The Orlando Magic performed a little house cleaning this off-season. They spent a portion of last season clearing some of their starters in favor of clearing some cap space. Most of this space was used to lock-in Aaron Gordon to a long-term contract he was deserving of. The team made it known that Gordon would be a name that would carry the organization and put the team back on the map. The Magic also found themselves slotted within the lottery of this year's draft, using their 6th overall selection to take Mohamed Bamba. Bamba is a lengthy player that offers a skill set of a true center within the league. The team will slow his development as the back seat will be taken in favor of keeping Nikola Vucevic at the starting center position. Slowing the development of younger players is a characteristic of a rebuilding franchise, so there really is no surprise surrounding this disposition. The rest of the roles are filled by guys who will build off their performance in 2017-18. Guys like D.J. Augustin, Evan Fournier, and Jonathon Simmons won't have to switch their roles, allowing periods for these players to refine areas of their game that are often overlooked.
|Point Guard PG|
|Shooting Guard SG|
|Small Forward SF|
|Power Forward PF|
|Point Guard PG||
|Shooting Guard SG||
|Small Forward SF||
|Power Forward PF||
A: One of the major question marks surrounding the status of Bamba was his conditioning levels. Short spurts of play marked the instances when Bamba was effective. Prolonged minutes and heavy court time reduced his effectiveness in the paint and limited his defensive prowess. This will be something the team uses their strength and conditioning staff to rework. Keeping him on the bench during these developmental periods will only strengthen the prospect of his success within the league.
A: It is hard to dislike a player that gives full-term effort each time he is on the court. Gordon has played leader in most statistical categories for the team, so the payday was well deserved. The team reduced the passing option Gordon favored in year's past, so that might create for additional ball-handling opportunities for the Arizona product.
A: The team chose to part ways with Elfrid Payton late last season. It was a move that offered the team little returning, leaving a head scratcher for fans of the Magic. Payton was trending towards a natural scorer role, which may have played a part in helping this transition. Jerian Grant and D.J. Augustin are both viable options for the position, but neither offer that long-term support needed to center a franchise rebuild around. These two might just be playing filler roles until the management finds that talent they like through scouting opportunities or upcoming draft classes.