Orlando Magic Daily Mailbag Volume 39: The unknown will soon be known

There are a lot of unknown facing Aaron Gordon and the Orlando Magic beyond just the start of the season. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images)
There are a lot of unknown facing Aaron Gordon and the Orlando Magic beyond just the start of the season. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /
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Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic
Aaron Gordon has shown flashes of potential stardom. But he has struggled to put all the pieces together with the Orlando Magic. (Photo by Harry Aaron/Getty Images) /

This is the ultimate question facing the Orlando Magic and this roster. It is perhaps the biggest question concerning the team this offseason.

Aaron Gordon and his ultimate potential and role has been the latest obsession on the team — probably since Victor Oladipo was traded. Everyone has been patiently waiting and trying to figure out what Gordon can be. And his development has gone in fits and starts.

The Magic need a star. That is a plain fact. To win in this league at the highest levels, you need good players. Not just good players, but really good players.

And six years into Gordon’s career, it is still hard to define who he is.

Gordon is just 24 years old. So he is still growing and developing. He is not yet a finished product. To act like he is would certainly be folly.

The Magic traded Oladipo before his age 24 season. Oladipo had his breakout with the Indiana Pacers during his age 25 season.

That would be next season for Gordon.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

Things clicked for Oladipo very quickly. He struggled in his last year in Orlando. Patience clearly ran a bit thin. But Oladipo was struggling to play consistently and he rightfully was relegated to the bench for a time.

He needed the time in Oklahoma City playing with an MVP like Russell Westbrook and being in a winning environment to take his next step. Getting traded to Indiana was a blessing too as it put him back in that starring role Orlando never fully trusted him with.

Gordon could take a similar development. He experienced the Playoffs for the first time last year. He tried to add some new elements to his game this year. There was some start and stop to that too. This season has not gone completely to plan.

But as you can see, some players take a little while to find their way. And when they do, they can be very good. Gordon is far too young to give up completely on.

But undoubtedly, time is running out to make this decision. Not only is it running out — with Jonathan Isaac waiting in the wings and already showing an elite skill — but patience has to be running thin too.

Orlando has to find a way to get better and Gordon might well be the team’s most valuable trade asset.

Can Gordon become an All-Star still? Yes, I believe he can.

But not doing it this year — or not taking a more consistent step in that direction — is discouraging. And it will affect decisions the team makes this offseason.

Gordon has shown flashes of the stardom he has in him. But stardom is not about what you do at your best. Stardom is about what you do every night.

Gordon it seems fits in best as a do-everything forward. He is someone that should fit well into an offensive and defensive scheme. He can guard the best player on the other team. But he works better fitting into the gaps offensively rather than being the central figure in it.

With the way his offensive game has developed slowly, it is hard to see designing an offense completely around him. But there is still time for him to grow.

dark. Next. 2020 Orlando Magic are much-improved

Thanks to everyone for all the mailbag questions. We will hope to open the mailbag up once again after the season ends as we get ready for the offseason. I am sure all these and similar questions will still be swimming around. Until then, you can always reach us @omagicdaily on Twitter or by e-mail at omagicdaily@gmail.com.