With this bold move by the organization, it is almost certain that the Magic will keep Dwight Howard for the off season and he will be on the roster come the start of next season. Now they'll be looking toward a new direction, and hopefully they can find a capable GM who can put pieces around Howard to make sure they contend in the growing Eastern Conference. Let's examine what this means for some parts of the Orlando-based organization...
|Like in this photo, Howard should try|
being as oblivious as he can during this
Stan Van Gundy: Now that Van Gundy is finally away from the chaos, I think he'll find coaching harmony somewhere else. He's a talented coach who will be the beneficiary of numerous suitors. He's a very credible and respected man in the business, and I believe he'll find a position with a new team before the NBA Draft. I'd recommend going to a small-market team full of young players whose chaos you can control, and who you can help develop into solid players. Van Gundy should have the least worries, he's better off somewhere else anyways. He'll be fine.
Otis Smith: Smith is now out of a job, and I don't believe he'll have as many suitors as Van Gundy will. If he finds any, he should take the opportunity right away. In my opinion, Smith was a very questionable general manager. He had no control over the situation and let Howard blow up the entire situation. He made a ton of head-scratching moves, and few made the team better. There are many problems with the way Smith worked, but he also gave up young, valuable assets like Marcin Gortat and Courtney Lee. His team is nearly out of moveable assets, besides the expiring contract of J.J. Redick. He not only put his now former team in a tough hole that will be hard to dig out of, but also jeopardized his future in the sport.
Alex Martins: The CEO of the Magic has a lot of work to do this off season. First, he must hire a coach who can control Howard, and make Howard enjoy playing under him. I like Brian Shaw. He was a former assistant coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and was mentored by Phil Jackson. Shaw deserves a chance to prove his coaching abilities, and I think he'd be a good choice for Orlando. Second, Martins has to find a GM who will be able to work with Howard, hire outstanding scouts, and acquire players who will best fit in the new coach's system. Martins has his work cut out for him this off season, but I think he will step up to the plate and respond.
Ryan Anderson: This move can really affect where Ryan Anderson is playing in October. The Magic forward recently won the NBA's Most Improved Player award and is in store for a big pay day. He is young, tall, a very efficient shooter, and a good rebounder. Smith was very supportive of Anderson and has always wanted him to stay in Orlando, but now with him out, will Anderson be re-signed? I think the Magic will try to re-sign him, but I wouldn't be suprised if he got overpaid and walked away. If Anderson, their best asset, leaves, then Howard will surely be traded by the trade deadline of the upcoming season.
The Magic have a number of tasks at hand this off season, but will they fulfill them all? Will they hire a coach that Howard will grow fond of? Will they be big players in free agency? Can they be a Finals contender next season, or will they be on the road to rebuilding? Stay tuned, there is a lot more destined to unfold in Orlando.