Orlando Magic 2021 Offseason Outlook


Overview


The Orlando Magic completed the 2020-2021 NBA season with a record of 21-51 which placed them at 14th in the Eastern Conference and 28th in the league. This season, the Magic finally decided to break up the party, trading away Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, and Evan Fournier to kick start their long-awaited rebuild. After years of sticking with the same mediocre squad and exiting the playoffs in the first round, the Magic blew it up and it looks to have worked better than their record suggests. Cole Anthony had a great season as a rookie and looks to be someone who can lead this team moving forward. Unfortunately, injuries to Fultz and Isaac hurt this young team and stopped them from fully analysing what they have with this current roster. On the plus side, the Magic have two really high picks in this years draft so should only grow their pool of young talent and become a really exciting young team. Like the Rockets and Pistons, they won’t be a major player in free agency but may look to the trade market to improve their team.


Salary Cap


Currently, the Orlando Magic have 10 players with guaranteed contracts for the 2021-2022 season. They do not have any team or player options, but they do have some non-guaranteed salary to make a decision on. Dwayne Bacon has $1.8 million in non-guaranteed salary but will likely become guaranteed after a solid season off the bench averaging 10 points per game. Ignas Brazdeikis is Orlando’s only restricted free agent with a qualifying offer of $1.8 million and will likely either return on that offer or be waived by the Magic to free up roster space for their draft picks. The Magic also have several unrestricted free agents in Otto Porter, James Ennis, Moritz Wagner, Arron Afflalo and Marreese Speights, many of which will likely not return to the roster next season. Chasson Randle and Sindarius Thornwell are also two-way free agents this year. While the Magic do not go over the cap in guaranteed salary, they will likely operate as an over the cap team due to their various cap holds and exceptions. They will have access to both the $9.5 million mid-level exception and the $3.7 million bi-annual exception along with several sizable trade exceptions.


Depth Chart 2020-21 Season–


2021 NBA Draft


The Orlando Magic will have the 5th and 8th overall picks in the 2021 NBA Draft along with the 3rd pick in the second round. Having two top 10 picks in a loaded draft will allow them to draft some exciting young talent to add to their roster and develop along with guys like Cole Anthony and Jonathan Isaac. The Magic currently lack star talent so ideally, they should go after the player with most star-potential that is available to them, preferably a wing player. With the 5th pick in this years draft, the Magic should look to target Jonathan Kuminga, a 6’8 forward out of the G-League Ignite team. Kuminga’s size and athleticism paired with his unique ball handling skills make him an intriguing prospect that looks to become a go-to scorer which would be extremely useful for this team, given their already established defensive talent. With the 8th pick in the draft, Orlando should target Keon Johnson, a 6’5” wing out of Tennessee. Johnson is an extremely raw talent, who only took on basketball full time in high school, but he has insane upside. He is an extremely athletic wing who can become a great scorer but will take some time and coaching to develop into the player the Magic need. Given their current timeline and roster needs, he is the perfect guy to take a flyer on after drafting an NBA ready player earlier in the draft.


Free Agency


The Orlando Magic will likely enter the free agency period with no cap space available due to various cap holds and exceptions therefore the draft will be their main inflow of talent to the roster. During this period, they will be deciding whether to bring back their own free agents. Moritz Wagner will likely be the only player to return due to their lack of big man depth and his low demand in the league. Otto Porter and James Ennis’ rights are assumed to be forfeited as they do not fit the timeline and Orlando should lean in the direction of youth development instead. Ignas Brazdeikis will also likely be retained as a restricted free agent during this time.


Summary


The Orlando Magic have officially hit the rebuild button this season and the offseason should reflect that. They will have several great opportunities to draft exciting young talent and will look to next season to develop everyone on their roster for either the future or to trade for more draft assets. While I don’t expect big things from the Magic this season, it will be great to watch these young players develop their skills over the course of the season and fans should be excited about what the future will bring.


Projected Depth Chart 2021/22 Season –