Is Help on the Way?

With Orlando near the end of its nightmarish five game home stand sitting with a 1-3 record, the team appears to have more questions than answers right now, mainly stemming from their lack of talented depth at the power forward position. What is the option?

Center Dwight Howard isn't playing defense or rebounding the way he did a month ago, and Orlando is plummeting down all of the NBA's defensive rankings. It seems abundantly obvious that a deal must be made and made soon, and Magic Illustrated has such a deal that should be worthy of at least a phone call.

Orlando sends guards Carlos Arroyo, Maurice Evans, and J.J. Redick, along with forwards Pat Garrity and Tony Battie, with two future first round picks to Seattle for guards Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, and forward Chris Wilcox.

Player breakdown:

Carlos Arroyo has played better this year than last, but he's not a starting caliber point guard in the NBA. Arroyo's shooting is inconsistent, his defense is nonexistent, and he makes crunch time mistakes all too often. Arroyo can play well in spots, but he can't be counted upon over the long term. Arroyo earns a salary of $4 million.

Maurice Evans is a solid defender with good size (6'5 , 220 lbs.) at the two guard position. Evans takes the ball strong to the basket and can shoot the three a little (37.9%). Evans lacks an in-between game. Evans earns a base salary of $1.47 million.

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.

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.

Wally Szczerbiak is a solid, 6'7", 244 lb. shooting guard who can drive to the basket and shoot from the outside. Szcerbiak is great from the free throw line (nearly 85%), but doesn't rebound well. Szcerbiak would be a more sought after player if it wasn't for his base salary which pays him nearly $12.3 million (still has another year left).

Delonte West is a backup combo guard who is a solid defender and can shoot the three. West can bring the ball up the court and give a starting point guard some solid rest in spots. West has a very manageable $1.89 million salary for this season.

Chris Wilcox is a very athletic power forward who can rebound and play defense. Wilcox lacks a refined post up game, but he is light years ahead of what the Magic have at a true power forward position. Wilcox is a good bang for the buck as he averages over 13 ppg., and grabs more than 7 rebounds, for a salary of just $6.5 million.


Why would the Magic make this move?
Orlando would get the power forward help that they so desperately need in Wilcox, as well as upgrade the backup point guard spot and shooting guard position with West and Szcerbiak respectively.

Why would the Sonics make this move?
Seattle receives J.J. Redick, who can be a nice building block around Kevin Durant and Jeff Green. They also get to move the Szcerbiak contract and receive some expirings in Garrity, Arroyo, and Evans.

Why wouldn't the Magic make this move?
They are giving up a lot of depth, and taking on a bad contract with Szcerbiak. J.J. Redick is also involved, and Otis Smith maintains that they have a "plan" for J.J.

Why wouldn't the Sonics make this move?
They are getting maybe 60 cents on the dollar for Wilcox and Szcerbiak.

Will it happen?
It's more than possible. Orlando gets some missing pieces without giving up too much, and Seattle gets cap relief and more of an ability to rebuild. Seattle isn't going anywhere this year so it could work out.


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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