When the Magic sent Marcin Gortat to Phoenix in their mega-deals last weekend, they found themselves supremely short on big men. They’re forced to trot out lineups with Brandon Bass at center and against huge teams, that’s simply not going to work. They found success against the Celtics Saturday because even with Jermaine O’Neal back, in total, the Celtics’ center rotation is still injured and old. But other teams may be able to exploit that come playoff time. So the word has been out that they’re looking for another move to acquire a center.
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe suggests that Charlotte PF/C Boris Diaw may be what they’re looking for, and the Cats are looking to offer him:
Also, look for the Bobcats to try to gain cap relief by offering Boris Diaw to Orlando for the expiring contract of Jason Richardson, a former Bobcat. Diaw has a player option for $9 million next season, while Richardson’s $14.4 million comes off the books.
The Magic have enough filler contracts to make the match work, but the question is why they would do this deal? Richardson was the best asset they pulled from the deals they made. Even as Gilbert Arenas looked great against the Spurs and Hedo Turkoglu was a huge reason they beat the Celtics, Richardson is the best player they acquired in their trades, and can be a difference maker. Trading him would be a major step back for the Magic, even if they improve their frontcourt depth.
And that step back is magnified with the fact that Diaw is not a physical presence, has lost some of his athleticism, and cannot be counted on to perform consistently. He’s not physically dominating, nor is he an enforcer, Kendrick-Perkins type down low. This move would be suicide should the Magic go through with it. But they are facing a problem at center, and they will address it before the playoffs come.
Fast times at Epcot Center these days.