Structure Change

(AJ Mast/AP)

If Orlando is going to vault past both Detroit and Boston, it's pretty much a consensus opinion that they will have to make a personnel move. This proposed move for a player who's rumored to be on the market would completely shake up the current structure of the Magic, and would be a major risk/reward type of deal that could define Otis Smith's tenure as Orlando general manager.

Orlando sends guards Keyon Dooling and Carlos Arroyo, along with forwards Hedo Turkoglu, Tony Battie, and Pat Garrity to Indiana for guard Travis Diener and forward Jermaine O'Neal.

Player breakdown:
Keyon Dooling is a solid contributor for the Magic. He's athletic, is one of the team's better defenders, and has made a difference in several games this year. He has a nice contract at nearly $3.6 million, and averages better than 8 ppg. in just 18 minutes, hits his free throws (86.3%), and can play an up tempo game.

Carlos Arroyo has played better this year than last, but he's not a starting caliber point guard in the NBA. Arroyo's shooting is inconsistent, his defense is nonexistent, and he makes crunch time mistakes all too often. Arroyo can play well in spots, but he can't be counted upon over the long term. Arroyo earns a salary of $4 million.

Hedo Turkoglu has had a career year in 2007-2008, and is second on the team in scoring, rebounding, and assists. Turkoglu is a clutch shooter who is playing at a near All-Star level. Turkoglu is an above average defender who will fill up the stat sheet on most nights. His base salary of a little over $6.3 million is a bargain for any team.

Tony Battie underwent rotator cuff surgery prior to the beginning of the season and will likely miss the entire year. When healthy, Battie is a solid big body who can defend in the post, but nothing more than a depth player at this point in his career. Battie's salary is $5.2 million.

Pat Garrity is at the twilight of his career and is nothing more than a salary dump at this point. Pat can shoot from the outside and shoot well from the free throw line, but he's a complete defensive liability. Garrity earns better than $3.8 million.

Travis Diener is a small, backup point guard who can shoot from the outside. Magic fans are familiar with his work, as he played the first two years of his three-year career in Orlando. Diener is averaging 6 ppg. in just 15 minutes. Diener has a base salary of $1.5 million.

Jermaine O'Neal is an All-Star caliber talent at the power forward/center position. O'Neal has post moves and a jump shot that's consistent from 18' on in. He is a solid free throw shooter, good defender, and a go-to-guy at the end of ball games. O'Neal earns nearly $20 million in base salary.

Why would the Magic make this move?
Good frontcourt help doesn't come cheap, and O'Neal is one of the best big men in the league. With him added to the roster, Orlando would have someone to match up with Rasheed Wallace and Kevin Garnett. Rashard Lewis would also be able to return to his more natural small forward position.

Why would the Pacers make this move?
Indiana has been rumored to be shopping O'Neal for quite a while now, and they would get a solid player in return with Hedo Turkoglu, as well as some expiring contracts. O'Neal can opt out of his remaining 2 years and approximately $43 million worth of contract after this season and Indiana would have at least got something in return for him.

Why wouldn't the Magic make this move?
Orlando would have to get some kind of contract commitment from O'Neal that he would be here longer than four months. They would also lose arguably their best player for a guy who's currently on the shelf until after the All-Star break with a knee injury.

Why wouldn't Indiana make this move?
They are basically giving up one of the game's best big men for a player in Turkoglu who may fit their system better, but they already have (Mike Dunleavy).

Will it happen?
Not extremely likely. It's a solid deal for both teams if, and only if O'Neal is healthy and willing to stay in Orlando. While the Magic are waiting for Jermaine to recover, they lose Turkoglu and that could lead to losing games.


Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of MagicIllustrated.com, and a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports.com, Sirius Radio, MySpace Sports and Sportsillustrated.com. Charlie is also a columnist for the New Smyrna Observer. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.


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