The offseason activity period is essentially over.
Players are taking their vacations, working out on their own, playing Pro-Am games and leagues or getting ready for the FIBA World Cup (in that case, their seasons kind of start early). The offseason activity period is over, even as the league awaits the Damian Lillard decision.
For the Orlando Magic, it was a fairly quiet offseason once again.
Even though the Magic had extensive cap room to spend, they largely focused on retaining their own players. This is largely the same roster as last year.
Yes, there are three new players in — Anthony Black, Jett Howard and Joe Ingles — and two players out — Michael Carter-Williams and Bol Bol (Admiral Schofield was knocked back down to a two-way contract).
On that fact alone, it seems like the Magic improved. They added two rookie players who project to be part of the rotation in some form or fashion plus a veteran rotation player and lost two players who were not part of the rotation at the end of the season.
This Orlando team feels deeper and adds a year of experience under its belt. That will hopefully put the Magic in a position to take the step up to the postseason.
The Orlando Magic seemed like they improved this offseason with some key additions. But by favoring stability and the long-term, the team has not filled every need this offseason to take that next step.
Still, it feels like there were a few things left on the table. There were a few issues left unresolved.
Orlando opted to retain its two backup centers instead of upgrading the position. With Wendell Carter’s injury history, that seemed to be a bit of a risk.
Further, the team seemed to put all of its focus on shoring up the perimeter and left their power forward position a bit exposed if Jonathan Isaac continues to have his injury issues.
This was a good off-season for the Magic. But perhaps not the best.
Then again, maybe the Magic did not need a perfect offseason. Maybe the Magic just needed to shore up depth — and they certainly did that, they will not get caught without a point guard — and keep allowing their young players to grow internally.
Orlando’s best growth this season was always going to come from internal growth and development. And the team seems more concerned with giving their young players a clear runway to grow and lead the team. Orlando was not going to impede progress.
This is a better roster without a doubt, but there are still holes to fill.
The season itself is likely more about taking that next step to the postseason. The Magic were likely more interested in maintaining flexibility so that they can begin adding players who better fit the direction they will learn they need to go.
We are yet to know what will turn up this season. But for now, we can evaluate what the Magic did and think about what that means and what holes that still might expose as the team tries to make the postseason next year.