The Orlando Magic made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2012, thus ending the third longest playoff drought in the entire NBA. Magic fans have to be encouraged by the immediate improve the team showed under head coach Steve Clifford and will look to see if the franchise can continue on its upward trajectory. A lot of their success came as result of the stellar play of Nikola Vucevic, who earned his first all-star game appearance after posting 20.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game during his 8th NBA season. His production also resulted in him getting a four-year $100 million deal do stay with the organization and remain as the face of the franchise at least for the time being.
|Point Guard PG|
|Shooting Guard SG|
|Small Forward SF|
|Power Forward PF|
|Point Guard PG|
|Shooting Guard SG||
|Small Forward SF||
|Power Forward PF||
Along with Vucevic, the Magic will also be bringing back a very similar roster situation compared to what they had during last year’s breakthrough with the only notable offseason acquisition coming when they signed veteran forward Al-Farouq Aminu to a three-year deal. Aaron Gordon, considered one of the better young prospects in the league, actually saw a drop off in his scoring compared to the previous season. However, the improvement in his shooting percentages across the board suggest that he may be due to have a breakout year. Scoring wings Terrence Ross and Evan Fournier will be brought back into the fold after each averaging more than 15 points per game a season ago, and their contributions on the offensive end will play a critical role in how high the ceiling is for this team.
There is also plenty of young talent on this roster that could begin to blossom after another year of NBA experience under their belt. Jonathan Isaac took a big step forward during his sophomore season, and his advanced metrics suggest that he can produce even more if given the opportunity. It will be interesting to see how Mo Bamba is utilized this season after missing a majority of last year due to injury. Bamba is certainly a unique prospect whose size and length will make him an immediate factor on defense around the rim, but it remains to be seen how much playing time he will get coming off the bench behind Vucevic.
Perhaps the biggest question on the roster lies at the point guard position. DJ Augustin did a serviceable job running the offense last season, but perhaps Orlando will look at other options with Augustin set to become an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming season. The Magic took a flyer on Markelle Fultz by acquiring from Philadelphia, but the status of his health and his game are still questionable at best. If the Magic begin looking like a threat to make the playoffs again, don’t be surprised if they look to the trade market to try and provide some additional strength at the position.