The Orlando Magic are not as bad as we once thought. If anybody has been paying attention this summer, the Magic have quietly put together a solid offseason. With a 23-59 record last year, the Magic were about as bad as a team can be. That being said, with the signing of veteran free agents, stingy trades, great draft picks and another year of growth from their young core players, things are looking up in O-Town.
In the offseason, Orlando was able to sign a multitude of veterans who will improve not only the on-court performance but the character and leadership of the team. Guys like Channing Frye, Ben Gordon and Luke Ridnour will add a much-needed offensive punch as well as a strong locker room presence. Frye is known as one of the more respected teammates in the league, and his leadership will rub off on the younger players.
The Magic were also able to bring in Evan Fournier and Anthony Randolph in a trade with the Denver Nuggets. Both of those players are still young and have potential. They have also showed that with playing time they can be productive players in the league. With Orlando they will be awarded that playing time.
As far as the NBA Draft is concerned, did anybody have a better one than Orlando? They landed two studs in the first round in Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton. Although both are rookies, they will contribute immediately. Gordon is a freak of nature with superhuman athletic ability and lock-down defense. Payton, on the other hand, will start immediately and some believe he is the next coming of Rajon Rondo.
Lastly, with the growth of Tobias Harris, Victor Oladipo, Nicola Vucevic and Maurice Harkless, this team is set up for the long haul. I predict the Magic make a strong push for a No. 8 seed this year. If so, it will be the first of many playoff appearances for this up-and-coming franchise. Fans in Orlando have a lot to be excited about.