Josh Cohen's Analysis: Some figured Nikola Vucevic was merely a toss-in when the Magic traded Dwight Howard for a slew of players. As we have learned throughout this season, however, that notion has proven to be a fallacy.

Vucevic is already an elite rebounder and has an effective offensive repertoire. He set the franchise record for most boards in a game (29) and has been extremely durable (just one absence as a result of an illness). If we try to project his future stats, we can foresee an average of 18 points and 13 rebounds a game by the time he reaches the pinnacle of his career.

While his rebounding and offensive inventory is impressive, it is apparent Vucevic needs to significantly upgrade his defensive approach and aggression. To become a top-tier NBA team, the Magic need to stomp on opponents in the paint. This offseason Nik will likely live in the weight room. If he can get bigger and stronger, Vucevic’s value will grow exponentially by the time Orlando is a championship contender.

Note: The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Orlando Magic. All opinions expressed by Josh Cohen are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Orlando Magic or their Basketball Operations staff, partners or sponsors.

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