Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE

The Orlando Magic Will Still Draw Free Agents

Former Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy keeps making the rounds.

He spoke with the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Bianchi, voicing his opinion on a “naive” Alex Martins, Dwight Howard and many other things.

Many have questioned the way Orlando has continued to lose superstar after superstar (Shaquille O’Neal, Anfernee Hardaway, Tracy McGrady, Dwight Howard…) and have wondered if it will affect the Magic and their pursuit of free agents in 2014 and ’15.

Van Gundy doesn’t think it will.

“I think they can lure free agents,” Van Gundy said. “Look, free agency comes down to the money, first of all. It comes down to the money. This isn’t a college recruiting situation, though that a lot of times comes down to money, too. But this is (about) money. So if you’ve got more money than somebody else, you’re going to get the guy.

The Magic with their commitment to winning (they spend a lot of money), weather and no state income tax have always been a free agent destination. They just haven’t had money to chase any free agents over the last few years. Back in 2007, the Magic signed Rashard Lewis, who was considered the top available player on the market. In 2000, the Magic famously signed Grant Hill and Tracy McGrady (and narrowly missed out on Tim Duncan).

Of course, Van Gundy’s comments about money will always ring true and in 2014 (or ’15 if they decide to wait), the Magic will have as much money to spend as anyone.

The theory that the Magic can’t draw free agents just isn’t true.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN Florida’s Magic Insider ( and is the co-host of the Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him onTwitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here)

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