Magic free-agent recruiting carrot: A championship ride
The Magic will break the bank (going into the luxury tax) to sign players, but the price is costly. With little to spend and more players to sign, they must rely on an age-old recruiting tool to attract free agents.
Sell 'em on the parade.
"We're a pretty attractive place," GM Otis Smith said.
The Magic can offer free agents more motivation than money after making it to the Finals last season.
While most players will take the money, there are those older veterans who haven't played on a contender or who want another title shot.
The Magic probably will try to sell this to players such as Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess, Grant Hill, Joe Smith, Drew Gooden and Eddie House, to name a few.
And, of course, Hedo Turkoglu.
Turk will officially become a free agent a stroke past midnight tonight after opting out of his contract.
He turned down the Magic's initial contract offer. A figure of four years, $36 million is being bandied about by Magic sources, but it's a figure the Turkoglu camp disputes.
Whatever. Hard to tell who's telling the truth and who's playing poker in these things.
The fact is that Turk, 30, is looking for his last big deal in a tough economy and marketplace. He's probably played his last game with the Magic, who likely took themselves out of the bidding for him by signing Vince Carter.
Turk's camp is still willing to talk, and Smith said he'll reach out to Turk soon after the free-agency period begins.
The Magic will have to dig deep into the luxury tax to afford him. There's no other option, really.
Of course, unless owner Rich DeVos just adopts him and puts him in the family will. BSchmitz.