The Orlando Magic have a need at power forward behind Aaron Gordon as they look for someone to pair with Jonathan Isaac. Free agency may not be the path.
The first thing to say about the Orlando Magic’s power forward is: Aaron Gordon is a power forward. Or, at least, the Magic need to ensure Gordon plays offense as a power forward, closer to the basket rather than out on the perimeter.
Of all the position groups for the Magic, it feels like the Magic are most settled at power forward. They have a clear starter they want to build around. If he does not work out, they have a rookie who could potentially play that position behind him.
Certainly, the Magic could use a little more depth at the position. While Orlando is set with Gordon, the team could probably use a stretch-4 to further transform the Magic into a modern NBA team. They currently do have a player like that, unless they retain Damjan Rudez. That seems very unlikely at the moment.
With Jeff Weltman and John Hammond putting an emphasis on versatility, they certainly could target a certain type of player to play the 4 and backup Gordon. But they also have to consider who would fit best next to Jonathan Isaac. At least to start the year, the player playing backup power forward or small forward will have a bigger interplay with the Magic’s rookie than anyone else.
That makes the money the Magic spend at the forward positions — including small forward — all the more important. This might be where the Magic focus their limited funds in free agency this weekend.
Orlando is certainly transforming its roster to fit a more modern style. The team saw the success it had with this at the end of last season. But, the Magic also probably do not see Mario Hezonja as a viable backup power forward for the long term.
So these players at power forward are likely to make a big impact for the Magic if they choose to pursue them.