The goal this season is to develop the teams young stars like Victor Oladipo. He is mostly known for his intaginbles, high motor and a terrific defensive player, but with a lot of flaws on offense. This will be the ideal time for him to develop his offensive game without any pressure. The Magic will be happy just to see him take the time to improve without any real pressure.
Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic are players that will part of the Magics plans for many years to come. Vucevic was one of the biggest surprises in the league last season, as even though he had shown some positive signs at Philadelphia, he was never given the opportunity to develop on the Sixers, who got rid of him in a terrible decision for the Sixers franchise, who is now stuck with Kwame Brown and Spencer Hawes at the Center position. Vucevic had some incredible rebounding numbers in some games, but the most impressive games were his two performances against the Miami Heat, where he had 20 points on 9-17 FG and 29 rebounds in December and then 25 points and 21 rebounds while shooting 11-16 FG! He is just 22 years old and he will have a great opportunity this season to keep developing his game.
Tobias Harris, Maurice Harkless and Andrew Nicholson are three young players that have a more limited upside. All these players had a lot of playing time at the end of the past season, something that allowed them to pad their numbers, especially Tobias Harris who scored 19.8 points and grabbed 9.8 rebounds per game in eight games in April! Of course Harris got these numbers with a low efficiency (44% FG), while showing zero effort on defense! The organization is ready to give a lot of playing time to these players once again this season, as they didn’t add any proven players to the roster in the offseason. Therefore, these three players will have a golden opportunity to keep developing without the pressure of needing to win games. Let’s see how they will take this opportunity.
Glenn Davis, Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo are veterans that were part of competitive teams in the past. Nelson had some injury problems last season by missing 26 games while having his worst season of his career shooting wise: 39.2% FG! He focused on being a more pass-first PG and so, he had a career high of 7.4 assists per game! Regarding Afflalo, after three excellent seasons in Denver, he had a natural down season efficiency wise, as he went from a role player on Denver’s offense into a primary shooter in Orlando, so the Magic’s opponents were more focused on guarding him than when he was with the Nuggets. Afflalo will definitely be involved in a lot of trade rumors near the trade deadline and with him being on his prime right now, he would definitely be a nice piece for any contender team near postseason.
Just like it happened last season, Head Coach Jacques Vaughn will have as his main task to develop the young players in the roster. Turning Oladipo into the Rookie of the Year this season would be a nice challenge for Vaughn, while the rest of the team has no conditions whatsoever to be competitive this season.