The Orlando Magic have quite possibly been the league’s busiest team this offseason.
On draft day, the Magic dealt guard Arron Afflalo to the Denver Nuggets for guard Evan Fournier and the 56th-overall pick, which wound up being former Iowa Hawkeyes’ guard Devyn Marble. Later that night, they used the fourth-overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft on former Arizona Wildcats’ forward Aaron Gordon. They selected Croatian forward Dario Saric 12th-overall but traded his rights, along with a future pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for the rights to the 10th-overall pick, former Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns’ point guard Elfrid Payton. The Magic since decided to let guard E’Twaun Moore become a free agent and then waived veterans Ronnie Price and Jason Maxiell. They also waived veteran point guard Jameer Nelson, who had a partially guaranteed contract.
Since, they have added a pair of veterans in free agent guard Ben Gordon and Phoenix Suns free agent big man Channing Frye.
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders believes the Magic are gunning for the postseason.
These moves tell me that Orlando is going for the eighth seed in the East next year. After two years of tanking or, ahem, “focusing on the young players,” it seems like that the Magic want to take that next step. They realize that the East is wide open and are bringing in vets who may be able to help the team sneak into the postseason next year. We’ll see how it plays out.
Of course, the Magic’s youth and severe lack of firepower on offense will likely keep them out of the postseason for the fourth straight season barring another major addition.