The Orlando Magic have the chance to assess their depth chart and their needs moving forward. In doing so, their need this offseason becomes clear.
With the NBA on hiatus, everything is in an odd holding pattern for teams like the Orlando Magic.
There is still hope to finish the rest of this season — in some form or fashion. It is hard to look past this.
But typically at this time of year, everyone is focused on the playoffs. It is a singular focus and concerns about the offseason take a backseat with transactions off the table for the time being.
The end of the season is supposed to be about one thing — pulling the entire team together for one last run at the postseason and then the pressure cooker of a playoff series. Winning is all that is supposed to matter. The games are all that is supposed to matter.
Whenever the season begins again, there will be an abbreviated regular season to help teams get warmed up again followed by a likely play-in tournament. When the ball is tipped in the NBA, the games are going to be all that matters to the end of the season.
This Magic team has a lot of work to do in the offseason. But their return to the court will drop them right back into the middle of an important playoff race and eventually (barring some upset in a play-in tournament) into the playoffs. Orlando’s goals from the beginning of the season are still there for the team to achieve.
But the pause in the season has forced us to reckon with and ponder the team’s future.
Even that seems as uncertain as the restart of the regular season. Nobody really knows how much the salary cap will decrease, further pinching a tight free-agent market.
The draft process is going fully virtual with teams not allowed to have physical contact with players to stick with social distancing guidelines. Teams will not be allowed to conduct workouts even virtually.
The offseason is going to come pretty quickly it seems.
How the Magic likely want to map their future and the direction they want to go is not really dependent on their playoff outcome. At this point, they know they are a playoff team that is likely to lose in the first round.
Even if it were not a likely strange postseason, the Magic probably already understand the changes they need to make and how they need to reform the team.
President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman has always had a ton of patience. He is not likely to rush into anything. And begin in the playoffs is still a pretty good place to grow from with such a young team.
The first place to start then is to evaluate the roster as it stands now. From there, the team can figure out its holes.