Cohen 8-Ball: Most Noteworthy Upcoming Dates for Magic
January 25, 2013
Josh Cohen’s Analysis: While the last month or so has been filled with late-game heartbreak and aggravation, like DeMar DeRozan’s unbelievable game-winning buzzer-beating fadeaway, the infantile stages of the Magic’s renovation has in many ways gone as expected. Orlando is competitive almost every night, the veterans have often been productive and the rookies have shown flashes of excellence. As a result of the Magic’s present state, there are several events and dates that are extremely important for Orlando and its fans.
Cohen’s Analysis: Depending on your preference on how the Magic should proceed with this reconstruction may determine which upcoming dates are most pressing to you. As we all know by now, the Magic have established flexibility across the board. From opening up a plethora of salary cap space to accumulating trade assets to high draft picks on the horizon, there is a lot to look forward to. CLICK NEXT to learn about the forthcoming events and dates that will be most imperative for the Magic.
Cohen’s Analysis: Trade Deadline (Feb. 21) – There have been rumblings since the preseason about what the Magic will ultimately decide to do by the deadline. Will they be active and continue in this renovation phase in midseason? If that is the case, what will Orlando acquire and how will it impact the structure of the team? Would it covet future draft picks, more financial relief and flexibility, a young promising talent or a proven star that any franchise can build around? Or, in reverse, is it more beneficial to avoid a sudden alteration and rather wait until the offseason to improve the roster?
Cohen’s Analysis: The Draft Lottery (May 21) – I’ve always said and believed that the most anxious event in professional sports is the NBA Draft Lottery. In no other sport can one player make a colossal difference to their team and league as a whole. We have witnessed in the past how winning draft lotteries often completely transfigures the identity of a franchise. The Magic have successfully evolved through the luck of the lottery – capturing the No. 1 overall pick three times in team history and landing three of the very best at their respective positions (Shaq, Penny via trade and Dwight).
Cohen’s Analysis: NBA Finals (June 4-20) – Obviously, the Magic are not bound for this event this season. However, the two teams that are could have an influence on the direction of the Magic. Let’s say, for example, it’s Oklahoma City and Chicago competing for the tile in June. Perhaps this would send a message to Orlando that the draft is utmost important to build a contender since both the Thunder and Bulls have generally voyaged in that path. On the other hand, if Miami wins a second straight title, this may insinuate that a plethora of cap space and the signing of a few All-Star free agents may be the best method for success.
Cohen’s Analysis: The NBA Draft (June 27) – For the first time in a while, this year’s NBA Draft will likely be a must-watch event for all Magic fans. Depending on what slot Orlando is slated to pick from will likely determine what level of talent we should expect the Magic to get. Although some scouts are suggesting there is a thin gap in the talent pool among the top 10 prospects, others still think there is enough difference in which teams with a top five pick will be at a much greater advantage than those selecting between six and 10. Per league policy, college players cannot be mentioned until they officially declare for the draft.
Cohen’s Analysis: The Start of Free Agency (July 1) – While the Magic’s team salary can still fluctuate depending on what kinds of decisions they make leading into the free agency period, it is possible for the Magic to have enough salary cap space to sign one max free agent this summer. However, the pool of talent is not necessarily striking. Aside from Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, the best impending FA’s will likely include Al Jefferson, Monta Ellis, Tyreke Evans, Josh Smith and David West. It may be most rational to continue saving rather than splurge on the cash they presently have.
Cohen’s Analysis: Summer League (July 8-12) – In addition to whomever the Magic add in the draft, it will be very interesting to watch Andrew Nicholson and Maurice Harkless continue to develop this summer. Drew, first off, already has some of the more extraordinary post moves because of his creative footwork. But it’s no secret that he needs some extensive time in the weight room to get bigger and stronger. Harkless, meanwhile, is incredibly raw and considering he was traded mid-summer and because he was injured last summer, this will be the first real offseason for the promising youngster to expand his repertoire.