Areas Of Strength
The new management team of Jeff Weltman and John Hammond arrived this time last year. The new coach, former Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford, arrives just in time for the draft. And that’s a good thing for a franchise that has struggled connecting the right players with a coach capable of bringing out the best in them. Clifford has a track record of maximizing the abilities of his players and he’ll need to work that magic from the start in Orlando. Everyone starts from scratch with Clifford, incumbents and newcomers alike. Having the entire organization aligned in that way has to help the transition to a new system.
The Magic are starting over again, this time with a seasoned coach who knows the lay of the land, but a new coach nonetheless. The lack of continuity in the organization has made it extremely difficult to cultivate any sort of culture for young players to dive into and use to help them improve along the way. Clifford has to be given the freedom to establish that culture and the players who adapt well need to be the focus and the players who can’t get on board need to be jettisoned. It’s the only way you are going to bring stability to the situation.
Two Stats That Matter
2 -- The Magic ranked in the bottom two in both offensive rebounding percentage (29th) and defensive rebounding percentage (30th).
536 -- Due to injuries, last year's No. 6 pick, Jonathan Isaac, played just 536 minutes, 45th most among rookies.
-- John Schuhmann
The Way To Go
The Magic have a chance to restart their process with a new coach in Clifford and also a new franchise cornerstone with the sixth pick in the draft. They could go with the best point guard available (Trae Young or Collin Sexton) or with one of several elite frontcourt prospects (Wendell Carter Jr. or Michael Porter top the list) who will still be on the board when they make their selection. With the 35th pick in the second round the Magic will also have a chance to grab one of the season college players that falls out of the first round mix.
2017-18 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 102.8 (25th)
Defensive: 107.7 (20th)
G: D.J. Augustin
G: Evan Fournier
G: Shelvin Mack
G: Rodney Purvis
G: Jonathan Simmons
F: Khem Birch
F: Bismack Biyombo
F: Wesley Iwundu
F: Terrence Ross
F: Nikola Vucevic
G: Aaron Afflalo (unrestricted)
G: Mario Hezonja. (unrestricted)
F: Aaron Gordon (unrestricted)
F: Jamel Artis (unrestricted)
C: Marreesse Speights (unrestricted)
Recent Draft History
2017: Jonathan Issac (6), Anzejs Pasecniks (25); traded to Philadelphia, Wesley Iwundu (33), Ivan Rabb (35); traded to Memphis
2016: Stephen Zimmerman (41)
2015: Mario Hezonja (5), Tyler Harvey (51)
2014: Aaron Gordon (4), Dario Saric (12); traded to Philadelphia
2013: Victor Oladipo (2), Romero Osby (51)
2012: Andrew Nicholson (19), Kyle O'Quinn (49)
2011: DeAndre Liggins (53)
2010: Daniel Orton (29), Stanley Robinson (59)
-- Sekou Smith