NBC Sports’ Dan Feldman is grading every team’s offseason based on where the team stands now relative to its position entering the offseason. A ‘C’ means a team is in similar standing, with notches up or down from there.
After locking into an expensive and stuck-in-the-middle team last offseason, the Magic… remain an expensive and stuck-in-the-middle team.
If Orlando has any mobility, it’s downward. Jonathan Isaac – the Magic’s brightest rising star – is out for the season. Al-Farouq Aminu and Mo Bamba are also sidelined. Orlando let its best point guard, D.J. Augustin, leave for the Bucks and replaced him with No. 15 pick Cole Anthony. While Anthony was a fine pick, rookie point guards nearly always struggle to contribute to winning.
This just looks like a lesser version of the team that won 48% of its games the last two seasons and lost 4-1 in the first round both years.
The Magic could definitely make the play-in tournament.¯(ツ)/¯
Isaac’s injury invited Orlando to take a step back this season. But the Magic didn’t do anything bold. Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic remain on the roster. This veteran team is too talented, too professional and too well-coached to tank far.
Orlando mostly just picked around the margins. The Magic re-signed Michael Carter-Williams, James Ennis and Gary Clark and signed Dwayne Bacon. Wes Iwundu left for the Mavericks.
Maybe Markelle Fultz, given more responsibility sans Augustin, will make a leap. Maybe Anthony, once the top player in his class, will be a steal. Maybe Orlando will move Gordon or Fournier before the trade deadline.
But I’m not counting on any of that.
The Magic just keep ambling in mediocrity.