The off-season proved to be quiet for a number of teams and the Magic was certainly one of them. With the small time frame and uncertainty surrounding the upcoming season, the team opted to lay low. Orlando has a roster still flush with young talent and it will be interesting to see how those developing players look this season.
The team will miss former top pick Johnathon Isaac for the entire season. He suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in the bubble and will rehab before coming back. Orlando will certainly miss Isaac as he has shown more and more promise every season. The Magic still have Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon on the team alongside Markelle Fultz, though. Fultz was able to play with consistency last season and it seemed to be a big help. His role on the team this season should be bigger due to Isaac’s absence and I have him pegged as a potential MIP candidate. There are a few other pieces on the roster like Terrence Ross and Al-Farouq Aminu that could help elevate the team as well. The most interesting storyline to watch is Mo Bamba. The 2020-21 season will be his third in the league and it is time for him to show if he can play at this level or not.
In terms of roster moves, there isn’t much to speak on. The team lost longtime guard D.J. Augustin in free agency to the Bucks and Wesley Iwundu to Dallas. Augustin’s departure signals the team must feel confident in Fultz’s ability to lead in the backcourt from now on. D.J. had been a major piece for the team and has had his best seasons here recently, so it was sort of a surprise to see him leave. It does make some sense seeing how the Magic added in Fultz last season and then drafted Cole Anthony 15th in this year’s draft. Cole is the son of former NBA player Greg Anthony and shows the ability to score well. His fit on a team that already has a lead guard should be interesting. Orlando also added Dwayne Bacon, which should excite people who enjoy seeing what player wear on their feet.
Orlando will certainly need some of their namesake if they hope to make it into the playoffs this season. There is a chance given the expanded playoff format being instituted this season, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The Magic would be a much better product is they hadn’t lost their most valuable piece in Isaac. Maybe next year everything comes together for them.