Magic's big splash in free agency raises big questions

Originally Published: July 3, 2007
By John Hollinger | ESPN Insider
Go early or go late.

When it comes to free agency, it seems that's the best way to win. Successful teams either jump right in with both feet and make the best offer to the top guy on their list, or hang tight until mid-August and start picking off the leftovers at below-market prices.

Monday, we had a big winner in the "go early" department. Orlando raised eyebrows around the league by agreeing with Rashard Lewis on a max contract that could end up being worth roughly $80 million over five years depending on what the league's new salary cap number is (that figure will be determined July 11).

Here's where it gets really interesting: Not only are the Magic going to pay Lewis the maximum salary, they're also effectively giving up on Darko Milicic to make the deal. The only way the Magic can fit a maximum deal under the salary cap is by renouncing their rights to Milicic, making him an unrestricted free agent.

But first things first. Let's deal with the big questions from this signing one by one and then work our way down to its impacts:


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