State of the Southeast Division: Orlando Magic


The final team to look at in the Southeast Division would be the Orlando Magic. The Magic are still feeling the effects of the Dwight Howard trade, and the franchise has not returned to the playoffs since. They have been building piece by piece to get a team together that could challenge the rest of the division.

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The first piece was probably Nikola Vucevic. The center gave the Magic a presence down low. Building the rest of the team has really been an exercise of putting people around Vucevic. Trades also brought in Tobias Harris, a small forward who had been buried on the bench with the Milwaukee Bucks. However most of the team building the Magic has done the last three years has been through the draft.

That started with Victor Oladipo. The do it all guard from Indiana moved into the shooting guard spot and will not likely give it up any time soon. He might be the most complete weapon that the Magic have right now.

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  • His running mate was drafted last year in the form of Elfrid Payton. Payton turned out to be undervalued and played his way onto the NBA All-Rookie team. He brings energy and defense to the young back court.

    The next big piece for the Magic may be scoring forward Mario Hezonja. Hezonja will be there to fill up the basket from off the bench this season for the Magic.

    How close are the Magic to putting everything together? They finished 25-57 last year. They lost forward Kyle O’Quinn to the Knicks in free agency. They may still be a piece or two away from making the jump. A 33 win season is not out of the question, but all the teams around them are simply better than they are right now.

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    Projected Starting Lineup

    C Nikola Vucevic
    PF Channing Frye
    SF Tobias Harris
    SG Victor Oladipo
    PG Elfrid Payton

    Key Bench – F Aaron Gordon, F Mario Hezonja, G CJ Watson, G Evan Fournier

    Next: Future of the Charlotte Hornets