I know him by a slightly different name: The Scarecrow.
Yes, ladies and gents, with the NBA season only about a month away there are are still rumors of big name players moving. This time, the subject of these rumors is Andrei Kirilenko. Apparently, Kirilenko has been running off at the mouth about how much he wants out of Utah, saying he will take a pay cut and play for a horrible team if need be. This lit up basically every fan in the NBA with the hopes that their team could add him to their roster.
Magic fans were no exception. Faster than you could say, "Hey, let's trade for Shawn Marion!" trades were being batted around that could land Andrei in Orlando. While many people looking on will say "this is nuts...no way Utah trades AK-47 for nothing", the Magic actually could be contenders for his services should Otis Smith deem it so. The Magic have a lot of expiring deals to dangle, more than most teams can match, and they also have one thing that Utah covets: JJ Redick.
It is no secret that Utah would have taken Redick in the draft had Orlando not gotten there first. Sloan is a sucker for white guys, gobbling up players like Stockton and Hornacek like they were candy (white m&ms perhaps). Also, the Magic could conceivably throw Turkoglu into a deal or, should Utah want a big man, Tony Battie. On TOP of this, Utah needs some cash to toss around to resign Deron Williams...so there actually would be someone who wants Pat Garrity's expiring deal.
I thought I would never write that last sentence, but there it is.
In return, the Magic would get a player who could really compliment Dwight well and give the team a well rounded presence at PF. Replacing Darko with Kirilenko would be like replacing a dirty diaper with a new one, but with more hair gel. Some say the Magic are one piece away from being a top team in the East, and this would have to be that opportunity.
That being said, there are MANY knocks against Kirilenko. He is injured a lot. He is rail thin so he gets knocked around by more physical players. He is coming off of a year that can only be described as 'a disaster and a half'. He seems to be a bit emotionally unstable, having cried in one interview last year and now by badmouthing his team. There are a lot of things to consider, but ultimately he would be a major upgrade at our PF position over anyone who has been there alongside Dwight.
Going back to that whole 'nickname' thing I mentioned at the beginning of the article, I truly enjoy calling Andrei "The Scarecrow". When I first saw him play, I blurted out "Who is THAT?!" to a party of onlookers watching the game. My friends told me that the guy's name was Kirilenko, and that he was some super skinny shooter from Russia. Seeing as how my favorite character from Batman has always been The Scarecrow, I was amazed to find this perfect casting choice in front of me. "He's thin. His chin is pointy. He is pretty damn creepy looking...Goodness gracious this guy is perfect for the role of Scarecrow from Batman!" To this day, whenever anyone mentions the movie Batman Begins, I shake my head that they went with the casting choice of Cillian Murphy over Kirilenko. What a shame.
Whether the Magic get The Scarecrow or choose to stick with their current team, I like their chances this year. Hopefully Otis inquires about his availability because it could really benefit the team.