The Orlando Magic are coming off a 2018-19 campaign in which they snuck into the playoffs as a 7-seed courtesy of an outstanding second half of the season, but ultimately fell to the Toronto Raptors in five games.
The Magic have then gone on to quietly have a really nice offseason, re-signing Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross, Michael Carter-Williams and Wes Iwundu while also going out and landing Al-Farouq Aminu on a terrific deal.
Orlando isn’t a title contender or anything, but it is still a really solid team in a weakened Eastern Conference and could present a really annoying matchup for a higher-seeded club in the first round of the playoffs.
So, here are the three biggest takeaways of the offseason for the Magic.
3. Nikola Vucevic Didn’t Want to Leave
Apparently, Vucevic loves it in Orlando, as he didn’t even seem to entertain offers from other teams before signing a four-year deal to remain with the Magic.
Not only that, but we didn’t even really hear much about Vucevic potentially changing addresses ahead of free agency, an indication that he never had any plans of leaving Orlando.
Vucevic has developed into one of the best big men in the league, but because he plays for such a small-market club that no one outside of Orlando seems to care about, he has flown under the radar.
But it also says something about how much better the Magic’s organization has gotten over the last couple of years for a star player like Vucevic to seriously want to lock himself into a long-term deal with the franchise.
2. They Really Value Length
In keeping Vucevic and Ross and also signing Aminu, the Magic have one of the longest teams in the league.
Vucevic. Ross. Aminu. Aaron Gordon. Mo Bamba. Jonathan Isaac. Evan Fournier. Iwundu. Carter-Williams. Heck, even Markelle Fultz.
Orlando is one of the biggest teams in basketball and is incredibly versatile defensively, with just about everyone on its roster aside from D.J. Augustin capable of switching out on the perimeter.
Defense was actually the Magic’s calling card during the second half of this past year, and it will likely be what it leans on to make the playoffs again in 2020.
In a league where defensive versatility is so paramount, Orlando is doing things right on that end of the floor, even if the Magic do have a bit of a logjam up front.
1. They are a Team on the Rise
While the Magic still have some work to do to become a legitimate threat in the East, there is no question that this is a team on the rise that could be quite scary in a couple of years.
Yes, Orlando still needs help in its backcourt and could use some wing depth, but it is absolutely loaded with talent in the frontcourt, and it’s not like Vucevic is ancient at 28 years old.
With the right moves over the next couple of seasons, the Magic could become a force to be reckoned with, as they already showed this past season that they are not exactly an easy matchup.
This team is tough, and they are also more talented than the casual fan may believe.