What is the Magic’s point of no return?
The biggest questions facing the Orlando Magic this season all have to do with the team’s future. The tension of this season is trying to make something of this season while also having an eye on the future.
And there will be push and pull all season between serving the present and the future this season.
With so many decisions coming up for the Magic, they have to weigh everything. And there are deadlines to meet. Change is coming for Orlando. It is inevitable at this point.
So the biggest question the Magic face is at what point do they have to push the reset button? At what point are the playoffs too far away to chase and the Magic have to start planning for the future?
Orlando wanted to do big things and make changes this offseason. It was fairly clear throughout all the rumors the Magic were listening to deals. But nothing became apparent.
This became an offseason of buyers and sellers not for readjusting. Teams that were willing to push in were able to find deals to do so. Teams that were looking to reset were able to find ample assets to do so.
The Magic were stuck in the middle. They wanted to make a big move, but they did not want to expend the assets to do so. Teams wanted players they had, but they were not willing to give them up for future assets in return.
It feels like the Magic are starting to make this turn toward their future. But they are still determined to compete and make it to the playoffs. That is why it is so important to see young players ready to step into starting roles. That is the only way the Magic will feel comfortable getting ready to turn the page.
If the Magic get off to a slow start and fall out of the playoff race, will this be enough to get the team to hit the reset button? Is that when the Magic will be willing to make the trades they were not willing to do this offseason?
Is there a point of no return?
The Magic were 5.5 games back of the final playoff spot on Jan. 31 when they faced the same decision with trading Nikola Vucevic before his contract expired. They stuck with it and made their playoff run — the rest is history.
Orlando held the line then. Will the team hold the line now?
That might depend on how the Magic answer these other questions and where they are situated in the Eastern Conference.
But the future is indeed coming into focus, one way or another.