|2011-12 Team Rating|
|14th Overall||14th Overall|
2011-12 Season Stats
Dwight Howard is gone, and in his place is Gustavo Ayon. The good news is that line almost rhymes. The bad news is that the Magic got nothing back for Howard and that Ryan Anderson is also gone.
Arron Afflalo is an upgrade over Jason Richardson, but when Afflalo is your best player, you're in trouble. And exactly why was Jameer Nelson re-signed for three more years?
Dwight Howard is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Gustavo Ayon is not. And now's a good time to remember that the Magic fired one of the best defensive coaches in the league for no reason.
One of the only interesting things about the Magic next season will be seeing what kind of a player No. 19 pick Andrew Nicholson could be. The rebuild starts now, and Nicholson could be a building block.
Jacque Vaughn is a class act and may be a great coach some day. But the fact is that the Magic already had a great coach, and they fired him because he didn't get along with a player that wanted to be traded.
Apparently, the Magic were jealous of the NBA record that that Bobcats set last season, because they got an absolutely awful package in return for Howard. In a four-team trade that involved two other All-Stars (one of whom is the second-best center in the league and only 24 years old), the Magic got Afflalo, Al Harrington, Maurice Harkless, Nikola Vucevic and a bunch of non-Lottery picks.
They didn't even get any long-term salary relief. The bad contracts of Glen Davis and Hedo Turkoglu are still on the books, while Afflalo has four more years on his deal and Harrington is guaranteed another $14 million.
This team is going to be pretty bad for at least the next couple of years. And while new general manager Rob Hennigan might want to follow the model of his old team, what Oklahoma City did in building a championship contender -- drafting an MVP candidate and then again hitting home runs in the two subsequent drafts - is pretty impossible to duplicate.
-- John Schuhmann
Explanation of Marking System
|Golden State Warriors||C+|
|Los Angeles Clippers||B|
|Los Angeles Lakers||A|
|New Jersey Nets||A|
|New Orleans Hornets||B+|
|New York Knicks||C|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||C-|
|San Antonio Spurs||B|