What the Orlando Magic Need to Do Before the 2021 NBA Season Gets Underway
The Magic limped into the NBA Playoffs after posting a 33-40 record during the regular season. A quick elimination in the first round ensured that Steve Clifford and his crew have a long way to go before they’re considered a sincere contender.
Let’s hone in on the Orlando Magic’s biggest needs and figure out how they can expedite the process.
Add a Legitimate 20-Point Scorer
Nikola Vucevic is a nice player, but he isn’t enough to carry the load offensively. Evan Fournier did a decent job dropping buckets during the season, but his disappearance in the playoffs (12.8 ppg on 35.1% shooting) proves my theory.
Orlando needs to add a guy who can create his shot and contribute 20 points per night.
Terrance Ross shouldn’t be counted on as anything more than a nice piece off the bench, and we can’t wait an eternity for Markelle Fultz to fully develop his offensive game.
How does GM John Hammond go about luring in a bonafide stud?
A trade package involving Aaron Gordon might be a good place to start.
In need of a major facelift in the backcourt, perhaps Orlando should hire Daryl Morey to work his magic. The former Rockets GM has an affinity for scoring guards who push the tempo and could probably spice up this roster.
Either way, a rotation that includes D.J. Augustin and Michael Carter-Williams playing significant minutes needs to be enhanced.
This can be done via trade or free agency, or it can be done during the upcoming draft.
Orlando owns the 15th pick and would be wise to spend it on one of the many talented guard prospects. Killian Hayes and Tyrese Haliburton will probably be gone by the 15th selection, but the Magic could have a realistic shot at nabbing Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey.
In a perfect world, Orlando is able to upgrade their backcourt by signing a coveted free agent. Fred VanVleet seems like a reach, but Goran Dragic or Jordan Clarkson could be attainable.
Signing a veteran point guard would open the door for the Magic to target arguably the best shooter in the 2020 Draft.
Aaron Nesmith could provide an instant boost from beyond the arc after connecting on over 51% of his three-point attempts last season. Meanwhile, Orlando clocked in 25th in the NBA in team three-point % in 2019-20.
With Jonathan Isaac shelved for the entire 2020-21 campaign, Orlando appears to be in no man’s land.
They aren’t good enough to make any real noise in the Eastern Conference, but they’re too far along their rebuild to simply throw in the towel and start tanking.
We saw Miami go from missing the playoffs to appearing in the NBA Finals from one year to the next, so it’s not completely out of the realm to think Orlando could dramatically improve. However, the Heat were able to acquire Jimmy Butler and hit a home run with Tyler Herro.
What will John Hammond do to fill the Orlando Magic’s biggest needs?
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