As the Orlando Magic enter into year 3 post Dwight Howard, there remain more questions than answers. Magic fans hoped for some more answers in the loaded 2014 NBA Draft. Magic GM Rob Hennigan has a plan, but when asked about what the future holds for the new players, and current players on the roster, his message was simply: To Be Determined.
The Magic surprised most everyone by taking Arizona PF Aaron Gordon with the 4th pick in the draft. And then Orlando traded 2 future draft picks and #12 pick Dario Saric to Philadelphia in exchange for Louisiana Lafayette PG Elfrid Payton.
Orlando has added an athletic forward, who doesn’t necessarily have a natural position, and doesn’t possess much, if any offensive game, and shoots 40% from the free throw line and an athletic defensive-minded point guard from a smaller school who is a fantastic ball-handler, but can’t shoot straight (26.8% career 3pt and 61% career FT).
No wonder Rob Hennigan doesn’t have answers.
He’s built a very young, inexpensive team. Minus Jameer Nelson, nobody in the rotation right now is older than 24 years old. And minus Jameer Nelson nobody on the team makes more than $5 million annually.
Will Jameer even be in Orlando next season? Well, that’s to be determined.
Is the experiment of Victor Oladipo at point guard over with the Payton selection? To be determined.
Is Tobias Harris a power forward or small forward? To be determined.
Are Andrew Nicholson and Maurice Harkless busts, or still yet blooming? To be determined.
Who is going to score for the Magic this season? To be determined.
Can the Orlando Magic be a playoff team any time soon? To be determined.
Will the Magic be able to spend all this money they’ve saved up on a free agent, or multiple free agents that can make a difference? To be determined.
I can’t say I liked the Gordon and Payton selections. I can’t say they’ll be failures either. I doubt they’ll be stars, and you really can’t win in the NBA without stars.
Hennigan made a pretty big commitment to Payton considering what the Magic gave up to get him. He’s kind of banking on him becoming more than just a solid point guard. How long will that take? To be determined.
Head coach Jacque Vaughn and Hennigan each got contract extensions back in May. Peace of mind perhaps. Maybe more. Maybe there is still a belief they got the program moving in the right direction.
Two years is a long time in pro sports. Three years is an eternity. While the Magic appear very athletic on paper, and potentially as feisty a defensive team as you’ll find in the league, poor shooting, low scoring, and losing isn’t very fan-friendly.
How many steps is it going to take to complete the process of rebuilding for the Magic? You guessed it.
To be determined.