If the season ends as planned, the Orlando Magic will finish last in the Southeast Division for the third season in a row. The Magic have been one of the laughingstocks of the NBA since Dwight Howard was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2012. Thanks to Nikola Vucevic, the Magic won that trade. Since Orlando is a good, not great free agent destination, they thrive off draft picks. They have drafted young studs like Elfrid Payton, Aaron Gordon, and Victor Oladipo since Howard was traded. Nikola Vucevic is a double-double machine who is durable that no one is talking about. The Magic are entering the offseason with Tobias Harris already telling the team he will not return next season. There is a huge hole at power forward and depth at center and point guard. Lets see who could be in Orlando next season.
Khris Middleton is young and so are the Magic. He stands out on the court with his shut down defense and ability to make the big shot. He has stepped up after the injury to Jabari Parker. Teams like players who enjoy stepping up when others go down. Middleton has kept the Bucks in playoff contention. Playoff experience goes a long way. The Magic need someone who knows how to make big shots and win bigger games.
The Magic desperately need a back up point guard. Cole has been playing much better since joining the New Orleans Pelicans. In New Orleans, Cole is averaging 10.5 points with his best shooting percentages of the season. He is the only true point guard on the Pelicans roster and has taken the responsibility. Elfrid Payton is going to need a break, and Cole is the perfect backup.
At the age of 24, Greg Monroe is a borderline All-Star. He is averaging 16 points and 10 rebounds on a Detroit Pistons team that isn’t producing wins. His value is so large on the free agent market his chances of returning to Detroit are slim. The Magic need a four and he is one of the best fours on the market. I believe he could be the final piece of the puzzle to build a scary starting lineup.
Karl Anthony Towns:
Karl Anthony Towns can take over a game on both sides of the court. He is a rebounding and shot blocking machine who can score if left alone. Reminds me of Nikola Vucevic who he would be playing next to if in Orlando. This keeps Aaron Gordon at the three. Towns has face of the franchise potential which Orlando desperately needs. Towns plays best next to another big man, so Nikola Vucevic would make the rebuilding process easier.
Justice Winslow is fast and athletic. He has a high basketball IQ and has learned from Coach K, the greatest college basketball coach in recent history. He can score all over the court which would help immediately against the Magic. His confidence is currently high after winning the National Championship. If Winslow goes to the Magic he will play the three and Aaron Gordon would move to the four. The NBA is transitioning to small ball which makes Winslow an interesting pick.
WHO??????. Kristaps Porzingis is the best prospect no one has heard about. No one knows him because he is currently playing in Latvia. He is 7’1” who can shoot the mid range and spot up behind the arc. The only thing is that he is only 220 pounds. To be a power forward in the NBA his weight needs to skyrocket. He is a project with a lot of potential. Teams need to wait and the Magic have the time.
The Magic have had a tough time winning over the past few seasons and that kills confidence for young players. They have done a good job in the draft and this upcoming draft is huge. With all of these young players, it takes time to build chemistry to finally become contenders. The Atlanta Hawks and San Antonio Spurs show why depth is important. The Magic need to draft well and sign depth to become contenders again.