Orlando Magic: What should they do with Nikola Vucevic?

(Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images /

4. Bench him completely

A radical option for sure, but if the team want to lose as many games as possible between now and the end of the season, why use Vucevic at all?

You could argue they lost plenty when he was healthy anyway, and that is correct. But they are trying to build a defensive identity and Vucevic’s play is counterproductive to that.

Fellow centers Bismack Biyombo and Khem Birch have done a good job recently of protecting the paint for 48 minutes. The departure of Elfrid Payton‘s poor pick-and-roll defensive game has helped here too, but there’s also no doubt Vucevic would help them on the offensive end.

He’s averaging 17.4 points this season on 34.3 percent shooting from 3-point range — not a great number, but the highest since he landed in Orlando. He is also taking a whopping 4.1 attempts from distance as well, despite never averaging more than 0.3 a contest during any season before this.

His Player Efficiency Rating (league average 15) of 21.3 before going down with injury was not only a career high, but the best mark on this team too. It wasn’t even close, with the next-highest being Payton (18.2) before he was traded to the Phoenix Suns.

Vucevic isn’t a player they want to build around anymore, and that’s fine. But he will win them some games in the short-term, which is not good. Why not just stick him on the end of the bench?

Vucevic’s shooting means can also spread the floor better than at any point in his career, even if he’s fallen in love with outside shooting. Which brings us to our next possible scenario.