The Orlando Magic enter this season hoping that several members of their young core can breakout. Here are the three most likely to do so.
With a renewed sense of optimism around the Orlando Magic for the first time in over six years, this coming season will be an important one. It will show whether their run to the playoffs last season was a fluke, or if they are building something more sustainable.
They brought back essentially everybody from last year’s group, re-signing Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross and Khem Birch. Al-Farouq Aminu was the only notable free agency acquisition. The organization is locked into this group for the time being at least, which is as exciting as it is scary.
This puts extra pressure on the young players that they have to step up and contribute. We already know what to expect from the likes of Vucevic and Ross, veterans guys who will be game planned for even more by opponents this time out.
That is something which the Magic haven’t had to deal with in a long time. Having opponents respect what their best players can do and not take them lightly. This again means that the younger and less well-established individuals will have to step up if they are to make it back to the postseason, adding something new to the group.
They will also be dealing with a head coach in Steve Clifford who isn’t known for letting young players play through their mistakes for very long. This is no longer an option either, with the fans expecting another postseason push winning games will take on even greater importance than in years gone by when the NBA Lottery was all they had to look forward to from January onwards.
The following are three players who seem the most primed to have a breakout season and add more options and depth to an organization which has made being elite defensively their goal, while also needing more offensive weapons to hang with opponents as well.