Orlando Magic Blog

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

FL Today: Magic set to tackle offseason to-do list

Sports

Good list from Florida Today. I didn't realize Magic were 2nd to last in 3's. JJ Riddick might make a good backup SG if available in the draft at 11. Better yet, perhaps a trade that brings in a banger at center plus a SG. Even better if Garrity is included...

1. Draft a shooting guard.
The Magic made just 299 3-pointers this past season, ranking next-to-last in the NBA ahead of only the Los Angeles Clippers. To put that in perspective, Seattle's Ray Allen made 269 by himself and the Phoenix Suns made a staggering 837.
2. Explore the Grant Hill options.
But in Hill, the Magic already own one of the NBA's most- coveted players. Because Hill's seven-year, $92.88 million contract will finally come to an end after next season, Hill has great value around the league. And that's regardless of whether he's able to return from the sports-hernia injury that wiped out yet another season for him.
3. Monitor growth of Howard and Milicic.
Orlando's best chance at making a big jump next season is for Howard and Milicic to make monumental strides. If they can play alongside each other, it gives the Magic 14 feet of shot-blockers and a nifty high-low combination teeming with talent.
4. Add a veteran center.

Even at 6-foot-11, 262 pounds, Howard always will be a power forward at heart, and at times it appears Milicic is allergic to paint, given the way he floats on the perimeter. Tony Battie is great in the locker room and serviceable down low, but he's badly undersized at center.

"We have a lot of length," Magic coach Brian Hill said, "but we just don't have much girth."

5. Re-sign Stevenson at a reasonable rate.

So now the Magic must try affixing a value to Stevenson. He is no All-Star, but he was a big part of the Magic's stirring season-ending run.

"I really don't think you can be a good team without having guys like DeShawn on your team," Brian Hill said. "He had a defensive mindset and he was willing to check the best perimeter player on the other team every night. He knew his defense was the most important thing and he sacrificed his offense.


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