The Orlando Magic have put together a somewhat interesting team. They’re a bit of a dark horse to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, but that’ll depend on their health heading into next season.
Coach Steve Clifford has some nice weapons on his roster, but they’ve struggled to stay healthy. Still, this team has a lot of upside and could mess around and become one of the toughest defensive teams in the league.
With a roster full of promising players but still, without a true starting point guard, it’s kind of hard to predict how this team will fare next year. But, how will they line up to start the season? Let’s break it down:
Bench: Michael Carter-Williams, Markelle Fultz, Terrence Ross, Wesley Iwundu, Al-Farouq Aminu, Mo Bamba, Khem Birch
Point Guard: D.J. Augustin
D.J. Augustin has earned his money by being a backup point guard for most of his career. He’s a great offensive spark off the bench and a streaky scorer that can get hot as fast as he gets ice cold.
Hence, it’s kind of hard to trust him with the starting playmaker duties, but the job is his to lose unless Michael Carter-Williams breaks out all of the sudden or Markelle Fultz is able to play basketball again.
Shooting Guard: Evan Fournier
Evan Fournier established himself as the Orlando Magic’s second scoring choice over the last couple of seasons, and while he’s not particularly great at any aspect of the game, he’s more than capable of helping check some boxes on the stat sheet.
He can run some point, grab some boards, score from all three levels and has improved as an on-ball defender over the last couple of years. He’s not a superstar but is more than capable of handling the load for them.
Small Forward: Aaron Gordon
Coach Steve Clifford claimed Aaron Gordon has been putting a lot of work on his jump shot this year, so he may be in for a breakout season if he stays healthy.
Gordon is an athletic freak that can bully his way to the rim against bigger opposition, but that’s not going to get the job done is he’s bound to play the three. He still has superstar potential, though.
Power Forward: Jonathan Isaac
Jonathan Isaac has shown nothing but flashes of his potential so far, but he’s still pretty young and might be nowhere near his ceiling. He needs to put a lot of work in on the offensive end, but he’s got the tools to be one of the league’s top-tier defenders.
Isaac is very long and can guard multiple spots. He’s a limited finisher and subpar shooter but makes up for it with top-notch athleticism. Also, he does great reads to anticipate passing lanes and fights hard between screens to stay in front of his guy like a food stamp.
Center: Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic was playing for a contract last year and now that he got paid, there may be a bit of a regression from his All-Star campaign. Also, he doesn’t have much pressure on his shoulders unless Mo Bamba starts living up to the hype.
Vucevic is a walking double-double and Coach Clifford was able to maximize his potential last season, even adding the three-point shot to his offensive repertoire. He still struggles in the post against more physical big men, though.