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How Good Is the Orlando Magic Roster for 2020-21?
Orlando is fighting an uphill battle if they plan on making any noise in the East. The roster lacks a genuine superstar, Mo Bamba is yet to materialize in the post, and there’s minimal depth at the wing positions.
Let’s call a spade a spade, not a gardening tool. The Orlando Magic roster is insufficient when you compare it to others in the league.
No offense to Dwayne Bacon, but if he’s the most impactful addition to a team that finished 8th in the conference, Steve Clifford and company could be in trouble.
Orlando Magic Roster in 2020-21
- Key Additions: Dwayne Bacon, Cole Anthony
- Key Losses: D.J. Augustin
Jonathan Isaac suffering a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee in August, put a major dent in the Magic’s plan at the small forward position. Instead of rolling with Isaac – a 6’11” budding two-way player who won’t be ready until 2021-22 – it’ll likely be a platoon of Dwayne Bacon and James Ennis.
With that being said, Terrence Ross will be relied upon to provide “instant offense” off the bench and will likely occupy a chunk of minutes at the “3.” Despite not starting a single game over the last two seasons for the Magic, Ross has contributed 14.9 ppg.
- PG – Markelle Fultz
- SG – Evan Fournier
- SF – Dwayne Bacon
- PF – Aaron Gordon
- C – Nikola Vucevic
- Evan Fournier is coming off of his most productive season as a professional (18.5 ppg, 39.9% three-point shooting)
- Chuma Okeke makes his debut. The 6’8” 230-pound power forward from Auburn was the 16th-pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, although he likely would have selected much higher had he not torn his ACL in the NCAA Tournament. ESPN’s Mike Schmitz thought Okeke was the steal of last year’s draft.
Orlando Magic’s Best Player – Nikola Vucevic
Inked into the middle of the Magic lineup until the end of 2023, Nikola Vucevic is one of the best players in the league that nobody seems to talk about. Over the last eight years suiting up in Orlando, the 7’0” center has averaged 17.1 points and 10.7 rebounds (per game). He’s also shot over 50% from the floor and over 75% from the charity stripe.
As far as the trajectory the 30-year-old Montenegrin is on, he’s tallied 20.3 ppg and 11.5 rbg during the last two seasons.
There are certainly some issues regarding the state of the Orlando Magic roster, however, the play of their center isn’t one of them.
The X-Factor – Markelle Fultz
The trials and tribulations of the former #1 pick of the 2017 Draft have been well documented. The process of trying to reinvent his shooting stroke after sustaining injuries to his shoulder hasn’t been easy, but here’s the good news.
There appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Take a look at the strides Fultz made across the board from 2018-19 in Philly compared to last season in Orlando.
Markelle made a total of four three-pointers in two seasons in Philadelphia. He made 36 last year in Orlando, and most importantly, is gaining confidence about his progression.
Final Assessment of the Orlando Magic Roster
Aaron Gordon is a name that will be speculated in trades, but for now, he’s a guy the Orlando Magic coaching staff is depending on to be a consistent performer. The flashy dunker has taken steps back in back-to-back years after looking like an All-Star in 2018.
Cole Anthony is an exciting point guard out of UNC who will help anchor the second unit, and perhaps Michael Carter-Williams is due for a resurgence. Nevertheless, an analysis of the Orlando Magic roster leaves me wondering if it’s any better than the collection of players in Washington or Charlotte.