The Orlando Magic have the most talented and young roster in the Eastern Conference. There is no doubt in my mind that the team has the potential to make a run for a low seed in the playoffs, given the still relative weakness of the East.
But in order for the Magic to continue to trend upward from the dark days of the Dwight Howard trade, the front office must now do whatever they can to lock up two of the most important pieces of the puzzle: Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic.
Vucevic has made a lot of Magic fans forget about Howard, as he has evolved into a double-double machine in the paint. His offensive skills are top notch, and he was heading for a career season until injury sidelined him at the end of the year. Likewise, Harris has grown into one of the most versatile power forwards in the game. He can drive to the basket at will and also displays a nice touch from the outside.
But the big problem looming for Orlando is that both are going into the final years of their rookie contracts. With the Magic all but done in free agency, the focus has now turned to locking up their young core for the long term. Extending Harris and Vucevic is not only the most financially responsible thing to do, it is the most imperative thing the Magic has to do in order to continue their tall climb back into respectability.