Orlando Magic Value Tracker: Comparing cap sheets and seeking value

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Orlando Magic, Nikola Vucevic
Nikola Vucevic was statistically one of the few Orlando Magic players to outperform his market value. Only barely though. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic’s cap sheet is muddled and a poor season has depressed the value of some players on their team. They can look to others to see their path.

The Orlando Magic are thinking about their cap sheet a lot as they enter the offseason.

The team is essentially capped out with the fifth-highest payroll in the league. There is little maneuverability to spend money in free agency. Not that there are free agents to begin with.

The thought of a high payroll is one that can create ire in some fans. Yes, teams with higher payrolls and those paying the luxury tax should be the ones contending for the championship. The Magic are plainly not that team.

But Orlando is not in the luxury tax either. And in a summer where there are not many marquee free agents and with the understanding that the Magic are not in a position to make a major free-agent play even if they could, spending up to and slightly over the salary cap is not a bad thing.

The Magic’s plan to improve is clearly about making trades. They are looking to deal someone on their roster or a combination of players on their roster for that one player who could take them over the top.

To do that, of course, Orlando needs to have value on the roster to begin with. And that is something we have pondered here for the last few weeks. How do the Magic measure and extract value from the players on the roster?

The general conclusions we have drawn is that Orlando has played well enough to create some value and pick up wins. But the team’s best players have not clearly demonstrated enough positive value for the team to take that next step. And, more importantly, the team’s young players on rookie contracts have not overperformed so extensively to accurately value them when they hit free agency.

Put more simply, the Magic had a very disappointing 2020 season where most of the team underperformed. It really does not take any crazy numbers to figure that out.

But again, how do we assess value? What should appropriate value look like?

That is what we want to do.