Youth is a double-edged sword.
Teams can be too young to know you might not have the team to make a run so you will play every minute like it is your last, but not old enough to realize each possession from Game 1 to 82 will has a domino effect on an organization’s outcome. Some teams can be so young that they do not know what they do not know and play above their heads. But too inexperienced to win in the biggest moments and make the big plays.
Experience is still the best teacher and young players learn from the poise and composure veteran players bring to the team.
The Orlando Magic were the third-youngest team in the NBA last season. It showed both in the potential they put on display, but also in the mistakes they continuously made.
As the Magic take aim at making a postseason run next year, their offseason should target veteran leadership to help the team grow and learn quickly.
The Orlando Magic were one of the youngest teams in the league last year. And while that helped preview their potential, their offseason should focus on adding experience to help the team be ready for the postseason.
As fans of the Orlando Magic could tell any NBA fan this past season, if not for early injuries the Magic could have competed for a Play-In spot based on their second-half winning percentage.
From players down to the coaching staff, the entire organization grew with one another through the months to galvanize a bright future. The average player age of Orlando was 23 years old, with nine players this year having played two years or fewer in the NBA. The Magic’s oldest players on the roster were Terrence Ross and Michael Carter-Williams both 31 years old.
The average age of the Top 10 winning teams of each season since 2013 is 27.4 years old. The youngest average age was this season at 26.8 and the oldest was in 2015 with 28.3 years old.
The average age for most winning teams and franchises including the yearly champion is in the late 20s. That is when top players are usually at their peak and have the experience and comfort to handle any situation the NBA throws at them.
Young teams especially like to talk about players being on the same timeline or being of similar age, but the reality is that it takes players at all stages of their career to find success in the league.
Young teams need their veteran players to teach and impart wisdom in a way coaches cannot and provide steady play on the court while the younger players learn and mature. That is why the Miami Heat kept Udonis Haslem around so long. Every team could use a deep-bench veteran like him.
Even when the league progressively goes younger the winners of the Larry O’Brien Trophy always have a few veterans.
The Magic certainly need these to complete the roster. And with plenty of cap room to spend this upcoming offseason, here are a few the Magic should target in signing.