Orlando Magic Offseason Grades (Early Edition)
What did the Orlando Magic need to accomplish this offseason?
That is obviously a complicated question.
On one hand, the goal is obviously to get better positioned for the postseason. The team needed to build off its successes from the 2023 season and try to punch through and get to the postseason in 2024.
Inarguably, the Magic got better. They only lost players who were out of the rotation anyway and added two key rookies and a good veteran shooter. That should give the team more depth and ability to compete this year. If injuries hit, the Magic will be in a better position to withstand it.
On this plane then, the Magic did accomplish these goals. But they also left themselves a bit exposed. They missed opportunities to shore up the roster’s frontcourt and did not account for every injury they could face.
The lack of frontcourt depth will lead to some creativity with how the team constructs its lineups. That part is at least good. But it feels like a weak spot on the team.
On the other hand, the goal for this offseason was also to stay out of the way of the growth of this team. The Magic favored stability and consistency to create the same nurturing growth environments for Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner to stay on their current trajectories.
That meant the Magic were not going to be interested in huge signings to clog up or change the dynamics that allowed their young stars to play and make mistakes and lead last year.
Internal development was always going to be the best path for this team to improve. This year is about seeing just how much.
And so the changes made were adding two draft picks and adding a veteran to keep stability and add experience to the roster.
Orlando could have perhaps better balanced these two needs a bit more and addressed some short-term needs and upgrades with the balance for long-term thinking, development and flexibility.
Overall, though, the Magic got the job done and enter the season with a better roster and one that is in a better position to reach the postseason. Even if they did not accomplish every goal on the board.