In a cloud of controversy, rumors, and displeasure regarding Dwight Howard’s Orlando future, Otis Smith can do something to slightly alleviate it. Obviously, a move to get Chris Paul or Deron Williams would remove all bad feelings that are encircling Amway Center.
There is another transaction that will be a lot easier to make and please at least one grouping of Central Florida sports fans. Bringing former UCF star and area native Jermaine Taylor home to play for the Magic would be a great story.
Taylor was all set to sign with the Houston Rockets this week, but failed his physical. Still, it has been reported that he is mostly healed from an ankle injury he suffered and that the Rockets plan to sign him in two weeks.
However, due to the three-team trade of Chris Paul that fell through, there is no guarantee that Taylor would head back to the Lonestar State. UCF’s all-time leading scorer in the Division 1 era was poised to become a major asset in Houston with Kevin Martin and possibly Courtney Lee heading to New Orleans.
With the opening, Smith and the Magic should swoop in and pick up the man who was once the second most popular basketball player in Orlando to Howard. They have already seen Taylor shine on their home court.
Last February while with the Sacramento Kings, he had 21 points on 9-12 shooting in a Kings victory.
In the past, Taylor’s Twitter has been inundated with fans wanting him to return to Orlando. For some reason his jersey is not yet retired by UCF, but he stands as the greatest player in Knights’ history.
Yes, the Magic has a logjam at shooting guard right now with J.J. Redick, Jason Richardson, and Larry Hughes. However, not many expect Hughes to even make the team.
Also, Redick and/or Richardson could easily be traded to contenders if Howard is sent packing in the next couple of months.
What does that leave you with? Not a lot of players the fans can connect with and a lack of scoring options. Taylor could provide both. The Tavares native has proven in his two-year tenure in the NBA that if you give him the minutes he will respond with buckets.
So if you’re listening Otis Smith, you might not need Jermaine Taylor now, but he may become the number one fan favorite in Orlando in a couple of months.