The Orlando Magic finished this season with the third-worst record in the NBA.
After two straight seasons of making the playoffs, the Magic are in rebuild mode.
Orlando hasn’t truly been a contender since the Dwight Howard years.
They now think a quick rebuild can push them back to the top.
They had an All-Star in Nikola Vucevic and several lottery picks, but it never got them better than a seventh seed.
Now the Magic are without an All-Star.
FULL TRADE DETAILS *as of now*
Bulls – Nikola Vucevic, Al-Farouq Aminu
Magic – Wendell Carter, Otto Porter, Two 1st-Round Picks
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) March 25, 2021
However, they are not doomed for next season.
In fact, they are in a very good spot for a team like the Magic.
There are three reasons why they are set up nicely for next season.
3. Young Players
Teams that are prepared for a rebuild need to have young players to build around.
The Magic have several young players for next season that can be worthwhile.
Their draft pick from last season, Cole Anthony, improved a good deal throughout the season.
They acquired Wendell Carter Jr. from the Chicago Bulls and showed some promise at the center position.
Mo Bamba, for the last two months of the season, played the best basketball of his young career.
Lastly, R.J. Hampton played phenomenal in the last month of the season.
He averaged 16 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game in the month of May.
This led to a Rookie of the Month honor for the young guard.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) May 18, 2021
They have a nice young core that can easily work together and develop.
2. No Expectations
The Magic are not a franchise that has a long history or large fanbase.
They have been around since 1990 and have never won a championship.
The Magic are not even the most popular basketball team in the state of Florida.
This a positive for right now as that leads to zero expectations.
They are on nobody’s radar until they develop or acquire a star player.
The Magic have free range to rebuild and lose next season without a public backlash.
There isn’t an expectation for them to be good any time soon.
No pressure and no expectations is a good thing for a rebuilding franchise.
1. Out of the Middle
The worst place you can be as a franchise is in the middle.
You either want to bottom out, or be a legit playoff team.
The middle is somewhat of a basketball purgatory.
In the Eastern Conference, it is easy being stuck in the middle.
Usually, the seven through 10 spots in the East have a chance to make the playoffs due to how it is weak most of the time.
This gives a sense of false hope for being a potential good team.
That was the case for Orlando in the previous two seasons.
They finished as the seventh seed and eighth seed once, despite a mediocre record.
Technically, they were a playoff team, but should have been a lottery team.
Now they are out of that area and have positioned themselves as a team that needs to rebuild, while they lose games.