Last Guardian wrote:The Magic have been relevant twice in its history, both times because of draft picks. How some people can deny that getting a lottery pick isn't a good thing I have no idea. Yes, teams have screwed up #1 picks. Yes we've screwed up top 10 picks plenty of times. That doesn't negate that it is a very good thing to be IN THAT POSITION. You cannot as a franchise be where we are today, a BAD team in the eastern conference picking outside of the top 10. I could care less if the odds have changed, I want as many odds as I can get. I don't care if other teams have been bad for years and they're still bad. There will always be examples of it working and not working. Nothing changes the fact that we're under .500 in a horrible conference, lose against nearly every marginally good team, are drafting outside the top 10 and do not have the pieces to make any meaningful trade. To add insult to injury, the brightest spot on the team is massively injury prone.
In case it isn't clear, blow it up.
Both the times you mentioned we had to get the #1 pick in order to get the player who made us 'relevant'
The Eastern conference is so bad, that we would have to absolutely gut this team to tank so badly to get one of the worst 3 records and have a (massive) 14% chance at getting the #1 pick again. Then what? cross your fingers and prey we don't get the #5?
First things first you would have to fire Clifford, because whatever roster you give him he will squeeze it to get every win he can.
You would have to trade Vuc and at least 2+ out of Aaron, Evan, T-Ross and Markelle.
Having more than 2 them on the roster would win too many games in the rubbish East to keep a bottom 3 record, unless you managed to talk them into faking an injury and taking the year off, or just flat moved them out of the rotation.
In a contract year, Evan isn't agreeing to sit on the bench, so he and Vuc would have to be traded and at least one more out of AG, TRoss or Markelle.
Assuming Kelle is your keeper, and assuming any amount of moderate improvement between this season and next, you'd have to shut him down at some point during the season with a Drew Gooden style infected hair-follicle injury, essentially wasting his season, or the kid might win us too many games.
You have to monitor Okeke closely because if he is a gamer and is getting big minutes on your gutted team, he might win too many games as well.
Then you need to find suitors for Vuc, Evan and either AG or Ross in a cash strapped league where you likely have to take on bad money back in order to get any kind of draft picks for them. The bad teams don't want them because they help you win (but not enough to get out of the first round), so that cuts your potential trade partners in half.
Any thoughts of being a FA player are out, because taking back bad money to move them to a contender essentially gives you no ability to use anything except to overpay with the MLE (sans Aminu) to bring in anyone who wants to play with a gutted roster of rookies and G-Leaguers.
Vuc upped his value this playoffs and you could try to sell high and get maybe an ok pick and an expiring to go with a smaller salary dump.
Evan as an expiring you can maybe dump without having to pay a team to take him, but if teams know you are gutting the roster, they will know you have no leverage to move these guys.
If you make a move or two and it is clear you are moving all the vets, then you have to take the best offer you can get, you can't just say "oh well, if thats the best deal we will keep AG", because he ruins your tank, so then we get fleeced in a bad trade and the fan base is "zomg how could you agree to such a bad trade". Well, because you wanted a tank.
AG and Ross have some value on the right team but all of the above combined is a hell of a lot of unknowns and deals to try and make concurrently and so much has to fall into place... and you could do all that, cost the team millions in ticket sales, sponsors, potentially lower the value of the regional TV contract and kill all merch sales, and you'd still have a 47.9% chance of picking outside the top 4.
"Yeah well it's still better than making the playoffs".