Orlando Magic Free Agency Preview: Analyzing the Magic’s lineups
Cole Anthony-Terrence Ross-Admiral Schofield-Franz Wagner-Mo Bamba (106.3/112.3 off./def. rating, -6.0 net rating, 69 minutes)
All but Cole Anthony and Franz Wagner are likely to remain on this roster by the time the team hits free agency this summer.
The Orlando Magic traded Mo Bamba and Terrence Ross at the trade deadline in February. And Admiral Schofield is likely to have his team option declined today (perhaps even before this post gets published and promoted Thursday).
It is really not worth going too deeply into why or why not this lineup worked. Mo Bamba certainly helped the team’s defense a bit in this lineup. As did Admiral Schofield who had a strong season in his limited time for the Magic.
But, looking at what is left, the Magic had a +4.2 net rating with Cole Anthony and Franz Wagner on the floor together. It was likely the combination of players around them that led to the poor offense.
Anthony and Wagner are a duo that does work together well because of their offensive abilities. So how do you build a lineup around them that works? How does a lineup like this work? What is this lineup trying to accomplish?
Adding shooting certainly helps. This is where Jett Howard or Gary Harris would help. If Harris is starting, Howard is a shoo-in to start with this group.
The issue is the Magic do not really have any strong rim protection or size. They need that backup center. A player like Dwight Powell or Jakob Poeltl or even a veteran like Andre Drummond might help provide some interior toughness. Although none of those players would add much of an offensive spark.
That is probably the toughest part of piecing together these lineups. The Magic just do not have many standout offensive players, especially at center.
The spacing that a shooter like Jett Howard or Max Strus or Bruce Brown would provide.
So much of what the Magic need is based on their shooting. That still feels like the biggest need for this team to make so many of these lineups work. As does some rim protection and size on the interior.
The Magic have a clear team-building philosophy. Now the team just has to complete its roster to make more similar lineups work.