Something that I’ve been pondering, I want to comb through here. This will be a nice thought exercise for us as the Magic season starts to wind down.
A Magic season that has not devolved into tanking by the way. Did you see Paolo’s tweet on this?
Paolo quote tweeted a tweet from @TheLando_ (solid account) that said ‘Orlando is now 27-23 in their last 50 games, that’s good for the 10th best in the NBA’. Paolo then commented and said “shhh, they think we’re tanking” --- awesome. Love the interaction, love the attitude.
He’s right, this team is not tanking. They’re getting themselves ready for next season. I know a lot of folks wanted to see a play in birth, but let’s get real, even if this team made the play-in, they’d still have to run through teams like the Raptors, Heat, and/or Hawks. All of those teams provide a pretty serious challenge in a playoff basketball setting for this Magic team.
But again, its all about setting up for next year. I think this team doesn’t need much, other than to improve upon what they’re already doing now, which is a great place to be. When I look at this roster, there’s not much I want to change about it. Yet, the Magic have free-agency in front of them, and according to Spotrac.com, the Magic have the 2nd most projected practical cap space in the NBA, behind only the Rockets. So this team can spend if they want to. Also, they’re likely going to have 2 top 15 picks with their own and the Bulls first round pick.
Now, I’m no math major, but I do know that space is limited. So what exactly does a Magic roster realistically look like going into next year? I have to assume that Fultz, Paolo, Franz, Wendell, Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, and Mo Wagner are locks to come back and be a part of this team. I know they like Caleb Houstan, and he’ll be entering year 2. They only carry 10 active players at a time, so let’s do the math on this.
The players listed above account for 8 spots.
Keep in mind, Gary Harris has a non-guaranteed 13 million that could come his way. My guess is, the team lets him walk. There’s just no space. Mo Wagner’s contract is up, but I doubt they want to break up him and Franz, so let’s assume they use some of their cap space to bring him back.
Bol Bol is paid so little, they can move him with ease if they wanted to, or they could just park him in the G-League, and bring him up when needed. That’ll be an interesting part of the equation, because the team has sort of tipped their hand as of late by not playing him at all.
So back to the 8: Paolo, Franz, Cole, Jalen, Wendell, Fultz, Mo Wagner, Caleb Houstan.
They add a top pick in the draft, that’s 9. They will need to either package the Bulls pick and turn it into something else (like a higher draft choice) or pick a player and send them to Lakeland. Then, there’s room for 1 more player that could add something to this roster in free-agency, and boom – you’re done.
So, assuming the front office doesn’t go wild and crazy with trades, with they’ve shown no interest in doing, this should be the roster going into next year.
What do you think? What am I missing? Hit me up on Twitter @BrandonKravitz.