Grab An AK47

With Orlando currently sitting in the #3 position in the Eastern Conference, an outsider would assume that all is good, being that they seem to be greatly improved from a year ago. Unfortunately for the Magic, the current group on their roster may be good enough to get them out of the first round of the playoffs, but likely not any further. Could some major guns on defense help?

Orlando still has a major void on defense, and they aren't a great team on the glass despite having the league's top rebounder in Dwight Howard. We at Magic Illustrated have proposed another deal that would help Orlando in these two departments.

Orlando sends guards J.J. Redick and Keith Bogans, along with forwards Pat Garrity and Tony Battie to Utah for forward Andre Kirilenko.

Player breakdown:
    J.J. Redick is a fantastic shooter who is lacking on the defensive end. There's no telling how good Redick actually is, or how good he can be being that he's stuck at the end of the Orlando bench. When Orlando drafted him with their first-round pick in 2006, it was assumed that Redick would get more than 8.2 minutes per game in his second season.

    Keith Bogans seems to be a jack of all trades, master of none type of NBA player. Bogans currently averages 9.3 ppg. off the bench for Orlando, and mostly takes three-point shots. Bogans is an above average defender who can occasionally take the ball to the basket.

    Pat Garrity is at the twilight of his career and is nothing more than a salary dump at this point. Pat can shoot from the outside and shoot well from the free throw line, but he's a complete defensive liability. Garrity earns better than $3.8 million.

    Tony Battie underwent rotator cuff surgery prior to the beginning of the season and will likely miss the entire year. When healthy, Battie is a solid big body who can defend in the post, but nothing more than a depth player at this point in his career. Battie's salary is $5.2 million.

    Andre Kirilenko is the ultimate do everything type of basketball player. "AK-47," as he's known in Utah plays great defense, can rebound, and shoot from the outside. Kirilenko is best in transition, and can score in double figures without any plays ran for him.

Why would the Magic make this move?
They get instantly better on the defensive end, and get an effort player which is something they are sorely lacking. Bogans would be the only player in the actual rotation that they would miss, so there is a definite upgrade.

Why would the Jazz make this move?
Utah gets rid of a player that has displayed his displeasure with the organization publicly as well as move a contract that has three years and around $50 million remaining on it. They get in return a great three-point shooter in J.J. Redick who could help spread the floor for Carlos Boozer, as well as a solid player in Keith Bogans.

Why wouldn't the Magic make this move?
General manager Otis Smith has said publicly that the organization has plans for J.J. Redick despite his current bench warming detail. Kirilenko's contract is quite a bit for a role player.

Why wouldn't the Jazz make this move?
Utah would be getting roughly 75 cents on the dollar for Kirilenko, and they're currently playing well so they may not want to change the team dynamic.

Will it happen?
Never say never. Although Utah is a good team, they are not at the level of Los Angeles and Phoenix, and a shakeup that removes a lot of future salary could be a very good thing. Orlando's "plan" for J.J. would likely be the only thing that would hold them back.


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of MagicIllustrated.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.


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