Philadelphia and Denver have agreed on a deal expected to send reserve center Steven Hunter and second-year forward Bobby Jones to the Nuggets for forward Reggie Evans and the draft rights to Puerto Rican forward Ricky Sanchez. This is a fantastic move for Philidelphia as they get a two promising young players in return for basically nothing (sorry Steven Hunter fans). Speaking of Hunter, he still has three years left on his contract so while this move sheds money for Denver, it still isn't a dream deal for them.
Many Magic fans really don't know how to react to this news, because for a while the Magic were the team linked in a deal for Evans. On one hand, Evans would have given us a young, promising presence down low. On the other hand, Evans' inclusion after the team got Adonal Foyle and signed Marcin Gortat would have made for a crowded group of big men and an even more crowded salary situation in the future.
This brings us to the quandary Otis Smith must have faced: Do you go for the young, overpriced big man now, or do you hold on to the expiring contracts to either get help near the trade deadline or resign players next offseason? Otis went with option number 2, and while some people think this is "number 2" figuratively, it could spell more breathing room for the future of the team rather than gambling everything away right now.
The other hot button issue is where the heck did JR Smith factor in to all of this? Did Otis want him and the Nuggets refused to budge? Did the Nuggets require him in a trade and Otis said "Too much of a head case. No way"? Like how many licks it took to get to the center of a tootsie pop, "the world may never know". One thing we WILL know: JR Smith takes the goofiest player profile photos ever (right).
After the Foyle deal was taken care of, I think most fans thought the Magic's offseason deals were done with. The Evans deal loomed in the background, but several sources including Hoopshype and insiders on RealGM pronounced the deal dead. In my opinion, the reason the Foyle deal took so long was the Magic checking on the deal with Denver. Orlando held all of the cards, saying they didn't really need Evans as they had Foyle wanting to sign with them. When something in the Denver deal stunk, Otis gave them the middle finger and got the cheaper option in Foyle.
All in all, the fact that Denver signed Evans to a big deal recently and seemingly IMMEDIATELY regretted it enough to give him away for nearly nothing speaks volumes. I'm not in any way saying that Evans won't grow into a great player in the league, but those actions made it clear to the league that Denver was saying, "We messed up. This guy is nowhere near worth the amount of money he is being paid. We will do anything to get him off of our books." You can cite Denver's financial struggles all you want, but they had plenty of pieces they could have parted with and Evans was the man all along.
While I can brush off the Evans deal, I still was hoping we would be able to make a play for JR Smith. Many people say that JR is a "stupid" player that makes "stupid mistakes", but if he was good enough to start for a team like Denver last year I wouldn't have minded adding him. Orlando appears to have a different mindset though, wanting to test JJ Redick, Ariza, and Dooling at the SG spot to see who could be their starter of the future (if any of them). With Dooling and Ariza's contract up soon, better sooner than later to check on such a thing.
Well Magic fans, there you have it. All indications point to the team being done with their offseason tinkering. We even have a new slogan: “The Time is Now… Be BOLD. Be BLUE.” (This came out while I was on vacation). This slogan isn't too bad, in slogan terms. The worst, and my personal favorite, was the Knicks' "Experience the Unbelievable" from last year. That slogan just highlighted how fans reacted to every Isiah Thomas move: "Trevor Ariza and capspace for broken-down Steve Francis?....I think I am experiencing the unbelievable here..."