The Orlando Magic lack a true franchise player, but winning is what may bring one — and becoming a team stuck in mediocrity is a better pitch than a team considered to be in tank mode.
There is a line of thought that teams can be stuck in “limbo,” a state no franchise desires to enter, because the decision-making process at that juncture becomes mind numbingly impossible.
The idea of “limbo” is that the team settles into a mode of .500 basketball, good enough to make the postseason but not bad enough to land a high lottery pick.
Those waters of mediocrity come with the inability to knock of true contenders while building nothing but a legacy of frustration.
To win in the NBA, it almost invariably requires one true superstar. Deciding when to move forward and step up from rebuilding to ready to win can map out a team’s future or lock them into a future that is not really a future at all.
Currently, the Orlando Magic offer no such surefire superstar players.
There is the hope a trio of them develop into that next-level star. Currently though, there is little indication Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris or Nikola Vucevic can become a franchise player or become a No. 1 option that can be fed in crunch time and feared.
The Magic just have no superstars, and some fear that failure to acquire one can do little more than render Orlando a fringe playoff team until they ultimately decide to blow things up and start again.
Certainly we have seen the teams that fell into this mold, and, by and large, it seems to be the small markets that fall victim. That is a generalization, but history supports it. The Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers have all had prolonged “limbo” periods in their respective histories, dating through the last two decades.
Let’s just look at one of those examples, though.