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2020 Official Off-Season Thread

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4 hours ago, CTMagicUK said:

I think what more than anything that Heat article highlights to me is that a middling team is only ever a couple of smart moves from being a contender.

Now sure we don't have Pat Riley pulling the strings nor do we have a championship winning future HOFer out there whispering into the ear of a star about to be a free agent. But our refusal to tank. Our trust in our roster. These are correct steps on the path to being a respected organisation. People hated giving Vuc that new contract and I get that. But how would it look to future free agents if we didn't resign our first All Star since Dwight off the back of our first playoff appearance since Dwight. Miami has a reputation from years and years of being a winning culture, we don't have that yet but we have to start somewhere. You can't admire that about Miami while simultaneously lament the fact that we've commited to trying to win. Sure it's only 2 8 seed playoff appearances but that's progress. Playoff appearances make us more attractive to free agents immediately.

Think about Toronto. 5 or 6 years ago nobody thought they were a model franchise. Since then they've won a championship, had a COTY and we hired their second in command. 

There's every chance 3 years from now we're exactly where we currently are. But maybe Chuma Okeke is a future all star, or maybe we draft a future all star this year, or maybe Fultz is that guy and Isaac gets healthy. 

Just because things don't seem hopeful at the moment doesn't mean hope isn't right around the corner. Things change fast in the NBA. 

...This post got a lot more 'motivational talk'-y than I intended...

  Sorry this whole post is wrong, it sounds like hoping you get lucky then making it happen.There is  a small chances right now that Chuma,Fultz and Isaac are stars, because of what's already taken place. Now what you said can happen but to hoping it happens is different that what the Heat have done.

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2 hours ago, hootie249 said:

  Sorry this whole post is wrong, it sounds like hoping you get lucky then making it happen.There is  a small chances right now that Chuma,Fultz and Isaac are stars, because of what's already taken place. Now what you said can happen but to hoping it happens is different that what the Heat have done.

I am fairly certain that is not what is being said. I have to agree with CT that we have had plenty of trouble getting and keeping free agents so turfing Vuc as much as it sucks from an overall basketball perspective is what would look better to others around the league at the time. We don't have the luxury to wheel and deal like the Magic culture would definitively better us and attract people. Doesn't mean we can't trade them, but not valuing guys as assets and letting people walk is clearly not the team's MO now. 

I didn't want it to be this way either. A couple of years before and we had no culture to speak of and I guess the option was there more to just divest themselves of everything. I think we acknowledge Vuc's contract year probably was the nail in the coffin that we wouldn't blow it up. The playoff berths are worth something to ownership, the players involved and honestly the city too. I go through periods of patience and impatience, but having a fire sale a couple of years back may have just made us look more like the Kings, Wolves and the pre-Lacob Warriors instead of paying off any better than our current situation

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6 hours ago, JJZFL said:

Wrecking our culture was one of the main concerns I expressed when we decided to tank.  At the time, very few agreed with me.  They debated the idea that there was even such a thing as a “team culture”.  The argument was that if you get a great player, you have instant culture.  Maybe that’s even true with a generational talent but as we have learned the hard way, they aren’t so easy to come by.  And if you don’t get one and you ruin the team competitiveness, there isn’t much left.  

I wonder if the culture we had when we were 'winning' was wrecked the moment we traded for Vince...

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1 hour ago, South_Aussie_Magic said:

I am fairly certain that is not what is being said. I have to agree with CT that we have had plenty of trouble getting and keeping free agents so turfing Vuc as much as it sucks from an overall basketball perspective is what would look better to others around the league at the time. We don't have the luxury to wheel and deal like the Magic culture would definitively better us and attract people. Doesn't mean we can't trade them, but not valuing guys as assets and letting people walk is clearly not the team's MO now. 

I didn't want it to be this way either. A couple of years before and we had no culture to speak of and I guess the option was there more to just divest themselves of everything. I think we acknowledge Vuc's contract year probably was the nail in the coffin that we wouldn't blow it up. The playoff berths are worth something to ownership, the players involved and honestly the city too. I go through periods of patience and impatience, but having a fire sale a couple of years back may have just made us look more like the Kings, Wolves and the pre-Lacob Warriors instead of paying off any better than our current situation

   Yes and no? Keeping Vucevic, after all these years was good,maybe. After all we won the Dwight trade. Drafting Bamba.....bad?. Again it's learning from mistakes and not doubling down on them. The best and worst thing is we will see very soon, how smart our management is. How we handle this off season will echo for years withing this team.If we extend Fultz and he sucks, we sink, if we acquire talent that turns us around, we rise.look how much guards matter in the bubble. We have needed a good play maker,ball handler, for twelve years!

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What I like about this President / GM Combo is that they have plenty of experience and some gravitas amongst their peers and hopefully even if we don't make the top of the mountain soon, as a fan base it would be great to have a good front office in place for an extended period of years. And hopefully that can come with a period of sustained success instead of small blips like in the past. We may luck into something huge again, but the only way it will sustain is with a steady base.

I know the success of this group is pretty tenuous I just don't want us to bottom out with no plan to get better. At this point anyway, because I think it would just look pretty silly right now?

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I think it is pretty clear that this team needs an identity. We're the only team in the playoffs this year without a clear star: (1) Lakers - Lebron/AD and Bucks - Giannis, (2) Clippers - Kahwi/PG  and Raptors - Lowry, (3) Nuggets - Murray/Jokic and Celtics - Tatum/Kemba, (4) Rockets - Harden/Westbrook and Pacers - Dipo/Warren, (5) Thunder - CP3 and Heat - Butler/Bam, (6) Jazz - Mitchell and Sixers - Simmons/Embiid, (7) Mavericks - Doncic/Porzingis and Nets - KD/Kyrie/Lavert, (8) Portland - Lillard/McCollum and Magic -- Vuc??

I think the teams that are left either have an supernatural star talent on their team (Lakers) or they're willing to play team basketball (Heat/Celtics) or they have a solid star big/guard combo (Nuggets). If the Magic want to turn this team around, we need to get away from this identity of making every single player on our team a 6'9 guy who has incredible reach and has been known to play defense but we will develop his offense...our development sucks and it has sucked for YEARS, there is a reason players leave and automatically get better (Howard is really the only one who got worse in recent history). 

Fultz is gaining his confidence back. I think he's going to be a great floor general (like a Goran Dragic) but will never be your #1 guy. Vuc has had flashes but he is what he is. I think he has maybe 2-3 good years left, so I don't think we can build around him. Gordon continues to improve and I understand he's our best trade asset but I don't want to see him go to another team and make a jump in effectiveness like Oladipo did. I think we can build around him as our #2 guy. I would love to believe that Isaac is our future #1 guy because the offensive game was getting there and defense was lethal. However, I'm afraid he's going to be Brandon Roy or Greg Oden. You see the talent but can never really see it come to fruition because of injuries. I really hope I'm wrong because I like JI a lot. Fournier just needs to go. I understand he's been big for us in moments, but he's never going to rise to be a Khris Middleton or Jimmy Butler like we need him to be. He will forever remain in the company of Bogdonavic or Buddy Hield (except at least Buddy has upside because of his youth).

Outside of those guys, I think the rest of our team can be traded or cut. I want Ross because I think he's a leader and provides a great spark off the bench. I think Iwundu has shown promise but I don't know how else he'll advance other than being a 7-8th man off the bench. I don't think we can hope too much for Bamba until he puts on more muscle. We need him to be more Jokic and less Gobert. DJ has had a great run here but I think it's time we move on. MCW is a great role player and I'm fine with him on the team, if he's okay knowing he's a third string PG/SG. Ennis is fine but he isn't a starter for a playoff team. He's your 7th guy. I don't think Aminu needs to be on the team. He's also too injury prone and doesn't give us much more than Iwundu or Ennis. If we're keeping Birch, then we need to trade Bamba. If we're keeping Bamba, then we need to trade Birch. Cut/Trade Frazier and Clark. 

In a world of small ball, we can't keep selling the fans on "rebuilding" if we're going to continue to invest in PFs and Cs. 

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12 hours ago, hootie249 said:

  Sorry this whole post is wrong, it sounds like hoping you get lucky then making it happen.There is  a small chances right now that Chuma,Fultz and Isaac are stars, because of what's already taken place. Now what you said can happen but to hoping it happens is different that what the Heat have done.

Pat Riley has even said he didn't expect Bam Adebayo to be this good of a player. Theres some luck right there. 

You don't think there's any luck involved in picking up a guy as a UFA who averaged 9PPG in college and him being one of the best movement shooters on the planet? 

You don't think there's any luck involved in Dwayne Wade having a locker next to Butler in Chicago, and that during the course of their conversations it impressed Butler and then he had such a bad time culture wise at his next two teams that he remembered their conversation and wanted to play for the Heat? 

You don't think there's any luck in the fact that Jusuf Nurkic got injured meaning Portland needed a center which enabled Miami to trade Hassan Whiteside's terrible contract in order to make room for Butler? 

You don't think there's any luck that a 34 year old Goran Dragic is playing the best basketball of his entire career in the playoffs of a season during which he barely even started? 

Why is the chance Chuma Okeke is a star any less than the chance Bam Adebayo was a star? They were both selected with picks in the teens and we've not even seen him play yet. (And to be clear I'm not saying he is or will be a star but you can't act like it was inevitable Bam was a star but there's slim chance Okeke is a star when they were a similar calibre of prospect) 

Miami 'made it happen' in the sense that they cleared cap room to sign Jimmy Butler. But let's not pretend that they didn't have a hell of a lot of luck to get to that point. Pat Riley is a great executive but he's not a god. 

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5 hours ago, TrueBlueDrew said:

I think it is pretty clear that this team needs an identity. We're the only team in the playoffs this year without a clear star: (1) Lakers - Lebron/AD and Bucks - Giannis, (2) Clippers - Kahwi/PG  and Raptors - Lowry, (3) Nuggets - Murray/Jokic and Celtics - Tatum/Kemba, (4) Rockets - Harden/Westbrook and Pacers - Dipo/Warren, (5) Thunder - CP3 and Heat - Butler/Bam, (6) Jazz - Mitchell and Sixers - Simmons/Embiid, (7) Mavericks - Doncic/Porzingis and Nets - KD/Kyrie/Lavert, (8) Portland - Lillard/McCollum and Magic -- Vuc??

I think the teams that are left either have an supernatural star talent on their team (Lakers) or they're willing to play team basketball (Heat/Celtics) or they have a solid star big/guard combo (Nuggets). If the Magic want to turn this team around, we need to get away from this identity of making every single player on our team a 6'9 guy who has incredible reach and has been known to play defense but we will develop his offense...our development sucks and it has sucked for YEARS, there is a reason players leave and automatically get better (Howard is really the only one who got worse in recent history). 

Fultz is gaining his confidence back. I think he's going to be a great floor general (like a Goran Dragic) but will never be your #1 guy. Vuc has had flashes but he is what he is. I think he has maybe 2-3 good years left, so I don't think we can build around him. Gordon continues to improve and I understand he's our best trade asset but I don't want to see him go to another team and make a jump in effectiveness like Oladipo did. I think we can build around him as our #2 guy. I would love to believe that Isaac is our future #1 guy because the offensive game was getting there and defense was lethal. However, I'm afraid he's going to be Brandon Roy or Greg Oden. You see the talent but can never really see it come to fruition because of injuries. I really hope I'm wrong because I like JI a lot. Fournier just needs to go. I understand he's been big for us in moments, but he's never going to rise to be a Khris Middleton or Jimmy Butler like we need him to be. He will forever remain in the company of Bogdonavic or Buddy Hield (except at least Buddy has upside because of his youth).

Outside of those guys, I think the rest of our team can be traded or cut. I want Ross because I think he's a leader and provides a great spark off the bench. I think Iwundu has shown promise but I don't know how else he'll advance other than being a 7-8th man off the bench. I don't think we can hope too much for Bamba until he puts on more muscle. We need him to be more Jokic and less Gobert. DJ has had a great run here but I think it's time we move on. MCW is a great role player and I'm fine with him on the team, if he's okay knowing he's a third string PG/SG. Ennis is fine but he isn't a starter for a playoff team. He's your 7th guy. I don't think Aminu needs to be on the team. He's also too injury prone and doesn't give us much more than Iwundu or Ennis. If we're keeping Birch, then we need to trade Bamba. If we're keeping Bamba, then we need to trade Birch. Cut/Trade Frazier and Clark. 

In a world of small ball, we can't keep selling the fans on "rebuilding" if we're going to continue to invest in PFs and Cs. 

I agree with the general sentiment of a lot of this post but just a couple of things:

Buddy Hield is about 100 days younger than Evan Fournier. He's not young, he entered the league at 24.

Bamba is never going to be anything like Jokic. And nobody else in the league is anything like Jokic really. Honestly Vuc is one of the closest guys out there in terms of a 7 footer who can shoot, post up and pass. (Though he's not nearly as good a passer on the move and he can't handle nearly as well). But I think it's a mistake to look at Jokic and think 'all Centers need to be like that' teams win in so many different ways and trying to copy Jokic who is a legit 1 of 1 player is only going to end badly. 

Aminu isn't really injury prone. This is the worst injury he's ever had. Before this season he averaged like 74 games a season. I get why you'd want him gone but I don't think 18 games is a long enough time to evaluate him. There's every chance he'll be a solid player next year and an asset moving forward. 

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5 hours ago, CTMagicUK said:

Pat Riley ... Theres some luck right there. 

 

There's always a small % of (good or bad) luck in everything we do in life, but you also have to help that luck.

Bam was a risk, but they've scouted him. Same for Herro and all the undrafted players they recently found.

Having Butler next to Wade in CHI was maybe luck, but the turning point was the reputation that Miami had and has, and that's something they've created, not luck.

We can talk about that how much as we want, we can find all those little details, but at the end of the day, Miami is the team that as a certain kind of mentality, with a certain kind of coach, and they always play a tough, aggressive, and modern style at the same time (shooters). They've a FO that could have been a little lucky, but has made some bold moves and searched for that luck. 10 years ago, they created that cap space and the opportunity to sign LBJ+Wade+Bosh

On the other side of Florida, with the same weather and tax advantage, we have a FO that is evaluating the same team year after year, we have a terrible cap situation without having made any bold move, we have a good and enjoyable coach that isn't just good enough at this level (not ready to adapt to what is working in the actual NBA), we have a team that is basically soft even if it's based on defensive long-arm players (being defensive oriented doesn't imply that you're also tough).

 

I really don't see the point that a "middling team is only ever a couple of smart moves from being a contender", there are a ton of middling team every year but only a few became a contender. You need to be a middling team AND have that kind of reputation, AND have made all those little smart moves that helps you when it matters, AND being proactive and bold when it's needed. We aren't that team/organization right now IMO, as much as we want to be optimistic about our future.

 

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35 minutes ago, Luke_FfS said:

There's always a small % of (good or bad) luck in everything we do in life, but you also have to help that luck.

Bam was a risk, but they've scouted him. Same for Herro and all the undrafted players they recently found.

Having Butler next to Wade in CHI was maybe luck, but the turning point was the reputation that Miami had and has, and that's something they've created, not luck.

We can talk about that how much as we want, we can find all those little details, but at the end of the day, Miami is the team that as a certain kind of mentality, with a certain kind of coach, and they always play a tough, aggressive, and modern style at the same time (shooters). They've a FO that could have been a little lucky, but has made some bold moves and searched for that luck. 10 years ago, they created that cap space and the opportunity to sign LBJ+Wade+Bosh

On the other side of Florida, with the same weather and tax advantage, we have a FO that is evaluating the same team year after year, we have a terrible cap situation without having made any bold move, we have a good and enjoyable coach that isn't just good enough at this level (not ready to adapt to what is working in the actual NBA), we have a team that is basically soft even if it's based on defensive long-arm players (being defensive oriented doesn't imply that you're also tough).

 

I really don't see the point that a "middling team is only ever a couple of smart moves from being a contender", there are a ton of middling team every year but only a few became a contender. You need to be a middling team AND have that kind of reputation, AND have made all those little smart moves that helps you when it matters, AND being proactive and bold when it's needed. We aren't that team/organization right now IMO, as much as we want to be optimistic about our future.

 

Sure. But process doesn't always equal results. Miami isn't finding a Duncan Robinson every off-season. They're not drafting a Bam every off-season either. Pat Riley has been doing this for years so he's built the track record. This front office we have here might be doing the right things but not getting the results down to luck or injuries or whatever. We don't know that they're not working the phones incredibly hard every off-season for aggressive moves that fail to materialize or that teams pull out of. It seems like I'm in the minority on this board but to me the default position should be to not make moves. Making a move has to have a reason and outcome that you deem preferable to your current situation. Not making a move isn't a sign of weakness. In fact I think, from all the criticism they've gotten, it's pretty brave to stand pat.

We can't judge this front office by the work of previous front offices either. The history of the organisation and it's standing around the league compared to Miami and anyone really isn't really something Weltman could control before he was hired. I think he's made some ground up there by putting out a playoff team, showing loyalty to some of our free agents, backing Markelle, etc.

Personally I think we are making smart small moves. The trades we acquired Jerian Grant and Jarell Martin, the MCW pickup, the Khem Birch signing. As much as it got roasted at the time the "the draft flattened out" trade worked out well. I think there are signs of making smart little moves.

Who's to say we won't be proactive and bold when the time is right? Just because some fans think the time is right (without possibly knowing what's available on the trade market) doesn't mean the front office does. But that doesn't mean they won't hesitate to do it.

I understand I'm definitely not in the majority on this. And I understand the skepticism, after-all, if there's no evidence to point to it's hard to say you can and will do something, but this is a long term project and 3 years isn't a huge sample size for judging these kinds of things. Saying that though it's a result based job, if process is good but results are bad eventually you get fired. So we'll see what happens.

There was an article on bleacher report a while back with quotes from unnamed league sources about the Magic's rebuild and I'll always remember two entirely contrasting quotes, one was a rival exec that said "they've really only done the bare minimum to rebuild" and I can't remember who the other one was attributed to but it was something like "I think Jeff and John have a plan and we'll see it pay off soon." And I mention it to say I think a lot of people on the board are in that first camp whereas I, possibly out of blind optimism I'm aware, am in the second camp. 

 

 

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What can I say... I really hope you're right for the love we all have for our beloved team. :)

Even if I disagree on some points, yours are all valid and I really enjoy discussing that way.

Just one note: I don't think that I've judged that FO for the reputation that the previous ones had. Obviously they haven't been in place for 10+ years like the Miami ones, so I agree that is a long term thing. At the same time, even only judging what they've made in those 3 seasons, I just can't help myself to be skeptical. Hope I'm completely wrong, obviously.

 

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