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Orlando Is Building A Squad To Beat The Heat

By 07.15.10

Lost amongst all of the Sports Illustrated covers, ESPY interviews and polls proclaiming the Heat to be nothing short of sensational, the best team in Florida could still be the Orlando Magic. For them, this summer was more about curtailing roster losses and keeping their core together. With two straight trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, Dwight Howard & Co. have the foundation to contend for years.

Earlier this summer, they signed Quentin Richardson away from the rival Heat for three years (with an option on the fourth). He will possibly replace last year’s starter at the small forward spot, Matt Barnes, because it was reported GM Otis Smith wasn’t too happy with how Barnes aired out his business all over Twitter.

Chris Duhon was also brought in to replace former backup point guard Jason Williams.

Backup guard J.J. Redick signed a three-year, $20 million offer sheet with Chicago last week, possibly damaging the Magic’s depth for next season. But, Smith and the rest of the Orlando front office aren’t ready to lose him just yet.

The News-Herald is saying:

“Sources say the Magic will match the offer sheet signed by swingman J.J. Redick with the Bulls,” he wrote. “The Magic might explore possibly trading forward Mickael Pietrus if Redick returns.”

If the Bulls lose out on Redick, they could target Ronnie Brewer or Roger Mason next.

Redick proved himself over the past few playoff runs, especially this year against the Boston Celtics when many thought he was outplaying the man starting at the two spot, Vince Carter. And Orlando is showing they are willing to go deep into the luxury tax in order to keep their stranglehold on the Southeast Division.

But is $20 million too much for a spot-duty player like Redick?

What do you think?

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

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TOPICS#DWIGHT HOWARD
TAGSCHRIS DUHONDimeMagJ.J. RedickMATT BARNESMickael PietrusORLANDO MAGICOTIS SMITHQuentin RichardsonROGER MASONRonnie BrewerVINCE CARTER

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