What is Ahead?
The first priority, in my view, must be finding the right coach, no ifs or buts about it. We have not seen what Darko is capable of the way Hill used him behind Battie. Had he been thrown in with the starting unit - meaning practicing with that unit, as well - it would have not only improved his consistency, but would have given the young kid with a history of misuse and neglect a sense of belonging and responsibility. The kid needs motivation, and one of Hill's main shortfalls throughout his career has been poor communication, thus lack of ability to inspire. So, in my view, the second priority would be signing Darko. Now that is not in conflict with signing a top free agent and my preference is Rashard Lewis. Granted we may have to go over the salary cap if we don't find takers for players who become expendable after signing Rashard or Vince. But why is that a sin if we look at the history of some teams whose owners were willing to go way above salary cap with the intention of long-term success and even profitability? If I get a chance, I would like to crunch the numbers to see how far above the salary cap we may have to go while achieving the objectives as set above. On top of my head, I can tell you not much. It does not take creative financing by people who are not experts in that field. It starts with the willingness to go above the cap if need be. Then trying to crunch the numbers on added-values for the long-term, and how they translate to long-term profitability. Now if one starts with the premises of staying under certain numbers to avoid luxury tax, we will end up with the same results in Orlando, year after year, namely mediocrity which is the by-product of preserving the bottom-line in the short-term.