In June 2016, the Orlando Magic made a splash in the NBA by trading their star shooting guard, Victor Oladipo, for Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka.
The front office felt this trade would bring the balance the team needed. Unfortunately, that did not pan out. Ibaka was out halfway into his first season with the Magic, traded to the Toronto Raptors in February.
The team now holds the fourth-worst record in the NBA leading up to their season finale.
The Magic went up against a Chicago Bulls team looking for a playoff spot. This team was hungry and you could tell, resulting in a huge loss for the Magic by a score of 122-75 on Monday night.
This was the team’s seventh loss in their last eight games, and Orlando has been in disarray during this stretch.
The Orlando Magic were officially eliminated from playoff contention two weeks ago. Ever since March 29th, they’ve dropped six of their last seven. The team might be employing a popular tactic in the NBA, which is to lose games in hopes of receiving a high draft pick.
Currently, the odds that Orlando receives the first overall pick in the lottery is tied for fourth-best. They have a 10.4 percent chance of receiving the first pick.
The draft is a great way for a team to pick up a franchise player that can turn a team into a contender. The Magic are hoping they can pick up a piece that can lead them to the playoffs.
Magic Moving Forward
The Orlando Magic have a need at guard and forward. Coincidentally, those are both positions Oladipo and Ibaka held.
Options in the draft include small forward Jayson Tatum from Duke. Tatum possesses the abilities to play his position at forward strongly, and can also shoot well like a guard would. Tatum can provide some offensive and defensive stability for the team.
Another player the team could look at is guard De’Aaron Fox from Kentucky. Fox could come in as an immediate starter at guard for Orlando, and can take over a game with his speed. Fox is great in transition, and can play defense and direct the offense.
The rest of the needs will have to be addressed through trades or free agency. Free agency begins in July, so look for the moves Orlando makes.
The Orlando Magic will take on the Detroit Pistons tonight. This game doesn’t have a bearing on either team, as both have been eliminated from the playoffs. This could be an opportunity for young players to show their skills in the NBA.
The Magic return home for their season finale against the Pistons on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/qHWEbjWPab
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) April 11, 2017
After that, the Magic will go into the offseason with a lot of work to do.