Back on August 10, 2012 the Orlando Magic traded Dwight Howard in a three-team blockbuster deal to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Denver Nuggets acquired Andre Iguodala while the Philadelphia 76ers landed Andrew Bynum.
In the midst of the trade, Nikola Vucevic who ended up with the Magic was not talked about. However, he is the only player that made an impact on his new team. As a matter of fact, Howard, Iguodala and Bynum are now with other franchises.
Last season Vucevic averaged 13.1 points and 11.9 rebounds per game giving the Magic fans and the organization a glimpse of what the young center is capable of.
“His ability to get rebounds and provide a touch around the rim with both hands has been extremely impressive to me,” Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn said of his 22 year old center.
While the organization is still trying to move forward from the departure of Howard, they are not looking for Vucevic to be more then what he is. An up and coming center with room to improve.
“We are a young team and Vucevic is a great piece to the puzzle we are trying to put together,” Magic General Manager Rob Hennigan said.
Last season against the Miami Heat, Vucevic did something not even Howard or Shaquille O’Neal were able to accomplish during their time with Orlando by pulling down 29 rebounds.
Vucevic also had at least nine rebounds in 30 straight games, the longest such streak by anyone last season.
“Rebounding is something I can do pretty well because of my size and because I have a good feel for the game,” Vucevic said.
While the Magic are in a rebuilding stage, they are in good hands with Vucevic, literally and figuratively.