Orlando Magic Rebuild Headed in the Right Direction
Since new GM Rob Hennigan joined the Magic in 2012, there’s been massive changes for a franchise that only 5 years ago was competing for an NBA Championship.
At first glance they appear like any other team at the bottom of the standings: a flawed unit with no recognizable players and an arena filled with uncertain fans wondering when the team will turn things around.
However, when you delve deeper into this new brand of Magic basketball, you begin to see the true direction of the team and the surprising number of positives you can take away from a squad owning a 19-48 record.
For starters, look at the amount of young promising talent management has brought in.
Guys like Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic and Maurice Harkless may not be considered household names to the average NBA fan, but their production so far has shown that they have the potential to develop into high quality players down the line.
Take Vucevic, who during the Dwight Howard trade, was considered nothing more than a throw-in. Since joining the Magic the 23 year old big man has become a walking double-double machine averaging 14.1 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1 block this season.
Another success story for Orlando has been rookie Victor Oladipo, averaging close to 14 points a game and 4 assists in 32 minutes, proving to critics he can thrive as a floor general after playing strictly shooting guard in college.
The best part about this young nucleus is they’re surrounded by veterans looking to compete and improve every night.
Arron Afflalo knows the Magic are out of the playoff hunt this year, but still continually preaches building chemistry and trying to secure as many wins as possible even with only 15 games remaining in the season.
“My goal is to get as many wins as possible and grow individually with my teammates…When you have a group of guys who want to grow and build together, chemistry is probably the most important thing. On and off the floor I think this team has been doing a pretty good job with it.”
If the Magic continue to grow as a group and stockpile young talent like they have been, there’s no doubt this team can rebound and become elite in the Eastern Conference once again.
Follow Evan Caulfield on Twitter @fieldhoops