Josh Cohen’s Analysis: Impending high draft picks for the next couple of years, a surplus of salary cap space and valuable trade assets are at the Magic’s doorstep. Along with the young talent already blossoming in Orlando, looming free agents will crave the opportunity to play for the Magic. Just stay patient.
Cohen's Analysis: The most difficult piece to the puzzle is an All-Star caliber center. Orlando may have stole one in the Dwight Howard trade. In just his second NBA season, Nikola Vucevic is already one of the best rebounders and is remarkably skilled offensively. In two or three years, Nik will likely be a top five center in the league.
Cohen’s Analysis: If not Nikola Vucevic for the Most Improved Player Award, what about Arron Afflalo? His last month has been sensational and it’s reasonable to suggest he is a top five shooting guard in the league after Kobe, Wade, Harden & Manu. If in three years Arron is the Magic’s third best player, Orlando will be contending for a championship.
Cohen’s Analysis: Since the unfortunate shoulder injury to Glen Davis, the Magic have lost nine straight. This proves just how valuable Big Baby is. Most disagreed before the season that he was a top power forward in the league. But with everything he brings to the table, both the tangibles and intangibles, Davis is a major force that deserves more respect.
Cohen’s Analysis: It remains to be seen what happens with J.J. Redick, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. If he ends up staying, the Magic preserve one of the best reserves in the league. If not, more cap space is created and more money to spend on upper echelon free agents.
Cohen’s Analysis: Everyone is raving about Jacque Vaughn and his professional and gifted approach. Like it’s been with Doc Rivers in Boston, Vaughn has the attention of players across the league as a coach guys want to play for. Not only does he have the knowledge to sculpt a title contender, he also has the personality to charm and cater to a vast majority of players.
Cohen’s Analysis: It’s more apparent than ever that the Dwight Howard saga and drama impacted Jameer Nelson. The last two years were somewhat of a plunge for Nelson. But this season, Jameer has raised the bar again and is arguably playing the best ball of his career. Is he back to being a top 10 PG? Probably not because the competition is so stiff. But, the gap between he and the other elite floor generals is not so wide anymore.
Cohen’s Analysis: For a 19th pick, Andrew Nicholson is arguably the most impressive rookie in the league. His offensive repertoire is outstanding. Once the offseason arrives and Drew can live in the weight room, the bulk necessary to compete against the stronger power forwards in the league will transform him into a steady player.