There weren’t a whole lot of bright spots for the Orlando Magic in the 2012-2013 NBA season as they finished with just 20 wins on the year and the worst record in the league. However, they did have some solid young players that showed promise for the future of the team and could comprise a solid core with number two overall pick Victor Oladipo, one of which is center Nikola Vucevic.
In 77 games last season, Vucevic averaged 13.1 points, 11.9 rebounds and one block in 33.2 minutes per game while shooting a solid 51.9 percent from the floor. Moreover, he got better as the season went on, averaging 14.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per game in March and averaging 18.5 points and 15.3 rebounds per game in April.
There’s no doubt that Vucevic has a ton of talent, especially considering that last season was just his second year in the league. He has the potential to be one of the best rebounding big men in the league and has solid promise on the offensive end of the floor. However, there are still a few areas where he needs to work on before he can be considered one of the best big men in the league.
Though Vucevic is a solid offensive player, he needs to work on his offensive skills when he’s posted up. He averaged only 0.68 points per possession in post-ups last season, which ranked only 142nd in the league. Whether that means he needs to develop more post-moves or hit the weight room, he has to be more effective when posted up on offense.
Moreover, Vucevic needs to work on his defense when he’s being posted up. He was an average defender last season, allowing just 0.84 points per possession, looking particularly good in defending the pick-and-roll. However, in post-up situations, he allowed 0.89 points per possession, just the 186th best rate in the league.
The 22-year-old center is on his way to becoming one of the best young stars in the game. However, with the Magic getting better and developing a solid young core this season, Vucevic needs to improve as well. If he does, this Magic team could be one to watch in the future.