Orlando Magic: 2016 Preview, Offseason/Draft Recap, Outlook
Orlando Magic 2016 NBA Season Preview
October 17, 2016
NBA Championship: 200/1 Over/under win total: 36.5 See the Latest Odds
The Orlando Magic have undergone a facelift over the summer, with Frank Vogel finding a new home at the helm of the Magic as their new head coach. Orlando comes into this season with high levels of promise that the team could make the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
Here is your 2016 Orlando Magic preview.
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Key Additions: The Magic were one of the busiest teams the whole offseason, as they made big waves in the trade market and a huge splash in free agency. Most notably through trade, Orlando acquired 3-time all-defensive first-teamer Serge Ibaka from the Thunder in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova along with the draft rights to 2016 11th overall pick, Gonzaga product Domantas Sabonis. Through free agency, Orlando bolstered their rim protection, signing big man Bismack Biyombo from the Toronto Raptors, inking him to a 4-year, $72 million contract. The Magic also added depth in the backcourt, signing point guard D.J. Augustin to a 4-year contract of his own worth $29 million and Jeff Green to a 1-year, $15 million deal. The Magic also re-upped shooting guard Evan Fournier for 5 years, paying the Frenchman $85 million for his services.
Key Losses: The most notable losses from last year’s squad, will be the aforementioned Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova who were shipped to Oklahoma City in the Serge Ibaka deal. Orlando lost 4 players to free agency, including former first-round pick Andrew Nicholson, who signed a 4-year deal worth $26 million with the Washington Wizards. Joining Nicholson in Washington will be center Jason Smith, who put pen to paper on a 3-year contract worth $16 million. Brandon Jennings left Orlando for the bright lights of the Big Apple, signing a 1-year deal worth $5 million to be a part of the New York Knicks 2016-17 project.
Breaking down the draft: The Magic finished with a 35-47 record in 2015-16, which left Orlando picking 11th in the 2016 NBA Draft. The pick was used to select Domantas Sabonis out of Gonzaga, and if the name sounds familiar, his father Arvydas, spent the better part of 8 years playing in Portland for the Blazers. As previously mentioned, Sabonis was packaged with Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova as part of the deal to acquire Serge Ibaka from the Thunder. Orlando did have a pair of second-round picks, which were used to select UNLV big man Stephen Zimmerman 41st overall and Maryland small forward Jake Layman 47th overall, however Layman was also traded, on draft night, to the Trail Blazers for a future second-round pick and cash considerations.
Outlook: The Magic have taken the steps to show that they’re serious about playing with the best this season by acquiring guys like Ibaka and agreeing to termswith Frank Vogel. Ibaka has brought forth the most starpower the Magic have seen since the days of Dwight Howard, however that has lured some above average names, and is sure to be an attractive destination going forward. As for this season, I expect Frank Vogel to instill a winning attitude, allowing the Magic to fly under most team’s radar, and sneak into the playoffs for the first time in 5 years.
Projected Record: 44-38