Additional Orlando Magic Info
The Orlando Magic were one of the NBA’s expansion teams of the 1980’s, when the league was looking to branch out into new markets that nobody had ever really considered before for a basketball team. The Magic were founded in 1989, and have had some moderate success already. The Magic have won their division five times- 1995, 1996, 2008, 2009, and 2010. They have also won the Eastern Conference twice- 1995, and 2009. After missing the playoffs in each of their first four seasons of existence, the Magic made the playoffs in eight of the next ten seasons. A 21-61 finish though in the 2003-2004 season led them to drafting Dwight Howard number one overall. Howard led the Magic back to success in the late 2000’s before being traded in the Summer of 2012.
The Magic entered a rebuilding phase the moment they traded Howard and are actually farther along in their rebuild than some of their current rebuilding counterparts. The Magic currently sit at 21-43, and seven games back of the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. Now nobody expects them to make a run, but still, they aren’t technically “out of it” yet. In the 2013 NBA draft the Magic selected Victor Oladipo with the second overall selection. In 2014 they selected Aaron Gordon with the fourth overall selection. Both appear to be good choices and the Magic, maybe as soon as next season, will make the playoffs again.
The Orlando Magic did a bit worse than expected in their 2015-2016 season. The Magic hoped to contend for a playoff spot. They finished the season with a record of 35-47, nowhere near the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Magic have added a ton of young talent in recent years, and they entered the off-season believing that they simply needed to let that young talent grow and get better. Other than re-signing Evan Fournier, they had a very quiet offseason. So far this season, they are off to a start that was expected of them. To this point in the season, the Magic have a record of 15-18, one game off the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.
It seems as if the Orlando Magic have been stuck in the second gear since Dwight Howard left town after the 2012 season. The team has tried numerous roster combinations, none of which has gotten them anywhere. Last season, they finished the year with the second-worst record overall in the Eastern Conference. So what did they do to try to move the needle upward? At this time, the team has not done very much to improve their chances.
One solid change was to fire head coach Frank Vogel and replace him with Steve Clifford. Clifford came from the Charlotte Hornets coaching staff. For the draft, the Magic sat still, hanging on to their lone first round draft choice and using it to acquire center Mohammed Bamba from Texas, a player who many thought had the highest ceiling of any player in this draft. Their lone free agent signing was to nab reserve guard Isaiah Briscoe. They made one trade, a three-team deal, trading center Bismack Biyombo and their next two second round draft choices, acquiring center Timofey Mosgov. The team truly believes that it was their head coach, not the roster build, that is responsible for their woes, we will see if they are right.
After being stuck in the bottom third of the league for many, many years, the Orlando Magic found their way out of that cycle a year ago, finishing 42-40, making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, which means they found their way back into the playoffs for the first time since Dwight Howard was in town. They faced off against the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors, who bounced them in five games. Still, much to be proud of a year ago for this team.
In the draft, the Magic held the 16th overall selection, which they used to add Auburn sophomore power forward Chuma Okeke to a talented roster. In free agency they added power forward Al-Farouq Aminu as well. This Magic roster has a lot of talent on it already though that is only getting better. Their top pick from a year ago, center Mo Bamba, should improve this season. Another young talent is 21-year-old point guard Markelle Fultz. Their best player is 24-year-old power forward Aaron Gordon, who averaged 15.2 points per game a year ago to go along with 7.2 rebounds. The arrow is pointing up right now for the Magic.