LY W-L: 20-62
Key Additions: Victor Oladipo and Jason Maxiell
Key Departures: Al Harrington
Analysis: It’s now overlooked, but just over four years ago the Magic were competing with the Lakers for an NBA championship. Fast forward to today, and the current squad in Orlando is quietly in a rebuilding stage. The Magic have 10 players on their roster who have played 2 years or less.
Despite that their 2012-2013 regular season campaign was generally awful, the Magic have a lot of youthful pieces that can develop in the coming years. Drafting Victor Oladipo strengthens the shooting guard slot and shores up their perimeter defense. Tobias Harris is a dynamic scorer, who averaged 19.8 points and 9.8 rebounds in the last eight games of the season. Moe Harkless doesn’t do one thing exceptional, but does a bit of rebounding, scoring, and defending. Harkless took on the assignment of guarding the opponent’s best perimeter player in the second half of the season, and did quite well at it. It may take some grooming, but Oladipo and Harkless could grow into the league’s best young perimeter defense duos.
Nikola Vucevic quietly had one of the best seasons for a center, averaging 13.1 points and nearly 12 rebounds. To complement Vucevic in the front-court are power forwards Andrew Nicholson and the newly acquired Jason Maxiell. Both could see more minutes presuming Glen Davis’ readiness.
Jason Maxiell said he is looking forward to mentoring the younger players on Orlando’s roster. It is always important to have veteran voices in the locker room. Maxiell, who averaged 6.9 points and 5.7 rebounds last season with Detroit, can help the development of the young guys.
(Projected) 2013-2014 W-L: 23-59
Orlando is a player for a top five in next year’s draft. I do not anticipate the Magic improving their overall record much this coming season. They are in a mix of tanking and reconstructing. Orlando still needs a lot of help in the rim protecting and scoring department. Even if Orlando is a punching bag all season, which they most likely will, the key for head coach Jacque Vaughn is to maximize the potential of his younger players for the time ahead.
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