Orlando Magic Daily Mailbag Volume 38: While we wait

The Orlando Magic are eager for Nikola Vucevic to make his return to the court. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic are eager for Nikola Vucevic to make his return to the court. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
8 of 8
Terrence Ross, Orlando Magic
Terrence Ross is confident the Orlando Magic are ahead of where they were last year as the focus turns to the regular season. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /

Lighting the Torch

This is a question I end up getting a lot when it comes to lineup changes. A lot of Orlando Magic fans know how valuable Terrence Ross is and want to see more of him. And that is great. Ross has earned a lot of playing time and earned a lot of respect.

I am personally a bit bullish on the whole starter question. I do not think it matters as much as the lay people think. In any case, Terrence Ross is already essentially the starter.

Ross averages 27.3 minutes per game, the sixth-most on the team. He is essentially a starter already and coach Steve Clifford often decides to finish games with him rather than Jonathan Isaac. So, yes, there is a bit of a stalemate and logjam in starter-quality players on the roster.

That is not necessarily a bad thing. You want more talented players.

So the question then is whether Ross should ultimately take over a starter’s spot. And again, I am not sure this question really matters in the end.

Live Feed

EuroLeague transfer rumors: Frank Kaminsky, Terrence Ross, and more
EuroLeague transfer rumors: Frank Kaminsky, Terrence Ross, and more /


  • 3 Remaining Free Agents That Need to Be on the Mavericks’ Radar Sports Dallas Fort-Worth
  • Realistic player comparisons for Trey Murphy III Pelican Debrief
  • 3 former Toronto Raptors players who are still available in free agency Raptors Rapture
  • 3 free agents the Grizzlies should still consider signing Beale Street Bears
  • Milwaukee Bucks free agency rumors: Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Terrence Ross Dairyland Express
  • For now, the way the Magic use Ross as a high-usage spark, I think Ross works a lot better coming off the bench and catching fire in the second quarter and into the fourth quarter. His 22.8-percent usage rate is nothing crazy — the Magic are surprisingly balanced.

    But give Ross more time and a greener light to shoot and he can shoot you out of a lot more games than he does right now. I think with Ross, it has always been a balance of giving him the freedom to shoot but limiting his minutes so he does not shoot the team out of a game.

    I think, as the Toronto Raptors found out when they used him as a starter, playing him those full starter minutes was very perilous. Ross is a different player now than he was then, but I think the risks of starting him remain.

    Ross has found a nice niche coming off the bench for this team and finishing games. I really think this is Ross’ ideal role.

    Even next year if the Magic lose Evan Fournier, it would not surprise me if they look into starting Chuma Okeke or whomever they draft if it makes sense with Ross still playing an outsized role and getting more minutes to finish games.

    But necessity might force him into the starting lineup with how the roster might shift and change in the very near future.

    dark. Next. Steve Clifford is the heart of the Orlando Magic's success

    Thanks everyone for the questions. As always, you can ask me anything on Twitter @OMagicDaily and I am always available via e-mail at OMagicDaily@gmail.com. We will probably be back with another mailbag closer to the season’s restart or entering the real offseason. Enjoy the game replays until then!