Cohen's Analysis: It was a constant debate prior to the start of the season and it’s a contemplation that still exists in social circles relating to the Magic.
Would it be more advantageous for Orlando to exceed expectations, defy critics, rapidly develop all the young talent and as a result sneak into the playoffs as a No. 7 or 8 seed? Or, on the other hand, would it be more beneficial to deal with more typical growing pains during this renovation and obtain a high lottery draft pick?
Considering the Magic have remarkably surpassed the detractors’ expectations, at this stage of the season it would make sense for Orlando to go all in this season and attempt to qualify for a postseason spot.
Barring any unforeseeable turnarounds, it appears there is already at minimum eight teams (Washington, Toronto, Cleveland, Charlotte, Detroit, New Orleans, Sacramento and Phoenix) that will likely finish with worse records than the Magic by season’s end. Therefore, there is really no merit or gain by missing the playoffs if all that proved precise.
It remains to be seen what the Magic decide to do, if anything, by the trade deadline. But it would seem logical for Orlando to consider being buyers rather than sellers in an effort to improve its playoff chances.