Orlando Magic

Howard and Okafor both averaged double-doubles in 2004-05.
Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images
2005 DRAFT SELECTIONS
No. 11, No. 41 (may be conveyed to Tor.), possibly No. 42 (from LA Clippers), No. 44 (from Cle.)
CURRENT FREE AGENTS
Stacey Augmon (player option)
Andre Barrett (restricted)
Tony Battie (player has right to terminate contract)
Andrew DeClercq (unrestricted)
Grant Hill (player has right to terminate contract)
Brandon Hunter (restricted)
Mark Jones (restricted)
RECENT DRAFT SELECTIONS
2004: 1. Dwight Howard, SW Atlanta Christian Aca.
30. Anderson Varejao, Spain
36. Antonio Burks, Memphis
2003: 15. Reece Gaines, L'ville
42. Zaza Pachulia, Turkey
2002: 18. Curtis Borchardt, Stan.
2001: 15. Steven Hunter, DePaul
22. Jeryl Sasser, So. Methodist
32. Omar Cook, St. Johnís
2000: 5. Mike Miller, Florida
10. Keyon Dooling, Missouri
13. Courtney Alexander, Fresno State
By Bill Evans

When the 2004-05 season began: There was renewed optimism in Orlando, where the reward for an awful 2003-04 was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft: Dwight Howard. The 18-year-old rookie became the face of the franchise quickly when Tracy McGrady was shipped to Houston in a multi-player deal.

What happened? Winners of 21 games the previous season, the Magic matched that total after 38 games. No longer a one-man show, the Magic featured an electric Steve Francis, a rehabilitated Grant Hill and a rookie in Howard who would be enjoying unprecedented success as an 18-year-old were it not for LeBron James' accomplishments the year before.

Howard averaged 12.0 points and 10 rebounds and was the only Magic player to start all 82 games. He shot 52 percent from the field and blocked 1.66 shots per contest. He was, in a word, outstanding.

Hill was too, given the layoff after multiple ankle injuries. After only playing in 47 games in his first four seasons in Orlando, Hill started 67 games, averaged 19.7 points and had the best shooting percentage (.509) of his career.

Francis and Cuttino Mobley arrived together from Houston to create a formidable backcourt. Why Mobley was traded for Doug Christie, who's five years older, is a question for former GM John Weisbrod, who left to pursue jobs in hockey. Maybe Christie is the better skater? He averaged only 5.7 points and didn't even stay in the starting lineup.

A season that started with much promise took a few strange turns. Mired in a six-game losing streak that dropped the team below .500, the Magic replaced Johnny Davis with Chris Jent. In the heat of the playoff race, the coaching reins were in the hands of someone with no previous head coaching experience.

Late-season injuries to Hedo Turkoglu and Hill considerably weakened the team's depth, and rookie Jameer Nelson was promoted to starter. Somehow, a season destined to end in the playoffs, instead ended with a 5-19 finish and a return trip to the lottery.

What now? Francis can play either guard position; Nelson is ideally suited for a reserve role. Christie? It appears his best days are behind him, so there is a need for another guard in the rotation.

Howard looks like a sure bet for a double-double for the next 10 years and Hill's return offers promise that he can contribute in the final year of his contract. Turkoglu provides insurance and depth.

At center, both Tony Battie and Kelvin Cato are in the final year of their contracts. Though both performed capably, the up-tempo Magic certainly wouldn't pass up an opportunity to add an athletic post player.

Orlando will pick 11th and will have at least one second round pick.