Magic need to repeat. Uh, what?

Club should also try to trade some veterans

The Magic will finish with either the worst — or second-to-worst — record in the NBA.

The big question: Can they repeat?

If losing as much (or preferably even more) isn't in next season's game-plan, then GM Rob Hennigan needs to attend a town hall meeting of Magic season-ticket holders.

Hennigan would have to explain what 2012-13 was all about, especially after the club decided to trade Ryan Anderson and J.J. Redick; sit vets Hedo Turkoglu and Al Harrington; and allow a few starters to take forever to recover from injuries.

No, I'm sure Hennigan will stay the course.

There's just no way a team can address the subject of tanking. A GM can't comment on the process of subtly positioning his club to lose games to increase his team's chances of winning the lottery.

While the 2013 draft is apparently ordinary, the 2014 draft could deliver two franchise stars, Mssrs. Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, players who might change your future the way Dwight Howard changed Orlando's.

So to be in the running for Wiggins and Parker, the Magic must keep, uh, developing youngsters next season. And they must try to trade veterans with pricey contracts this summer — such as Glen Davis, Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson — who will only help them win more games than they really need to win.

The idea is to construct a fascinating failure with an accent on a stellar future.

This is a good thing — or could be.

And it's the way to execute the rebuilding trifecta: embrace the lottery, create salary-cap room, sign free agents.

With Davis, Afflalo and Nelson returning — and staying relatively healthy — the Magic should win at least 30 games. No sense to win 30 or more when that doesn't give you a crack at Wiggins or Parker.

Orlando, lest we forget, was 12-13 and No. 6 defensively with Davis in the lineup the first 25 games.

The Magic have still won only eight more games after being throttled by the Celtics on Saturday night, sinking to 20-60.

Davis sustained a season-ending foot injury Feb. 1 and missed the remaining 37 games. Afflalo and Nelson also missed time.

Dealing Davis, Afflalo and Nelson — at least one of them — for expiring contracts would help the cap-room cause. None of them makes more than $8 million a season. Only Afflalo has a fairly lengthy deal (through 2015-16).

Afflalo might be the easiest player to move. He's a solid and aggressive shooting guard. Davis, who has matured and is coming off his best season, could provide a perimeter-oriented team a reasonably priced inside presence. Nelson's annual $8 million salary is likely too rich for most clubs.

The emergence of power forward Tobias Harris ($1.5 million next season) also gives the Magic motivation to move Big Baby.

Davis said he might appreciate being traded if he had not won a championship ring as a member of the 2008 Celtics.

"That feeling when you feel like you got to have [a championship], that sense of urgency, I don't have that feeling," he said. "I've seen it [as a key back-up in Boston], but being a main part of a team that's successful is also a great feeling, too."

Davis told me he'd prefer to remain in Orlando and shepherd the youthful rebuild.

"I'm good with the overall goal, of being a part of something greater than myself," he said. "I've already won a championship. Now it's time to experience the journey, the growth of it. It's sweeter then when you do win."

But for the Magic to win in the end, the journey includes lots of losing still.

Forget the Heat. The Magic need to repeat.

bschmitz@tribune.com.

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