to play for the Larry O'Brien trophy at the end of the season. While the news of Nelson's injury has depressed nearly every Magic fan, the sun will rise another day and we still have the most dominant center in the league, along with an all star forward and Hedo Turkoglu. An Eddie Gill isn't going to cut it to be a prominent factor in leading this team to the promised land. My suggestion is the Magic look to trade some spare parts such as Brian Cook and Keith Bogans for a serviceable PG. Guys such as Jamal Tinsley and Earl Watson could be had for the right price. If nobody wants the talents of those 2 studs, then I would look overseas at guys such as Jannero Pargo or Earl Boykins. If all else fails, there is always Smush. That last one was a joke.
The Nickel Steak - I'd argue that the most important thing to do is not panic. There are teams in this league with assets that they have no use for that the Magic can use. There is no reason to do something asinine, like trading for an overpriced possible starter like Beno Udrih or Jamaal Tinsley, because we need a point guard. The first thing the team should do is figure out if Jameer's back for the playoffs or not. Any move made should be made with knowledge of that, and based accordingly. There's no reason to bring in a spot starter if Jameer is back in 2 months for the playoffs. The Magic's best bet may be to dump expirings for an aging vet like Watson. That's a short term solution, which is a good thing. Even if Jameer's done for the year, he'll still be back in October. There's no reason to pretend the world just ended, even if this is a serious blow.
Paul Ego - Jefe, would you say that I have a plethora of options? Do we turn to free agency and pick up a guy currently sitting at home watching the NBA on TNT? Do we look to the NBDL for a guy looking for his chance? Do we make a trade to get us through the year? Do we try to bring back Carlos? Best case scenario. Nelson opts for rehab (with surgery over the summer), and is back in 3 weeks. We turn the reigns over to Johnson/Turk/Lee in the meantime, just like we did when Nelson sat earlier this year, and hope for the best. This also opens up some playing time for JJ or Bogans. Worst Case. Nelson opts for surgery now, and misses the rest of the season. We pick up someone that does not cost us a player or pick (unless that player is Cook or Bogans). Someone like JWill, a player from the D League, or Carlos Arroyo. If Carlos steps in and the team doesn't miss a beat, there is no way he doesn't get a decent contract next season somewhere in the NBA. I think trading for a more expensive PG at this point in the teams plans is not an option. It is going to be difficult enough going forward to retain talent like Hedo and pick up pieces the team needs to improve. Trading for a PG now (unless its a move that brings in a decent PG and PF with guys like Cook and Battie outbound) will hamper the ability of Otis to bring in solid pieces later. With our future struggles on the horizon (re-signing Turk for example), that would be tantamount to shooting ourselves in the, uhm, shoulder, so to speak.
Vile Feminista - I will try my hardest to ground myself in reality and not waste my time lamenting the loss of Mr Travis Diener, it will be hard. I am in panic mode, it may not be the most logical emotion but that cannot be easily altered. I know it may not be the sexiest choice but I would talk to White Chocolate. We do not need someone long term and I have always loved his game. He may not even want to play anymore but if he did it wouldn't be long and he should be fine with that. I'm sure he would come cheap, if at all and I definitely think he would be worth the conversation.
Maxwell Effort Well I after crying, getting angry, I now have to think. The first thing I do is decide I am not going to make a panic move. I bring in a guy like Eddie Gill for the next few games and act like everything is great! See although everyone thinks my leverage is shot there is a harsh reality out there which is the economy. Teams that are struggling are going to want to save money anyway they can. Heck Mark Cuban called this summer nuclear winter. If I were a competing team I would shoot for the moon right now because that is your job. But I know the more I wait the more teams should loosen up but when reality should set in. If a competing GM can save 6.5 million by trading say Earl Watson or Luke Ridnour they make that move. That also gives the Magic nice expiring deals next season in say Watson or Ridnour. If the asking price is raised to high to my liking then I stick with my D league guy because the difference between Earl Watson and a D leaguer is not as big as you think. I would also invest in some oxygen tanks for AJ.
Jackie Moon - Trade the team's washing machine for veteran PG Ed Monix. What do you mean he and I are not real??? The point is we can sit here and propose all the fantasy land trades we want but the problem is that replacing Jameer Nelson is nearly impossible without giving up a core player or taking on a bad contract (i.e. Tinsley or Watson). Even then it is unlikely to find a player who can keep this team playing at the elite level it had achieved. So I would propose adding a vet like Jason Williams who will cost the team almost nothing in the way of trade assets and leave our roster intact in case Jameer gets back for the playoffs. The good news is this team is still young and likely has more championship runs left in them than the aging Celtics and Cavs. The key now is not to overreact and screw up the future to get a player who is a gamble anyway or he wouldn't be available.
Terry and The Pump Fakes - Says another season another shoulder injury. I was just getting used to expecting wins every night so this is a big hit for me. I think we can still win quite a few games without Jameer and I think we can still take a top 3 seed into the playoffs but what is going to sting the most is not having Jameer there to hit those cold blooded daggers that downed teams like the Lakers. If he is done for the year we need to make a move for a vet that can defend and shoot and has 1-2 yrs left on his contract. We aren't going to find someone that can attack, defend and shoot on the cheap but I think a guy like Earl Watson wouldn't be a bad choice in the short term.
Ayo! - It's very difficult seeing Mighty Mouse go down like that. While my gut tells me I want him playing again as soon as possible (rehab route) so he can help this team in the playoffs, I have to think about the long-term investment. But the decision is up to him. Depending on what Jameer decides in the next couple of days, I will tailor my view at the available options accordingly. I have a lot of confidence in Turk and Courtney to fill in behind AJ, but I'm also looking for deals that could benefit the team. What I do know is that teams are probably going to increase their asking price for a player knowing that we have a need for another PG. If that's the case, I don't do business with them. I have plenty of options in mind to get us by, and I have great confidence in our squad to step it up in Jameer's absence.
OK, so you want to know what players really interest me? I'll list them for you in no particular order. Carlos Arroyo, Sergio Rodriguez, Ramon Sessions. Carlos already has experience with SVG and is a crafty minded PG, that's what I like most about that option. Sergio Rodriguez might be in a situation where the Blazers might not need him anymore once Blake gets back. He has a good eye for the game, can score and make the necessary pass. I like Ramon Sessions because he's a young kid who has shown flashes of being a good PG in this league, most specifically with his assists. He's also quite quick. If he doesn't work out for us this year, he can sign with another team if he likes.
I have some D-League players in mind, but I'll explore those options if it comes down to it. At this point in time, I'm remaining vigilant, and keeping my eyes open for a sound decision.
El Fantasma de Carlos Arroyo - So the incredible all-star run from our little guard might have come to an end. El Fantasma believes it is my fault because of the post I made the night of the game. I know, I know, Carlitos might be gone but his ghost is still here. I have been running around RDV and the O-rena looking at Nelson's rise to stardom a little jealous because my other half is playing in Israel. With that said, and because I am very very close to the man, I know Carlitos would love to come back. All that bombing and terrorism on that side of the world has him worried about the family. I know it wouldn't be easy, but it would be great if someone he could come back, but of course this will never happen.
It all depends on what Nelson decides to do.
Rehab and finishing the season -This would be great if there is no more risk of permanent damage for him. We do still remember Grant Hill's glass ankle. I would hate that for Nelson. If this happens, I say we go with the team as is, maybe pick up a free agent third stringer or a D-leaguer.
Out for the Season - Ready for this....I still say, we go with the team as is, maybe pick up a free agent third stringer or a D-leaguer. That's right, I said it.
As crazy as that might sound, the Magic can't go out there and break up a championship caliber team for a half season patch for an imaginary title run. Fact is no trade or signee will bring us what Nelson had, unless we trade someone on our core group(Hedo, Lee, Pietrus) for a star/starting PG. But why do that for half a season, knowing Nelson will be back next year. That would be retarded.
I say you try your best. Let your players bring up their game and make them be better and get better. Do we really want to win a championship without Nelson on the court? I want to see all of our guys in there, winning it all. If it happens I won't be upset, I will be extremely happy. But if we panic and trade one of our core guys for a Nelson replacement, we can say bye bye to a title run next year, and the year after, etc, etc.
So there you have it people. Anyone know what time the liquor store opens this morning?
Credit NBA.com for the Otis image.