One issue dominated the Orlando Magic's 2012 offseason once the team hired a new general manager and a new coach. Above all else, team officials needed to determine what they were going to do with disgruntled all-star center Dwight Howard.
No single decision of that magnitude looms over the Magic this offseason.
Here's a look at some of the key decisions that must be made in the weeks and months ahead.
The Magic will emerge from the May 21 draft lottery with a top-four pick in the draft on June 27.
The Magic also will have the 51st overall pick.
This draft class is widely considered to be a weak one. No single player has been labeled by consensus as a perennial future all-star such as 2011 top overall pick Kyrie Irving and 2012 top overall pick Anthony Davis were when they were selected.
That said, it's critical for the Magic to make the most of their draft opportunity — to select a player who has the best long-range potential to be an all-star.
The San Antonio Spurs, for example, built their nucleus through the draft. Although Tim Duncan was the obvious choice to be selected first overall in 1997, the Spurs scouted well and made wise choices by picking Manu Ginobili late in the second round in 1999 and Tony Parker late in the first round in 2001.
DeQuan Jones' future
Undrafted last summer from the University of Miami, the 6-foot-8 wing man Jones made strides during his rookie season. He's one of the three most athletic players on Orlando's roster.
But he'll be a free agent on July 1.
The Magic can mark him as a restricted free agent if they make him a qualifying offer of $990,000 between the final game of the NBA Finals and June 30.
If Jones accepts a qualifying offer, he'd have a guaranteed contract for the upcoming season worth $990,000. But if Jones doesn't accept a qualifying offer, he would become a restricted free agent, which would give the Magic the right to match any offer sheet Jones receives in free agency.
If the Magic don't make Jones a qualifying offer, he would become an unrestricted free agent, and the Magic wouldn't have the right of first refusal.
E'Twaun Moore's future
Moore, a combo guard who started 21 games for Orlando this past season, is under contract for 2013-14. But his deal, worth about $885,000 for that season, is fully unguaranteed if the team waives him before July 1.
Moore's fate with the Magic might depend on the team's draft picks. If the team selects a guard in the first round, Moore's chances of remaining in Orlando likely will decrease.
Kyle O'Quinn's future
As a rookie in 2012-13, O'Quinn averaged 4.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, showed a better-than-expected midrange jumper and played with an occasional mean streak that the Magic need. Magic coaches also love his locker-room presence because he is positive by nature and has a strong work ethic.
O'Quinn's contract calls for him to earn about $800,000 next season, but his salary is fully unguaranteed if the Magic waive him before the season-opener.
It's difficult to envision the Magic waiving him.
The younger veterans
Wing Arron Afflalo, power forward Glen Davis and point guard Jameer Nelson have said they want to return, but each of them would have some value on the trade market, especially for contending teams. The Magic could consider offers for them if those offers would bring young players with significant upside to Orlando.
Second- and third-year players such as Nik Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and
For now, it would do no harm for general manager Rob Hennigan to at least listen to offers for any player on his roster.
"We'll always look at ways to improve the team," Hennigan said. "I don't necessarily use that phrase 'untouchable.' It's more about identifying: Where do we want to go? How do we want to get there? And who fits into that puzzle?"
The older veterans
Forwards Al Harrington and Hedo Turkoglu said they don't expect the Magic to keep them beyond this offseason.
Harrington is due $7.15 million in 2013-14 and $7.6 million in 2014-15, but his salaries in those seasons are only half-guaranteed. So if the Magic waive him this summer, the team would owe him about $3.6 million for 2013-14 and $3.8 million for 2014-15.
The Magic love Harrington's professionalism, but at 33 years old he doesn't fit into their long-term plans. The team likely will try to trade him before they waive him.
Turkoglu, 34, is due to earn $12 million in 2013-14, but only half of that salary is guaranteed. Turkoglu has minimal trade value, and if the team can't find a taker for him by the draft, the team likely will waive him.
The Magic probably won't make any significant signings in free agency. Players signed with the midlevel exception typically are average players or slightly above-average players who are best fits for contending teams that need to shore up problem areas. Given where Orlando is in its rebuilding process, it seems certain the team won't use the midlevel exception.