Two key names for the Orlando Magic this season are Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. Both are not part of the Magic roster.
After the Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard fiasco— both number one picks in the NBA Draft and both left via free agency on not-so-good terms—the Magic is hell-bent in getting that top pick again. The NBA lottery will ultimately decide Orlando’s position in the 2014 NBA Draft but the franchise has done enough (or not enough) to get maximum ping pong balls at the end of the season.
NBA: Preseason-Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks
Orlando picked Victor Oladipo as the 2nd overall pick of the 2013 NBA Draft. The 6-foot-4 combo guard out of Indiana is expected to be one of the faces of the franchise now and in the future.
The Magic also signed veteran forward Jason Maxiell and third-string point guard Ronnie Price in the off season. Both off-season signings have virtually zero or minimal impact in the greater scheme of things although the former adds a semblance of veteran leadership for the bigs and will teach them a thing or two about toughness.
Aside from those new acquisitions, the Magic did nothing else to improve the off season. This means two very important things for Orlando. First, develop Oladipo and other young guys and give them maximum floor burn in the 2013-2014 NBA season. Second, up the value of the old guys and try to trade them during the season or let their contracts at the end of their respective deals.
2013-2014 Orlando Magic Projected Depth Chart
PG – Jameer Nelson/E'Twaun Moore/Ronnie Price
SG – Aaron Afflalo/Victor Oladipo/Doron Lamb
SF – Maurice Harkless/Hedo Turkoglu
PF – Tobias Harris/Andrew Nicholson/Jason Maxiell/Glen Davis
C- Nikola Vucevic/Kyle O'Quinn
3 Players Why You’ll Tolerate Tanking in Orlando
1. Oladipo! - After his good run with the Hoosiers, Oladipo was compared to a Tony Allen on defense and a potential Russell Westbrook on offense. He's an athletic, fearless slasher who has a great nose for the ball. Here are some Oladipo highlights with Indiana:
He already showed he can execute some of those moves in the pre-season games and has had effective numbers so far. Through seven pre-season games, he has average of 14.4 points and 5.0 assists per game. But he still has lots of work with taking care of the ball with 3.4 turnovers per outing.
Oladipo is expected to come off the bench initially for the Magic but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he supplants one of Jameer Nelson or Aaron Afflalo in the starting guard spots. If Nelson and Afflalo get major minutes, it’s because they are upping their value so they can trade both or one of them by trade deadline.
2. Vucevic! - The 7-foot Swiss center was the surprise acquisition in the 2011 trade involving Dwight Howard. Only 22, Vucevic showed great improvements in just his second year in the NBA with averages of 13.1 PPG, 9.RPG and 1.0 BPG in 77 games for the Magic.
3. Tobias! – Acquired in a mid-season trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, Harris has been another surprise for the Magic last season. He's on a cheap deal for just around $1.63 million this season and Orlando has a team option on his contract ($2.51 million) in the 2014-2015 season. Not bad a deal considering his numbers in the 2012-2013 NBA season: 17.3 PPG, 8.5 RPG and 2.1 APG.
Fearless Forecast: 25-57 win-loss record but not enough to be the worst in the East, or maybe even the entire league. Oladipo will lead the squad to some early wins and will win the NBA Rookie of the Year award. He’ll also create great chemistry with his center Vucevic that NBA fans will anoint them the biggest dynamic (small-big) duo in the next five years.
Other 2013-2014 NBA Teams Previews:
Phoenix Suns | Cleveland Cavaliers | Washington Wizards | Charlotte Bobcats | Philadelphia 76ers | Orlando Magic | Dallas Mavericks | Los Angeles Lakers | Chicago Bulls | Brooklyn Nets | Houston Rockets
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