For three weeks, the Orlando Sentinel is going through the
alphabetically, evaluating players, as well as coach
and General Manager
, and assigning them grades for 2010-11.
Years as Magic GM
: Signed through 2012-13.
: Smith is liked and respected in the locker room because he's willing to listen to his players' concerns while also being honest with them. He maintains a sound relationship with the team's captains,
, and those relationships help the team's chemistry overall. He's not afraid to pull the trigger on a blockbuster move, something Magic fans should appreciate even if his moves haven't always worked out.
: Beginning with last year's draft, one could make the argument that every one of Smith's moves was unsuccessful. His first-round selection in last year's draft,
, never played (although he did receive some bad luck with a left knee injury). Smith's two free-agent signings, forward
, were disappointments. Smith dealt
and his mammoth contract for a hobbled
and an even worse contract, a move that's received much criticism from around the league. And the team's December trade with the
, in which the Magic acquired
, wasn't enough to get the Magic out of the first round.
: The Magic, under Smith's direction, are stuck with the league's second-largest payroll, an aging roster and few valuable trade assets with Howard's 2012 free-agency looming. While the Magic are still talented, it will take some nifty maneuvering for Smith to get the team back into
contention. Magic owner
continues to give Smith a bottomless pool of money to play with, but the team's ownership will want some better results from their financial commitment.