• Russell Schmidt

NBA Future Power Rankings 14. Orlando Magic


*Photo via USA Today

The Orlando Magic finished their third consecutive, Dwight Howard-less season, with 25 wins or less. Their sustained incompetence has led to a wealth of lottery selections. New head coach, Scott Skiles, will now be tasked with developing a losing roster into a playoff contending one. If the Orlando roller coaster stays on track, the Magic will be a formidable playoff team in the coming seasons.

After the Dwightmare was over, Orlando woke up with skilled center Nikola Vucevic. Part of the rebuild post Howard was a trade in which swingman Tobias Harris was acquired for fan favorite J.J. Redick. Vucevic is now a double-double machine (19 & 11) and Harris has a similar game to Carmelo Anthony. Not bad company. Harris was re-signed this offseason and will continue to grow with former first rounders Aaron Gordon and 2015 USA Basketball camp invitees, Victor Oladipo and Elfrid Payton.

Joining this already talented squad will be 2015 first round pick, Mario Hezonja, who is a highlight waiting to happen. Orlando also solidified the backup point guard role by signing C.J. Watson, who adds veteran leadership along with on court production. Rob Hennigan and the Orlando front office have done an excellent job acquiring assets and still keeping their draft picks. In fact, Orlando will likely receive an additional first rounder and up to three second rounders in the next five seasons.

*Photo via AP

Even with an abundance of possible future stars, the Magic do have their flaws. On paper Orlando has a lockdown defensive team on the perimeter, but with Vucevic manning the paint, they lack a true rim protector and their team defense has suffered. Offensively, shooting is a glaring weakness, but with so many unpolished players taking up a bulk of the minutes, one could assume shooting will improve with time.

Orlando has the cap space to make a big time splash in the coming summers that could accelerate their rebuild. As a team in need of a superstar, the Magic may throw out huge deals with free Disney World passes to get their alpha. Luckily for them, will all of the young talent already assembled, their alpha may already be in an Orlando Magic uniform.

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Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com, NBA.com, ESPN.com

Salary cap and contract information courtesy of Spotrac.com, Hoopshype.com, Basketballinsiders.com

Future draft commitments and rosters information courtesy of RealGM.com

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