NBA / Jul 15, 2010 / 1:45 pm

Orlando Is Building A Squad To Beat The Heat

Lost amongst all of the Sports Illustrated covers, ESPY interviews and polls proclaiming the Heat to be nothing short of sensational, the best team in Florida could still be the Orlando Magic. For them, this summer was more about curtailing roster losses and keeping their core together. With two straight trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, Dwight Howard & Co. have the foundation to contend for years.

Earlier this summer, they signed Quentin Richardson away from the rival Heat for three years (with an option on the fourth). He will possibly replace last year’s starter at the small forward spot, Matt Barnes, because it was reported GM Otis Smith wasn’t too happy with how Barnes aired out his business all over Twitter.

Chris Duhon was also brought in to replace former backup point guard Jason Williams.

Backup guard J.J. Redick signed a three-year, $20 million offer sheet with Chicago last week, possibly damaging the Magic’s depth for next season. But, Smith and the rest of the Orlando front office aren’t ready to lose him just yet.

The News-Herald is saying:

“Sources say the Magic will match the offer sheet signed by swingman J.J. Redick with the Bulls,” he wrote. “The Magic might explore possibly trading forward Mickael Pietrus if Redick returns.”

If the Bulls lose out on Redick, they could target Ronnie Brewer or Roger Mason next.

Redick proved himself over the past few playoff runs, especially this year against the Boston Celtics when many thought he was outplaying the man starting at the two spot, Vince Carter. And Orlando is showing they are willing to go deep into the luxury tax in order to keep their stranglehold on the Southeast Division.

But is $20 million too much for a spot-duty player like Redick?

What do you think?

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  • http://nba.com Flobama

    Love your posts but…

    Building a squad to beat the Heat? They had the squad to beat the Celtics but SVG didn’t know how to use Gortat or bass all season and waited until way too late too utilize them. When he did, he had no clue how to play them in his crazy 4 perimeter players/1 Dwight Howard system.

    Still, how can Duhon + Brewer/Mason be better than Barnes/Redick/J-Will??

  • Nigel

    They need to make a move to get Gilbert. That would be a good move. Even more a contenders if they can get it done.

  • Nigel

    Oooh. First

  • K Dizzle

    oops…20 mil is fine for Redick……over 4 or even 5 seasons.
    I gotta say I don’t know why they picked up Bass and never played him. Move Shard to the 3 and start Bass to give Dwight more help inside.
    Don’t seem that complicated. And I ain’t gettin rid of Pietrus just to resign Redick. Pietrus is a great defensive player and hits his open 3s; you keep him…

  • boomshakalaka

    They need to get rid of Vince Carter is what they need to do. I can’t believe they’re keeping him. Hopefully they figure it out before the trade deadline while they can still get something in return.

  • Stunnaboy09

    VC for Arenas would be a good trade actually, though I think having VC’s negative attitude around Wall may be a bad idea.

    They should just let JJ walk, he’s getting overpaid anyway, just take the money and sign Mason or another shooter. Signing Pietrus is better than Barnes AND JJ so they are pretty covered on the wing.

    As long as they got Superman, they can handle Miami who’s 2 pest players live of attacking the rim.

  • http://www.LakersNation.com Lakers Nation

    The Magic need a James Posey type player . . . Pietrus kind of fits the bill . . . they actually need 2 pietrus’ to slow down wade and bron . . . just like how the Lakers have Kobe & Ron Ron

  • shuttles

    Yeah not sure on the title of this article. These moves don’t really do anything for Orlando. The only way they get significantly better is if Dwight finds an offensive game somehow, and it just doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen.

  • UncheckedAggression

    I can’t believe what I’m reading. The Magic got worse and you state that they are “building” a team to beat the Heat? I just have no idea where you are coming from. The team hasn’t changed much and the things that have happened don’t suggest they are trying to build a team that will beat the Heat (or any other team for that matter). They still are going to be competing for the East crown because of the players they already have, not the moves that are going down.

    Duhon is the Heat killer! Apparently

  • Bobb23

    they need a slasher…that was Hedo’s best role with this team. Vince can fill that role, but it depends what time of the month it is. With out a slasher, im not sure JJ is worth the money.

  • George W Kush Sr

    I’d rather have Pietrus than Reddick.

    Vince for Gilbert seems like a good move.

  • Brown

    They need to let JJ walk. That’s too much money for him and they have enough shooters. They need to keep Pietrus for his defense.

    I don’t understand how the Magic are built to contend with the Heat. This is where Bosh becomes so important. If Orlando sticks Howard on him, Bosh will take him away from the basket, opening up lanes for the slashers and minimizing Howards defensive presence. If they stick Lewis on him, Bosh’s size advantage allows him to pretty much do whatever he wants. Plus Wade and James can draw fouls on Howard and get him out of the game, which was a big issue for him last year.

    The only reason Orlando has been competive is because they are an above-average team in a weak conference. They ain’t built to contend for a championship because their weaknesses can be easily exploited in a 7 game series.

    If they can’t see the writing on the wall that VC is declining at a rapid pace, they’re done. Trading VC for Arenas is clearly a move both teams need to make, although I think Arenas might have a few suitors out there with trade exceptions and expiring contracts.

  • karizmatic

    20 million is way too much, but the Magic won’t win anyting as long as VC is a starter on that team.

  • Sporty-j

    Vince needs to be traded and if they match that offer sheet for Reddick they are crazy and might as well start him than. See if you can get a late first round pick for Vince and bring back Matt Barnes as a backup to Rasheed Lewis at the 3.

  • http://zerodev.tumblr.com Alex

    Really? Replacing players with lower-quality players is somehow going to beat the Heat? Tell me who is going to shut down Wade, LeBron, and Bosh at the same time? Who is going to score besides Howard? He could average 30/20 and they would still lose. The Heat will barely lose a game in this series, let alone be knocked out by the likes of Orlando.

  • Gunner J.

    Let Redick go to Chicago. They barely used him until last season

  • Dat Dude

    Im a magic and an unbiased VC fan and I watched all of their games this year, the problem with this team is the PG play and the coaching system. Vince started the season avg 20ppg leading the team to 17-3 record(with 40% shooting which would have gotten better towards the end of the season), then when heads turned Dwight wasnt gettin the ball enough, Vince deferred to him, and Rashard complained about his attempts so Vince had to be his Turkolu to get Shards attempts off, then u have a shoot first pg like Jameer who only knows how to create for himself and Dwight..I know alot has to do with Vince mentally but I dont believe and u cant make me believe that a player who avg 20ppg 4ast 5reb the prev year, has declined that much…This team never established what Vince was supposed to be from the get go..Vince is clearly the most offensively talented person on that team in my eyes, the man put up 48 pts last year, I know it wuz the hornets but It was also needed and no one else had the skill level of Vince on that team to have done it.
    People need to understand that superstar players are who they are because they have confidence in their skill level, and when they get that free range to just go all out, they do things that are impossible to guard, sometimes they are bad attempts but there that good and over confident they feel they can make it, and most of the time they do if the confidence is there (Lebron,Kobe,Dwade,Melo,Durant) are examples and Vince is that same type of player as well, he just didnt have the free range to do so on most nights, and for the first time in years he looked highly uncomfortable with the ball at times and that is not what u want from a guy of Vinces caliber, but look at the auora that was built around him. His teammates wouldnt have been satisfied if he was always pullin nights out his ass like he had against the Hornets and they know that shit. Anyway back to the PG situation, that shit needs to improve, Jameer can shoot, but u r not on CP3/Dwill so stop with the BS superstar mentality like I got to hit this bucket, because no u dont. Just set the damn offense and shoot when u need to not when u fuckin feel like it. Im not sayin the team should defer to VC but know who the fuck has and is capable of doing super star type of shit. If the Magic let him be the career 22.9 ppg 4ast 5reb player that he is they have the oppurtunity to go far with the team they have established. I might be the only VC fan on this whole blog site, fuck it, Im reppin VC till he retires, Its bullshit the way people talk about him like he is trash like he never played BBall, I actually analyze VC like every fan or hooper analyzes their favorite player, so thats why I can make these claims of Vince and his game..most others are haters Raptors fans, Lol…Peace.Thank U If U Feel Me, F U if think dis bull..Im glad I waisted your time.

  • Danny

    Some horrible commentary on here, first of all obviously nobody on here has knowledge of contracts otherwise they would revise there recommendations. If we trade VC for Arenas than we are locked into another 4 years with Arenas at a high contract keeping us in the luxury. VC’s contract drops at the end of this year, so you either trade him or let the contract drop and get out of the luxury tax (either way its a win). As for Pietrus he has gotten way to lazy, his reluctance to drive this season (particularly in the postseason) shows he is relying to much on his 3, and what makes him dangerous is the ability to pump fake the 3 and drive and score. If he stops doing that we are going to see a lot more missed 3’s. Pietrus D was horrible in the post season, so arguing that his D is somehow valuable to us is not valid.

    The problem here is that people think we need to completely swap out the team for superstars, Otis Smith has made smart calculated additions to the team. Chris Duhon is a quality starter in this league, and to have him as a backup is excellent. As for Richardson, he is a far better offensive player than Barnes, and defensively they are pretty much equal. In fact Richardson does better against bigger guys like Pierce and James because of his frame, he has more size than Barnes. I love Barnes, but I think this is clearly and upgrade. As for Reddick we need to match that offer sheet, because otherwise you lose a player that gives us A LOT of depth and creates issues for opposing defenses. Reddick’s ability to hit the jumper or the 3 off the screen is pretty much automatic, and is a great tool to use on the offense (not to mention Reddick hustles and this creates even more opportunities for us). The magic would only swallow the luxury tax for 1 year anyways because Carters contract would be coming off after this season. If we trade Pietrus then we have the ability to clear out a 5 mil contract plus 5 mil in luxury tax so we end up saving 4 mil in that deal. I would prefer we trade Pietrus for a decent perimeter player that is somewhere in the 2 mil range plus a late 1st rd, or 2nd rd pick. This would allow us to clear up about 6 mil (3 mil in contract, 3 mil in tax) and essentially offset the 6 mil in tax we would be paying for Reddick.

    The Magic are in a good position, they have a team that has been to the ECF twice, and is in a great position to do it again. Miami has to few pieces to be a valid contender. No post presence is going to hurt them against Orlando and Boston. Bosh is a solid offensive players but his rebounding numbers are weak and his skinny frame at 6’10 225 is even less than Lewis so defensively he isn’t going to stop anyone.

    I think we see a Magic vs Lakers finals this year.

  • Jon

    I completely agree with Danny on all points. Just want to elaborate on a couple things….(1) There is no way the magic should want Arenas, he has a horrible attitude, injury issues (yea more in my opinion than VC) and is a very very inefficient offensive player which we dont want or need since the magics whole system is based around getting the highest payoff shots. (2) We need need need to keep Reddick. He not only fits our system perfectly but he is one of the very few none number one picks of the magic that has actually paned out…..you dont just let someone that you watch and helped grow like that just walk away.

  • lifep

    JJ should be looking at 4yr. 25.5M!

  • dukesman2000

    It doesn’t matter who they acquire, if Howard remains one dimensional they will never be champions.

  • Ryan

    I am a magic fan I think the JJ signing is good because should be starting over VC.The main reason I’m not shitting myself over Heat’s is that Magic have the deepest bench in the NBA and the Best center in the league. The Heat have no answer to Dwight Howard so good luck with that