Jameer Nelson is out for the season. What now?
OPTION ONE: FREE AGENCY There are some decent unemployed point guards out there. And I'm not talking about Stephon Marbury. Smush Parker is a guy who created some buzz about joining the Magic this offseason, before Anthony Johnson was signed. Smush is an incredibly flawed player - he's a scoring point guard who can't score - but he's probably the best free-agent option available. Magic legend Darrell Armstrong lives in Orlando and doesn't have a job, but I don't see the Magic acquiring Armstrong to complete the oldest point guard duo in league history. And there are plenty of former NCAA Tournament stars out there: Michigan State's Mateen Cleaves, Gonzaga's Dan Dickau, and Syracuse's Gerry McNamara. But none of them will help the Magic. Likelihood: 35 percent OPTION TWO: TRADE Baron Davis, Nate Robinson, Leandroa Barbosa, Andre Miller, Monta Ellis. All of these point guards could be available in a trade. None of which the Magic will be trading for. The Magic aren't going to trade any of their stars (i.e. Hedo) for a point guard, and they don't want a major point-guard competition once Nelson comes back. So please, don't throw out these ridiculous trade scenarios involving other team's star point guards. And you can throw out Jamaal Tinsley or any other point guard with a history of being a cancer. Otis Smith will never go for a character risk, especially with how close this team is. I could see the Magic pursuing Oklahoma City's Earl Watson. Watson isn't the greatest talent out there, but he can hit open 3-pointers and he won't turn it over. He'd be a great backup to Nelson, and his contract expires next season. If the Magic offer something like JJ Redick/Keith Bogans and Brian Cook for Earl Watson and DJ White, I could see this trade happening. Another guy to watch for is Kirk Hinrich, who is wasting away in Chicago ever since the Bulls drafted Derrick Rose. Hinrich was an up-and-coming star a couple years ago, but his game plateaued and he's a borderline starter at this point. Hinrich can play defense and he can shoot - he's probably the best fit for the Magic. The Bulls' management loves Hinrich, though, and it might take a bit much to acquire him. Plus, the Bulls need help in the frontcourt, and the Magic don't have much to offer as far as big men go. Marcin Gortat, maybe? Brian Cook? Other trades names that have surfaced are Bobby Jackson, Jason Williams and Raymond Felton. Likelihood: 60 percent OPTION THREE: STICK WITH WHAT THEY'VE GOT If the Magic are serious about winning a title this season, this won't be their move. Despite how much scrutiny he gets, Anthony Johnson is a solid backup point guard for the Magic - but the key word is backup. The Magic are a different team when AJ is running the show. And by different I mean worse. Courtney Lee isn't ready to handle back-up point guard duties. Hedo can take the ball up, but the primary issue is on defense. The Magic are in the elite of the league - along with the Celtics, Cavs and Lakers - and they like being there. If they want to stay in that echelon, they have to do something. Your move, Otis. Likelihood: 5 percent
There's a good chance - like, a 99 percent chance - that Jameer Nelson will miss the rest of the season after tearing his right labrum in his shoulder on Monday night. So, the Magic now have some choices to make. Do they hit free agency? Do they use one of their assets (Redick and/or Bogans, who they were originally going to use to acquire a backup power forward) to trade for a point guard? Or do they ride with Anthony Johnson, Courtney Lee and point-forward Hedo Turkoglu? Let's discuss.