Let me just get this pun out of the way, the Orlando magic will need a lot of, well, magic if they are going to have any sort of chance at “clawing their way back to NBA relevance.” What could have been an offseason full of moves that would have given hope to Magic fans, turned out to be an offseason with a few…questionable moves? I guess that is the best way to put that considering that Magic fans are scratching their heads wondering why GM Jeff Weltman has said that the team is done making free-agency moves but has yet to address the team’s need for a few solid point guards and forwards.
While a majority of pieces I’ve read over the last few weeks have the same opinion—read: not happy—USA Today’s insiders Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt recently gave the team’s offseason moves an A-. In their opinion they noted that “… President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and GM John Hammond are reshaping the team in their vision.”
Considering that the Magic have lost 355 games over the course of the last six seasons, I don’t blame Magic fans for being a bit upset.
Ok, so what did the Magic do?
In summary, the team drafted Mo Bamba—who, by the way, has a pretty cool wingspan, or as SB Nation put it, freakishly long arms—as well as Melvin Frazier (a dunk master in college) and Justin Jackson. Jackson, however, is not expected to sign with the team and will most likely end up in the G-League playing for the Lakeland Magic. The team also acquired Jarell Martin from the Memphis Grizzlies and Jerian Grant from the Washington Wizards. In addition, they signed Troy Caupain, Amile Jefferson, and Isaiah Briscoe and re-signed their own Aaron Gordon. Oh, and they hired a new coach, Steve Clifford. There is hope with the hiring of Clifford. He did manage to turn things around for the Charlotte Hornets when he took over the team in 2013, navigating the team to the playoffs in two of his first four seasons. Prior to Clifford, Charlotte had only been to the playoffs once in the 10 previous seasons. Yes, once in ten seasons. In addition, prior to leaving for Charlotte, Clifford served as the assistant coach for the Magic. Welcome back Clifford…?
What do you think, did the Magic waste their offseason, or will Clifford be able to whip this team into shape, as mediocre as they all seem on paper?
Image source: Orlando Sentinel