The Orlando Magic are on the right path to being successful like they were in the 90s with Shaq and Penny. They believe they found their point guard in a trade with Philly to bring Markelle Fultz to Orlando. Fultz has been having a very slow start to his career due to the change of his shot tactics that evidently […]
The Orlando Magic are on the right path to being successful like they were in the 90s with Shaq and Penny. They believe they found their point guard in a trade with Philly to bring Markelle Fultz to Orlando. Fultz has been having a very slow start to his career due to the change of his shot tactics that evidently led to shoulder injuries and to a broken shot. The team hopes to fix his shot during the course of the offseason and during the regular season.
Fultz has a pretty good company around, especially when it comes to young talent. Aaron Gordon who is a high flyer and is slowly becoming an all-star, Mo Bamba who is back for his second year and has added muscle to him to make him a better big man, and Nikola who is coming off an All-Star type season and is looking to improve and make his way back to the All-Star game. This is another very young team in an East that isn’t as powerful as the West and a team that has a lot of potential to make his way back to the playoffs but as a lower seed than last year.
Josh Magette *Two-Way
Markelle was brought in to be the starter for this team and I believe that’ll stay true when the regular season starts, even though he didn’t get that opportunity with the sixers due to having Ben Simmons on the team and him being a dominant force from the get-go. Fultz gets the opportunity to play his style of basketball that we all enjoyed watching during his time in Washington. D.J. and Michael have had solid careers so far and are still trying to find their identity. Michael was a force at Syracuse and is looking to get back to that level. Both of them will be backing up Fultz during the year, although I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them is on the floor with him to give their backcourt a little bit more speed up and down the floor. Frazier is coming back for his second year, and with the team being young as it is, it gives him a chance to have a little bit more playing time than it would if he was on a team with a team that had a talented point guard. Magette is going to be a two-way player with the G-League this year so we will see him more down there than in the NBA to start.
Fournier will be the starter for this team for he brings a great presence and length for his position. With his size, he’s able to not only guard the shooting guard position but also the small forward position. This also gives him an advantage on the offensive end of the floor as well, with the right matchup he can be dominant the ball inside and out. Davis and Jeffries are rookies this year and like I said before, with the team being one of the youngest in the league it gives younger players the opportunity to solidify themselves as the next man up with a little bit more playing time than usual.
Amile Jefferson *Two-Way
Terrance Ross, I believe, will be starting with Aminu as his back up. Aminu is coming from Portland who had a great winning culture but really couldn’t get over the hump to finally win a championship. Bringing a veteran presence like himself from a team like that is very smart on the organization’s part because it allows him to show the young players the ropes on how to get significantly far in the playoffs. Jefferson is another two-way player that’ll spend most of his time in the G-League to try and develop a little bit more before truly being on the bench and potentially being a starter.
Gordon and Isaac are two high flyers that also if the time is right and they play a specific team can play both the power forward and center position to give their team a much quicker lineup. Both are still in the beginning stages of their careers, which gives them a little bit more time to develop a better game for themselves. We already know they can play defense spread the floor and give the crowd insane put backs and ally-oops, but seeing them develop a jump shot from 10 feet out would be a significant improvement to their game. Vic is a rookie this year that has to sit behind great talent, hopefully, he can gain some experience on the court this year.
Bamba and Nikola will be the two main guys at the center position for this team. Nikola coming off his first NBA All-Star season is expected to pick up right where he left off and improve a little bit more. Mo is coming in for his second season expecting to be a more dominant shot-blocker and rebound. If this happens, it would be very hard to drive the paint with not only him but also Gordon being a high jumper as well. Birch and Humphries are still young like Mo and are looking to improve as well going into the third and second years.
Steve Clifford is coming back for his second year and is hoping to bring more improvements this year compared to last. He led his young core to the NBA playoffs for the first time in six years, just losing to the Toronto Raptors. This gave not only the team but the fans and organization a glimpse of what’s to come in the future, especially if they keep the young players they have together for an extended period of time.
Predicted Starting Lineup/Roster Cuts
Sixth Man:Jonathon Isaac
Rest of the Bench:Al-Farouq Aminu, D.J. Augustin, Mo Bamba, Khem Birch, Michael Carter-Williams, Melvin Frazier, Jon Davis, Chuma Okeke
Overall this is a roster that can make it back to the playoffs and know what to expect when getting there. They also have a chance of being a lower seed and could get home-court advantage. I do believe they are missing at least one more piece before they can truly call themselves a championship-caliber team, so hopefully by the trade deadline than they can find their guy to help them make some noise in the playoffs.