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NBA 2016-17 Team Preview – Orlando Magic: Pulling a Rabbit from Vogel’s Hat

By Tamberlyn Richardson
Oct 26, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel talks with forward Serge Ibaka (7) during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 26, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel talks with forward Serge Ibaka (7) during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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Oct 26, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel talks with forward Serge Ibaka (7) during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 26, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel talks with forward Serge Ibaka (7) during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 26, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel talks with forward Serge Ibaka (7) during the second quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NBA 2016-17 Team Preview – Orlando Magic begin the Vogel Era.

To prepare our readers for the regular season SCS  offers a series entitled NBA 2016-17 Team Preview for each of the Houston Rockets’ 29 opponents. Who will return to the playoffs? Which team will fall from grace and who will be the Cinderella team?

Included in each profile:

  • Where the team finished 2015-16
  • Key 2015-16 stats
  • Future draft pick status
  • Current and future salary rank
  • Off Season Moves
  • 2017 Free Agents
  • Schedule, NBA League Pass and Win Projection Ranking
  • Team Overview entering season (Starting 5, reserves and notable injuries)
  • When each team will play the Houston Rockets
  • Strengths, Weaknesses and Prediction

NBA 2016-17 Team Previews now looks at

NBA 2016-17 Team Preview: Orlando Magic

2015-16 Record: 35 – 47

Playoffs:

Missed playoffs finished 11th in Eastern Conference

Points Per Game: 102.1 (18th )

Dec 23, 2015; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (4) steals the ball from Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) with lees then 2 seconds left during the fourth quarter at Amway Center. Orlando Magic defeated the Houston Rockets 104-101. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Opponent Points Per Game:  103.7 (18th)

Pace: 96.0 (12th)

Offensive Rank: 105.1 (21st )

Defensive Rank:  106.8 (16th)

Three Point Rank:  35.0% (16th)

Rebounds: 43.3  (17th)

Assists: 23.6 (7th)

Steals: 8.2 (12th)

Blocks: 5.1 (15th)

Turnovers: 14.1 (14th)

Next: Future postioning - draft, free agents

Oct 26, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic forward Jeff Green (34) against the Miami Heat during the second half at Amway Center. Miami Heat defeated the Orlando Magic 108-96. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2017 Free Agents

Restricted:

  • Damjan Rudez
  • Arinze Onuaku

Unrestricted:

All free agent updates confirmed via Basketball Reference and Sportrak

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 second round draft pick from Sacramento Sacramento’s 2017 2nd round pick to Orlando (via Boston to Cleveland) protected for selections 31-55 (if this pick falls within its protected range and is therefore not conveyed, then Sacramento’s obligation to Orlando will be extinguished) [Boston-Sacramento, 2/24/2011; Boston-Cleveland, 9/25/2014; Cleveland-Orlando, 1/12/2016]
  • 2019 first round draft pick from L.A. Lakers
  • 2019 second round draft pick from Cleveland, Houston or New York (swap for single most favorable, ORL outgoing to NYK)
  • 2019 second round draft pick from Portland
  • 2020 second round draft pick from Cleveland

Outgoing:

  • None

Average Age of Team: 26.2 years (as per Real GM)

Next: Off Season Moves

Oct 26, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier (10) drives to the basket against the Miami Heat during the second half at Amway Center. Miami Heat defeated the Orlando Magic 108-96. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Picks

Round 1: N/A

Round 2: Stephen Zimmerman (41)

2016 Free Agents

 Restricted: Andrew Nicholson, Evan Fournier, Dewayne Dedman

Unrestricted: Brandon Jennings, Jason Smith

Moves made following July 1, 2016:

Incoming:

Exiting:

Re-upping:

Next: Schedule, League Pass, Win Projection Rankings

Oct 20, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Buddy Hield (24) guards Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon (00) during the fourth quarter of a basketball game at Amway Center. The game went into overtime tied at 105. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Vegas over-under for wins: 36.5

Schedule strength:

As ranked by ESPN: 11th with 0.08 extra wins

No team figures to have less of a schedule effect than the Magic.

Games versus Rockets:

  • Friday January 6th at  Amway Center in Orlando, FL at 6PM CT/7PM ET
  • Tuesday February 07 at Toyota Center, in Houston, TX at 7PM CT/8PM ET

Zach Lowe NBA League Pass Rank: 23rd

We need Evan Fournier’s hairstyle plan for the full season to really nail this ranking. I’m stoked to watch the Magic! If they are this far down, the league is in a great spot. Aaron Gordon is probably a year away from being a consistent “change the channel!” star, and the system is pessimistic about his transition to the wing — and Frank Vogel’s plan to use him like a bouncier Paul George. The trio of Gordon, Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo should form a massive switching terror on defense.

Next: Team Overview

Oct 20, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (4) reacts after making the shot to tie the game during the fourth quarter of a basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Amway Center. The game went into overtime tied at 105. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Committed Salary

2016: $105,804,791 – 10th ranked

2017: $72,407,829 – 20th ranked

Team Salary Ranking as per Hoops Hype, and team salary overview also via Hoops Hype

Starting 5:

Point Guard:   Elfrid Payton – 10.7  points, 6.4 apg 3.6 rebounds

Shooting Guard:  Evan Fournier – 15.4   points, 2.7 assists, 2.8 rebounds

Small Forward:  Aaron Gordon – 9.2 points, 1.6 assists, 6.5 rebounds

Power Forward:  Serge Ibaka – 12.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.9 blocks

Center:  Nikola Vucevic – 18.2 points, 8.9 rebounds,  1.1 blocks

Reserves:

Guards: D.J. Augustin, C.J. Watson, C.J. Wilcox

Wings:  Jeff Green, Mario Herzonja, Jodie Meeks, Damjan Rudez,

Bigs: Bismack Biyombo, Stephen Zimmerman, Arinze Onuaku

Injury News:

All injury news as per rotoworld

Next: Strengths, Weaknesses, Prediction

Sep 26, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel, center Bismack Biyombo (11), center Nikola Vucevic (9) and forward Serge Ibaka (7) pose for a photo during media day at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Strengths:

Vogel: What Frank Vogel did with one star and Band-aids in Indy was remarkable. The logical assumption would be he’ll be able to do more with this group of youngsters. It may take some time but the long term benefits will justify the process

Improved Defense: As per above the new mentality in Orlando will require a commitment on the defensive end. Certainly the Magic have enough talent and athleticism to get there, it will just take some time. Make a note to compare the first half of the season with the latter half and odds are there will be a decided improvement.

Rim Protection: If nothing else the combination of Ibaka and Biyombo should deliver results in the paint. One of them is scary to attack, so putting both of them on the court together is a frightening proposition for opponents.

More from Space City Scoop

Weaknesses:

Rolling the dice on Ibaka: Up until Orlando gave away the farm for a player who might bolt after one season I was thinking they could be – – well:  Magic. That’s not to say the team won’t improve especially on the defensive end with a solid young coach in Vogel. I’m just unsure of why they gave up so much for Ibaka who’ll be a free agent next summer.

Minutes for bigs: Exactly how Vogel figures playing time out should be an adventure. Ibaka, Biyombo, Gordon, and Vucevic all need minutes. That doesn’t include youngsters Zimmerman and Onuaku. For now the team is looking at playing Gordon at small forward, but ideally he should be registering minutes at his natural position of power forward. For that to happen it’s likely the Magic will shop Vucevic. They need wing help, so if they can get something for him to strengthen their backcourt or wing positions it would be worth it.

Overcoming losing habits: All lottery teams have to get over the hump that allows them to win specifically in close games. When a team is used to losing that hurdle becomes even greater to clear. For the Magic they have a ton of young talent, but they aren’t used to winning. That in itself will be the most important task for the team to accomplish this season.

Prediction:

Best Case: The Magic transition quickly into the Vogel system allowing them to compete for the bottom two playoff ladder rungs. Furthermore learning how to win in clutch situations is vital, as will be getting Ibaka to return next season.

Worst Case:  The team takes until the end of the season to acclimate to the new Vogel regime. Ibaka unhappy with the slow progress bolts in the off season leaving the Magic with an expensive Biyombo without offensive skills to fill the void. This making the spin cycle of being a lottery team never ending.

FanSided Affiliate Site: Orlando Magic Daily

Next: Charlotte Hornets 2016-17 Team Preview

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