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Re-Evaluation: Magic Might End Up as a Play-In Team


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Magic

Magic

+2 players ($32.5m) +2 picks,
Cap Impact + $4.4M
  • Otto Porter Jr.
    Otto Porter Jr.
    SF, 6' 8", 1.93 LEBRON
    Stretch Big

    $27.2M

    1yr

    5
  • Wendell Carter Jr.
    Wendell Carter Jr.
    C, 6' 10", 1.98 LEBRON
    Stretch Big

    $5.2M

    1yr

    5
  • draft-pick-player

    2029 - Round 1

    Top 5 Protected
    5
  • draft-pick-player

    2027 - Round 1

    Top 5 Protected
    5

+3  Wins

+18.99  MPG

+0.38  Off.

+2.19  Def.

Bulls

Bulls

+1 player ($28.0m),
Cap Impact - $4.4M
  • Nikola Vucevic
    Nikola Vucevic
    C, 6' 10", 1.33 LEBRON
    Versatile Big

    $28.0M

    4yrs

    22

-3  Wins

-18.99  MPG

-0.38  Off.

-2.19  Def.

Before when I writing up the projections for the season, I didn't think about the Magic much at all and wrote them off as a rebuilding team who likely won't win many games. However, I've came to the realization that there is a realistic chance they jump up to a .500 team as soon as this season.

1) Paolo Banchero, he has a probable chance at being an all-star level player from the 1st day in the NBA with his offensive capabilities. He has the size and skills to create mismatches with ease to go along with his highly developed anticipation for a soon to be 20 year old. With the potential impact he could have from the jump, the Magic will go from the worst offense in the NBA to a below average but not horrendous offense.

2) The probability of Franz Wagner, Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony and/or Markelle Fultz increase productivity is likely, they'll add yet another smaller boost to the Magic from last year's team on both ends of the court.

3) Jonathan Isaac's return, while highly injury prone, will bring in a DPoY level defender to the roster either as a starter or coming off the bench as a super 6th man. This will elevate the Magic's already respectable defense (17th last season) to at least above average.

If we were to combine an above average defense that isn't great with a below average offense that isn't horrendous. The one team from last season that fits thag profile well is the New York Knicks, a team with a net rating that was projected to be a .500 team, they finished 11th in the East however with a 37-45 record. That's sadly short of the play-in, but given that the Hornets are likely going to see a noticable drop off in productivity, the door has been kicked wide open to make the play-in.


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