Entering the season, the Orlando Magic had hope.
The top overall pick in the draft will do that to you. But expectations were low. The team has just won 22 games and while there was still a lot of young talent, nobody knew how it would come together.
All anybody wanted to see from this young team was the direction the Magic were planning to go. A clear vision for the future.
After a 5-20 start, it was not clear what this future would be. It was not clear if Orlando had a set future.
After a 29-28 finish and a 34-48 season, a 12-win improvement from last year, the Magic seem to have clarity of purpose. They were not eliminated from the postseason until the final week of the season and talks of making the playoffs and postseason do not seem unrealistic. They were not unrealistic even within the course of this season.
The Orlando Magic turned in a successful season that pointed toward the team’s future and potential. Now comes the hard part: building on it and turning this team into a playoff team.
The Magic have an exciting offseason ahead to retool and add talent to a young roster blossoming into serious playoff contention for the foreseeable future. The team can go in several directions based on the amount of draft capital, cap space and young prospects with significant market value.
Nothing is guaranteed though. And as good as this season was, it still left the Magic short of the postseason.
So what happens next? Where do the Magic go? And what does Orlando have to do to get to that all-important next level?
Orlando has several questions to answer this summer to determine what the roster will look like heading into next season. The Magic are already putting in the hours and the work to figure out how to make their team better and make the postseason.
As the offseason begins, the Magic are putting behind their successful season and gearing up for a bright future. But one they have to make.