5 questions the Orlando Magic have to answer to finish the season

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Mohamed Bamba, Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic are clear about what their goals are this season. They want to see the team continue to grow and learn lessons from their losses. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2021 NBA season is about to enter the final quarter of its season. But there are still a lot of questions to answer.

For the Orlando Magic, it has been a difficult one.

The team entered the year with playoff ambitions, even with Jonathan Isaac out for the year with a torn ACL. The team had proven itself more than capable of competing in the Eastern Conference. The team thought it could hold the ship steady.

Then the injuries hit — starting with Evan Fournier’s back spasms to Markelle Fultz’s season-ending ACL injury to the cascading injuries that often left the Magic with just eight or nine players available to Aaron Gordon’s monthlong absence with a torn ACL to Cole Anthony’s rib injury and on and on and on.

The Magic came to the trade deadline facing a key decision. And they decided they had reached the end of the road.

The Orlando Magic transformed their roster this trade deadline, leaving a young group trying to improve and grow. In the final quarter of the season, the Magic will have to sort out the remains.

Orlando transformed the roster on trade deadline day a few weeks ago. They traded away All-Star center Nikola Vucevic and veteran guard Evan Fournier and forward Aaron Gordon. In return, they picked up several promising young players in Wendell Carter and R.J. Hampton along with veterans Otto Porter and Gary Harris.

It all signaled the team was fully invested in building back up through the draft and the development of young players. But it put to rest any fleeting hopes of a playoff berth. The Magic are 2-7 since the trade deadline and the team has struggled to get on the same page.

The future feels bright. But there is still work to do this season.

The Magic sit at 14th in the Eastern Conference with a 17-36 record. While the playoffs are out of reach, the team still has to answer important questions going to the summer and next season.