Orlando Magic Best of the Decade: The All-2010s Team

Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson saw their era end in the 2010s. But they are still titans in the Orlando Magic's history. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson saw their era end in the 2010s. But they are still titans in the Orlando Magic's history. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Tobias Harris, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors
Tobias Harris showed plenty of promise for the Orlando Magic and like so much, they cut his development short. (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images) /

The Bench — Frontcourt

Ryan Anderson (2010-12)

There are not many players who are still absolutely beloved in Orlando Magic history. There are still few players that have this adoration in team history and is still somehow understated in his impact and performance. Everyone criticizes the Courtney Lee trade because Vince Carter failed to live up to outsized All-Star expectations. But everyone likely forgets that trade netted the team Ryan Anderson.

Ryan Anderson easily fit into Stan Van Gundy’s schemes and was one of the best shooters in team history. Anderson could catch fire and hit shots in bunches. The Magic used that to help replace Rashard Lewis when the 2009 team started to break up. Anderson was a constant.

Even though the Magic were in a rebuild, it was still sad to see the Magic make the financial decision to part with Anderson. It still felt like he could contribute something. The Magic are still chasing a shooter like they had in Anderson. As much as anything, Anderson is the ideal role player the Magic already had and gave away in an attempt to tear everything down and start over.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

Tobias Harris (2013-16)

Like Ryan Anderson, the Orlando Magic sacrificed J.J. Redick to try to clear the decks and create some cap flexibility. Then-general manager Rob Hennigan was trying to collect young players to build a cache to grow from. Trading J.J. Redick was tough (more to come on him, of course), but the Magic got a really good return.

Tobias Harris was an under-used player with the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic found themselves with a steal. Tobias Harris was a great isolation scorer who could create his own shot and put up points in a hurry. Freed from the Bucks and given playing time, he almost immediately started putting up tons of points.

Harris was a versatile scorer who was still coming into his owns. That seeming anger streak when he first arrived gave the Magic an edge they needed. Not to mention someone who believed he was going to hit the big shot. The Magic gave up on him far too soon — really just as he was coming into his own. And there was never a really good reason to send him away, especially for such a weak return.

Serge Ibaka (2017)

The Orlando Magic made a fool’s gambit trading the young Victor Oladipo for the hope that Serge Ibaka could turn into an All-Star and anchor an Orlando Magic defense that never came around despite several defensive-minded drafts picks. It did not work. Serge Ibaka played some strong defense to start the season and then quickly became disinterested as the Magic’s Hail Mary free-agency plans fell apart.

It was a disaster of a season and the Magic traded away Ibaka before the end of the season, knowing they were going to lose him in free agency anyway. The whole Ibaka experiment is a disaster.

That disaster hid what was actually a solid statistical season. Ibaka averaged 15.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in his lone half-season with the Magic. It might have been better if the Magic had put together a working roster. That may not have been able to save the experiment even then. But Ibaka was better than people remember.