The first Magic act was the unforeseen pilgrimage to the NBA promised land, which saw the Orlando Magic in the the World Championship playing for the title. This was a squad that had been bounced from the playoffs early the last 2 seasons with only 6 wins in the post-season.

They eclipsed that total by 6 in winning 12 playoff games this season. So, what else could the Magic possibly do to earn their NBA moniker? Well, with free agency in full swing early in July, teams couldn’t officially sign players to offer sheets until July 8.

Everyone knew that Magic SF Hedo Turkoglu was widely reported to opt-out of his deal and test the free agency market. It was reported that the Blazers had stepped up to sign the mercurial forward, however their were reports that the Toronto Raptors would join in the bidding.

Well, Turk was in Portland for a weekend to get acquainted with players, management, & the community. Rumors had it that he had accepted the Blazers offer, however that wasn’t entirely true. He hadn’t, so when the Raptors made their pitch for him by offering more than the Blazers; Hedo jumped ‘ship” to Toronto leaving a dejected Blazer front office in the process.

Now then, let’s deal with the Magic, recall they traded Courtney Leee & Tony Battie for Vince Carter right after the finals. Many believed, rightfully so, that meant the MAgic wouldn’t match or conduct a sign & trade to get something in return for Hedo.

They didn’t which led the NBA to believe the Magic were strapped for cash, but recall the Magic COO, Alex Martins saying that the luxury tax wouldn’t be an impediment. Why? Well, every playoff game won for played at home during the playoffs generates around a $1 million. That’s quite a haul.

Moreover, the Magic are building a new stadium which should be more financially prudent for them to make $$.

This all was a setup because the Magic had interest in Brandon Bass of the Dallas Mavericks, and Dallas had tendered an offer sheet to Marcin Gortat, the backup center behind Howard.

Well, since it was believed that by signing Bass to a 4 year 16 million deal-the Magic weren’t gonna splurge for a backup in Gortat. At least, that must have been Donnie Nelson’s, (Dallas GM) thinking in Dallas. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

The Magic steal Bass, and resign Gortat! Damn, Magic Act pt. 2. Now, do you believe in Magic? No one saw this happening, but with the shrewd moves of Magic GM Otis Smith he has effectively upgraded his front court big men, by essentially replacing Battie with the younger, tougher Bass.

This move alone stands to improve the Magic rebounding, defense & offensive productivity. Now, Rashard Lewis can move back to his natural SF position, and Howard will have a beast in the front court with him whom can battle on the boards, stretch the defense with his jump shot, and add more muscle to a finesse team that badly needs to reinvent itself from the inside out!

To the rest of the league, NOW do you believe in MAGIC?


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