The Hail Mary: Elfrid throws it deep…to Kristaps Porzingis in the end zone?!?
What if the rebuilding efforts between the Knicks and the Magic were pitted against one another in a game of football?
You’re the Orlando Magic; you’ve been counted out before, but never like this. New York, as in, the never-endingly distraught Knickerbockers, has somehow rebuilt their mellow, self-proclaimed super team quicker than Henny executed his southern process. Simply by drafting the prize-unicorn, Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks have a preferable roster. Whether its to “save or lose his job”, or business as usual for Phil Jackson, the Zinger is somehow available on the open market, according to a recent woj-bomb.
Somehow, the bumbling triangles are technically one step ahead of the Magic in the rebuilding process, again just from featuring Kristaps on paper. Until now, the Knicks have nailed a draft pick; theoretically scoring a quick touchdown over Orlando in the first half of this metaphorical rebuilding football game. Through three and a half quarters, the Magic have simply played the Knicks to a tie; drafting defensive misfits who fit together like square pegs in a triangle hole, Orlando holds New York to a staggeringly close 6–0 lead heading into the final two minutes of the game. The Magic, revamped with a bouncy, small-ball squad after an expiring-salvaging, asset-retaining based trade, begin their last drive at the 20-yard line.
Never believed in, the Magic core players felt something was left to vindicate for this rebuild effort, that it wasn’t all for naught. Elfrid #Floptop💂🏾 Payton, quarterback out of THE University of Louisiana Laffayette, throws the two-minute goggles on and goes to work; hitting T-Flight for a post-corner and twenty-three yards before finding #AirGordon🛫 for another deep bomb on a seventeen-yard drag route across the middle of the field; the Magic call their last timeout. With twelve seconds on the clock and the ball lined up forty yards from the goal-line, the odds were once again not favoring Orlando; after six years of rebuilding, the Magic still had a “worse” roster when compared to the Knicks, simply because of one super-prospect, the Zinger. Elfrid and crew were running out of luck, until… PHIL JACKSON SWAPS KRISTAPS FOR TWO “STARTERS”, A TOP-8 DRAFT PICK, & A LEMON-LIME GATORADE COOLER JUST BEFORE THE FINAL PLAY OF THE GAME!
Elfrid calls the huddle. Kristaps looks confused, befuddled both with his short time in New York and this sudden change of sidelines at such a crucial time in the game. Phil Jackson must really give no fricks, yearning for a clean slate to build his roster from scratch. #PaperMario💸 slaps Porzingis, waking him out of his daze as the time-out slowly comes to an end. Hezonja demands the ball, but Elfrid points his #FlopTop💂🏾 to the endzone, inclining his teammates to all just go deep. Vuc snaps the ball, Elfrid drops five steps, dodges a D-rose arm-tackle, spins away from an ankle-broken Carmelo Anthony, and finds himself alone fifteen yards to the right of the pocket he started out in. Guess who’s running wide-open into the end-zone?
Kristaps Porzingis stands alone, holding the ball above his head, nearly eleven feet off of the ground. He awaits his posse of new teammates now swarming towards him, thanking his new fans and teammates at the top of his lungs. Why would Phil Jackson restart his rebuild after nailing a pick? No one is sure, but the Knicks have done crazier things in the past. New York retains a pair of locked-up assets, two young players in Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic, who are both arguably worth their respective chearper-than-market deals. Throw in the sixth overall pick, along with the eighth pick New York already has, and the 2018 Knicks could suddenly be starting Dennis Smith Jr., Evan Fournier, Carmelo, Jonathan Isaac, and Nikola Vucevic next season! The Magic, on the other hand, turn back the clock on the big picture while adding some veteran presence. The Magic would keep the 25th, 33rd, and 35th picks, giving the front office a few chances to find a sleeper or three; now featuring a starting lineup of Elfrid, Ross, Mario, AG, and Porzingis, Orlando’s young pieces would all be in place. The Magic’s new pair of J’s would have $5M less to spend in cap room, but they would have their core ready for the future and prospects who could work their way in immediately. Perhaps Bismack could be flipped to balance the rotation, such as in a swap around Allen Crabbe from Portland or Ricky Rubio and G. Dieng from the Timberwolves.
There’s no shortcut taken, and the Magic would finally have a true building block to build a vision around. Giving up on two “starters” in Fournier and Vucevic, along with a potential franchise-changing pick in #6, is a tough pill to swallow for the front-office and fans alike, especially seeing as Orlando would also have to chew on the remaining three years in the contracts of injury-prone Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee to do so. Kristaps is simply worth it, he’s better than any options at #6, with a higher chance to become one of the few legitimate franchise cornerstones in the association. Porzingis is 7'3" and plays the “rim-protector and fast break trailing-three maker” role to a tee; he might be the most unique young player in the NBA today. Trading for a player like Zinger, at such a young age, still on his rookie deal, is practically unheard of. The Magic have to start building around someone, why not choose the unicorn?