Orlando Magic Free Agency Preview: Analyzing the Magic’s lineups
Cole Anthony-Jalen Suggs-Franz Wagner-Bol Bol-Moe Wagner (109.1/99.0, +10.1 net rating, 132 minutes)
The Orlando Magic’s most used bench group was actually one of its most successful comparatively.
Cole Anthony provided a strong offensive spark playing off of Franz Wagner. Moe Wagner and Bol Bol both proved to be difficult players to handle. And Jalen Suggs provided stellar defensive chaos in the backcourt.
This group would seemingly have some very good balance between offense and defense. But that is not what happens. This actually turned into a stellar defensive lineup surprisingly, despite the lack of offensive weapons.
So the Magic could look to add someone who can maintain the defensive levels of this second unit but boost the offense.
Would that be adding Jett Howard to the group and sliding Franz Wagner back to the power forward? That might get rid of the mismatches that made this group unique defensively. Then again, its problem is offense and so adding another shooter to the mix would help.
There are precious few shooters on the market that would preserve the uniqueness of these lineups.
Maybe another playmaking big like Trey Lyles would make sense in this space. Lyles is a decent 3-point shooter at 36.3 percent from three last year and 34.2 percent from beyond the arc.
He could slide in as a solid backup center option who can play some stretch-4 as well. That would be his attraction to the team.
But that is not going to meaningfully bump up the offensive potential of this group. Not like Jalen Suggs becoming a better overall shooter — something he showed hints of later in the season where he shot 36.0 percent from three after the All-Star Break.
Shooting is such a big thing in making so many of these lineups better offensively. And it is going to become essential
Going after a shooter like Max Strus to add to the forward group might solve some of these problems. That might get rid of how unique some of the team’s lineups might be.
That is the issue with some of these stranger lineups the Magic liked to use. They have to give something up. And often this Magic group is giving up offense rather than filling in for defense.