Wishful (Free Agent) Thinking For Magic

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Orlando is fantasy land, where magic happens.

We get it.

But that’s no reason for anyone there to believe in magic or the make-believe required to believe in such things. The fallout from Dwight Howard‘s departure from Orlando and the Magic has apparently driven folks into fantasy mode. It happens when a franchise and its fan base are dealing with Post-Traumatic Superstar-Departure Syndrome.

Even our main man and friend of HT, Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel, is thinking outside the realm of reality in terms of the Magic’s free agent future:

Are the Magic looking to hook perhaps the NBA’s biggest fish four years from now?

Yes, it’s difficult for fans to even digest how long a wait that might be.

But wouldn’t the wait for Kevin Durant be worth it?

Now the knee-jerk reaction might be this: Durant? Durant isn’t the kind of kid who would ever abandon Oklahoma City as a free agent (after the 2015-16 season.) He’s the leader of a great, young team now. And surely, the Thunder aren’t about to let him get away.


Absolutely right. But we’ll play along, just to see what kind of rabbit you plan on pulling out of this hat:

People and circumstances change.

Who envisioned Miami striking up a band called The Heatles? Or New Jersey — New Jersey! – being relevant again?

Magic fans know how quickly things can change. Once again, they must stomach seeing another superstar center (Dwight Howard) in a Lakers’ uniform.

No one predicted the Dwightmare coming. No one saw Howard going from a kid who loved being Orlando’s ambassador to a big-market mercenary.

If Durant doesn’t fancy himself as a big-city guy, wouldn’t Orlando make sense? Retooling mostly through the draft, the Magic could have young pieces in place by then, if GM Rob Hennigan has his way.

Hennigan isn’t opposed to signing free agents — and the Magic have a history of spending money to grab them. But the new GM doesn’t seem as if he’ll ridiculously overpay for any…unless it’s a superstar package of talent and humility like Durant.

There’s no doubt Durant loves the rims in that shiny new arena in Orlando (check the video from All-Star Weekend 2012 above). And Schmitz is right, everything can change in an instant.

Take the players on U.S. Men’s Senior National Team the past five years for example. Only three (Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Tayshaun Prince) of the 12 players who won gold in Beijing in 2008 are wearing the same uniform today. And that’s a group that includes LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Deron Williams, four of the five guys who returned to defend their Olympic title in London.

(Howard, Chris Bosh, Jason Kidd, Carlos Boozer and Michael Redd were all on that 2008 team as well, and have since changed addresses — some more than once.)

When asked in London if he was surprised at all by the massive turnover that has gone on since Beijing, Williams gave perhaps the most telling answer.

“Surprised? Not at all,” he said. “Things change. It’s just a part of the game. And you have to deal with it and move on.”

That doesn’t mean that Magic fans should spend the next couple of years pining away for Durant or any other superstar who might be available in free agency in 2014 … 2015 … or 2016 (which is already being dubbed the “Summer of Durant”).

Wishful thinking like that won’t help the Magic in the meantime. It’ll only serve to make these rebuilding years even more painful, especially when the magic trick ends and they realize that it was all make-believe anyway.


  1. Ithof #1MIAMIHEAT&LBJFAN! says:

    DH did a good job. Lakers is back in action and can’t wait to see them against heat!

  2. Willy says:

    Thats like saying Durant will retire early and become a MonK! Come on man, he is trippin Sycho! WEll if Durant goes to Borelando maybe Dwight will come back after his four titles in LA? Wow another great story

  3. chandler says:

    The only way Durant will leave OKC is if they come up dry and can’t win a title the next 3 years. But I think after 2 years, if they can’t win a title, they’re going to make some adjustments to the roster. Sign whoever is available, and the possibility of Westbrook or Harden getting traded because well…If something isn’t working, then you gotta change it. But its tough to see Durant leaving OKC at ALL..Even Westbrook or Harden.

  4. Dew says:

    I do not see KD going anywhere either myself. OKC seems to be his team, and the only one he will be on for a long time. Someone stated it best. He is labeled the franchise there. Much to the likes of Duncan/Robinson and the Spurs model which someone pointed out earlier. Superstars do tend to go other places very late in their careers for fun or because they get traded ie. Olajuwon to Toronto, Jordan playing for Wizards after coming back 2nd time, Dominique Wilkens played for Clippers and San Antonio, Malone to Lakers, Drexler to Houston. So I would imagine he will resign this next go around for a 4 year deal with extension options. However after that, if he has not won a ring by then, I can see him floating around in pursuit of one 8-10 years from now. Usually players stay put if they are successful. If they aren’t or see that competition is too great, they move on. Likelihood of reason players moving around as much as they do now is due to how teams stack their teams these days. How to compete with the Heat, Miami, OKC, SA, LA (both Lakers and Clippers) if you do not move and make something happen. Not like back in the days of Jordan where one man could beat you. Takes a few to make it happen nowadays. Durant will go if he doesn’t think OKC can win. Right now, he does.

  5. larry oconnor says:

    I don’t think Orlando is an attractive place for any superstar. They can’t seem to hold on to their talent especially if Howard who says he is a spiritual person can’t remain with the Magic who are supposed to be run by spiritual people. I figured they are of the same faith and that might have made the difference. Guess not! Orlando does not have a winning tradition. Two trips to the finals, two blow out losses, two makeovers, two superstars go to LA.

  6. Durant says:

    To all the HEAT fans.. DREAM ON!!! Lakers or OKC will win the championship this year! hahaha 😛

  7. lebronheatREPEAT! says:

    durant should leave because hes goin to make the finals next yr n lose to the HEAT again! 🙂

  8. Durant will leave OKC after 6 years says:

    I’m 100% believe Durant will leave OKC someday… why? It’s the same case about Lebron in Cleveland. Lebron made Cleveland from worst to elite team. 6 straight playoffs , 2 conference finals and 1 Nba finals appearances and back to back best record in the NBA.. He got 2 MVP, 2 allstar MVP, 6 Allstar appearance and many more… I never imagined that he will leave Cleveland after those accomplishments BUT there’s only one he does’nt have and that is winning “NBA CHAMPIONSHIP”. The same on Durant, if he does’nt win a championship after his contract expired. No doubt he will leave and join superstars to win…

  9. Bob M says:

    The Magic have fallen into the abyss. Superstars rarely go to the abyss. However, Nerlen Noels seems to be a big name for the next draft, with Orlando’s talent, they will have the best shot. Keep hope alive!!

  10. BIG CAT says:

    a westbrook for rondo deal straight up would benefit both teams , rondo could be set up guy for durant and harden whod hav more shots with westbrook gone,and also be reunited with his old buddy perkins, westbrook on the other hand would give the c’s a new cornerstone top 5 scorer who could take over with an aging pierce and KG , he’d add a new dimesion to there team and be reunited with his buddy jeff green , everyone wins

  11. c.anthony says:

    Okay, can we stop saying the Nets are “relevant” again? This is getting out of hand now. Hype City!!!! They need all the luck they can get to make the playoffs this year. They missed by a mile last year. Adding C.J. Watson and a streaky Joe Johnson is not going to suddenly make them a contender or even add more than maybe a few wins to the record. I wish them luck but I really don’t see the Nets making the playoffs this year. And by the way Sekou Smith they are the BROOKLYN Nets now. Just means even more Knicks fans at the games now 😉

    • D Lion says:

      I agree, but not to that extent. IMO, what happened was everybody got the D-Will, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, D12 “big 4” image in their heads as the unstoppable Brooklyn Nets. They didn’t get Howard; everyone thought that they would still be a great team regardless. It almost seems like the possibility alone of acquiring Howard made the Nets “better” in everyone’s eyes. And no one can honestly point to D-Will and Wallace as the Nets’ hope for success, because both of those players were on the roster (Wallace since the trade deadline) last year. The Nets went 8-15 with Wallace on the team, or .348. Disgustingly, that 8-15 stint brought their record UP to 22-44 at the end of the season; before Wallace, their record was 14-29, which translates to .326. So while there WAS improvement with Wallace on the roster, I’m sure the Nets were looking for improvement that they could see without the aid of a microscope. That leaves Joe Johnson. Can he single-handedly save this team? Actually, Williams will benefit greatly by having another scorer on the team, instead of having to shoulder the load by himself. D-Will and Johnson will create a good backcourt that, if all goes well, should propel the Nets into the playoffs, but no higher than a 6 seed.

      Now back to the subject at hand, I think KD will stay in OKC for all of his relevant career.

  12. jeffx says:

    Rondo will stay at Celts while KG and Pierce are viable. Celts should never have traded Perkins or Davis. Maybe Melo will be good for them.

  13. mavs-lakers-spurs fan says:

    durant with all the talent he have, with the okc fan based, nah , he won’t leave

  14. Kobeeeeeee says:

    Durant and Rondoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo and maybe DRose are the only players who will stay with there team for there careers. They are loyal players and don’t want to leave there homes to go join someone else to win or do well. (Melo, Dwight, LeBron.) I respect all those 3 players. But towards the topic.. I doubt Durant will leave OKC. He loves it there.

    • jeffx says:

      I agree but the jury is perhaps still out on Rondo. I suspect he might leave or get traded one day. Must admit he is a great advertisement as to how good you can become with hard work.

  15. NoName says:

    They should just bottom out and get Andrew Wiggins. Problem solved.

  16. Ray Allen must be the 6 men as Payton did in 2006. Starters:
    Chalmers no doubt
    Bosh as 5 no doubt

    • jeffx says:

      Agree with Allen at 6. What a 6 though! Suspect Haslem/Anthony are interchangeable. Bosh prefers PF but is a team guy and will do Center if necessary. A big talented center on a good team could hurt the heat, as Bosh’s frame isn’t strong enough for the likes of Bynum and Howard when they have good support. Good big centers are hard to find these days though. They are defensive or offensive, but rqrely both. But what has this got to do with DURANT LEAVING OKC. Can’t see it happening ever. Did you hear about any protracted negotiations regarding Durant or Rose? No!! You only hear that they made a deal with management to extend their contract and only after the event. Durant is staying at OKC. Sekou obviously is having Post Season No News Trauma, and is grasping at straws for a story.

      BTW LBJ I dunno what you been smokin’ but it’s gotta stop!

  17. hoopsfanz says:

    I think it’s a joke that you even commented on this (weak) article. No. 1, the headline….What makes you think this writer’s speculation has anything to do with what the Magic or their fans are thinking? I’m sure everyone in Orlando is not just sitting around waiting for free agency in 3 or 4 years, though fans in every city pretty much speculate on what free agents their team could bring in to make their team better pretty much every year. And Orlando has been able to attract some big name free agents in the past. However, there are too many things to do now to be counting on anything like that. The only good point in that article is that every team has to stay continue to make smart decisions. As the article points out, when Dwight Howard was at this same point in his contract situation with the Magic as KD is with OKC, most people thought he was happy and there for the long term.

  18. LBJ says:

    it would be funny, DH12 didn’t sign with lakers and come back to magic next year lolz and then magic sign Bynum 😛

    • Caliking says:

      How about dwight stays in la and bynum comes back for cheap for all the years he got paid big bucks to be injured and he can be our back up or start at center with dwight at 4. no that doesnt sound right you know why because i would be out my mind to think that even could happen. just as you clearly have shown you are out your mind by you comment.

  19. LOL_KID_KING says:

    If anything KD is mostly likely to go to Washington D.C. HIS HOMETOWN than Orlando Magic

  20. Neomax says:

    I don’t think that’s even in the realm of possibilities. Durant seems to be beyond confortable in OKC and don’t forget the Sam Presti factor. I won’t let te cornerstone of the franchise he is building slip away. This two franchises are following the San Antonio blueprint. Durant will e to OKC what Tim Duncan is for the Spurs faithful. Rob Henningan needs to take advantage of the prime spot they’ll most likely have in the upcoming draft and rebuild the Magic very much like RC and Presti did in the past.

  21. Jj says:

    Durant doesn’t seem like the player who would do that and i doubt the Thunder will let him go for free, if worst came to worst and he wanted to leave they could trade him

  22. nba fan says:

    i dont see durant going to orlando in 4 years unless okc is struggling and orlando has a star player from draft or attract
    star player player. you never it could happen. but right know orlando is rebuilding so it may not happen