Orlando Magic: 3 ways to build on playoff appearance in 2019-20

(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Tom Lynn/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Lynn/NBAE via Getty Images) /

1. Draft well

It is somewhat ironic that, despite the Magic showing real improvement, the most important goal for them remains the same as it has for years now. They may be drafting outside the lottery in the first round with the 16th pick, but they still need to make it count.

They have done this well for the last two seasons, drafting sixth in back-to-back lotteries and selecting Isaac and Bamba. While it can be harder to identify a sure thing in the middle of the first round, this new front office has a solid record of spotting talent all over the draft.

If the Magic can select a small forward or shooting guard who can create his own shot, that player’s ascension could coincide with Evan Fournier’s contract coming off the books. Fournier is a divisive figure, but there is no question he has been a key figure in the team’s return to relevance.

The $34 million he is making over the next two years doesn’t make for brilliant reading, but he was signed at a time when the Magic were directionless and needed a young player to come in and turn into something resembling a star. Fournier didn’t do that, but when he comes off the books it would be ideal to have a ready-made, cheaper replacement ready to take his minutes.

That starts with this summer’s draft, and comes with the caveat of giving the pick enough time to grow alongside the aforementioned young core so that they all approach something close to their peak at the same time. That has to be the goal, and it includes what they do with their second round pick (No. 46) as well.

Next. Re-drafting the historic 2009 NBA Draft. dark

Taking somebody like Tacko Fall then could be a stretch, but another long and defensive-minded big man could push the Magic into a top-five organization on that end of the court. This has already been decided as their identity, so adding to it in some capacity makes sense. Drafting well can impact them not only next season, but set them up for subsequent ones after that too.