Orlando Magic 35th Anniversary: 35 best players in Magic history
20. Ryan Anderson (2010-12)
By Omar Cabrera
Ryan Anderson played three seasons with the Orlando Magic and he is part of the team that continued to revolutionize the NBA. He played the stretch-4 role for the Magic full-time once Rashard Lewis was no longer with the franchise and even earned himself Most Improved Player in 2012.
Ryan Anderson was the perfect 4-man next to Dwight Howard and continued to get better each season he played with the Magic.
Anderson was impressive with the Magic never shooting worse than 37 percent from three. His best season came in 2012, where he averaged 16.1 points per game and shot 39.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Anderson was a little ahead of his time but is underrated in the fact that he definitely made an impact on the NBA with his shooting.
19. Mike Miller (2001-03)
By Patrick Previty
The fifth overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, Mike Miller spent his first 2.5 seasons with the Orlando Magic. In 2001, he won Rookie of the Year averaging 11.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game and shooting 40.7 percent from three-point range. He is one of three players in franchise history to receive the honor.
During his two full seasons, Orlando made the playoffs in both years and Miller was a consistent third option for the team. In 194 games for the Magic, he averaged 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game.
Midway through the 2003 season, Miller was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies and continued his dominance from three ending with a career 40.7 percent shooting mark from deep.
18. Aaron Gordon (2015-21)
By Matthew Costello
In what was widely considered a three-person draft, the Orlando Magic drafted Aaron Gordon fourth overall in 2014. In seven years, Gordon appeared in 428 games and averaged 12.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game before being traded to the Denver Nuggets in 2021.
He helped the Magic break a seven-year playoff drought during his fifth season, going toe-to-toe defensively against Kawhi Leonard and the eventual-champion Toronto Raptors.
What most NBA fans will remember Gordon for during his time in Orlando is undoubtedly his stellar performances in the NBA Dunk Contests. He had a memorable second-place finish to Zach LaVine in 2016 and a highway robbery second-place finish to Derrick Jones Jr. in 2020. It was a display of his promise and his potential as an athlete.
While the casual NBA fan will know Gordon mostly for his dunking ability – he proved to be much more than a highflyer during his time in Central Florida. Despite only spending the beginning of his career in Orlando, Gordon made his mark on the franchise leaderboards. He currently ranks sixth all-time in rebounds (2,753), ninth all-time in blocks (277), and 10th all-time in games played (428).
17. Evan Fournier (2015-21)
By Anthony Prodanovich
The Orlando Magic acquired Evan Fournier in an otherwise nondescript trade on draft night in 2014. He ended up playing seven seasons in pinstripes. He was an anchor player during the team’s frustrating rebuild in the years after trading Dwight Howard. His teams featured a mismanaged rebuild and only a pair of toe dips into the postseason.
During most of his Magic tenure, Fournier was an above-average three-point
shooter. Besides a blip in 2019, Fournier averaged 38.9 percent on 5-plus attempts per game placing him as number three in Magic history in made threes.
It can be said that from the mid-2010s to when Fournier was traded he was a serviceable average wing in the league, being consistently above average efficiency from rim, mid-range and deep.
Fournier’s biggest downfall was his Playoff struggles. The Magic leaned on him a lot for perimeter creation and opponents were able to target him. He struggled to produce, averaging 12.6 points per game and shooting 29.0 percent from deep. He failed to deliver when the Magic finally reached the postseason.
Some of Fournier’s faults were due to coaching decisions and personnel decisions that kept pushing him to the front when that was perhaps not his best role.
Either way, Fournier finished his Orlando career finishing top 10 in franchise records in games played, minutes, 3-pointers made, assists and points. A shining light in a sea of gray during the roughest seas in Magic history.
16. Victor Oladipo (2014-16)
By Philip Rossman-Reich
The start of any rebuild needs to find its star. It typically finds it with one of the top picks in the draft. Even in hindsight, the Orlando Magic’s selection of Victor Oladipo with the second overall pick looks like a sound one. Oladipo would become an All-Star and a dynamic scorer in all the ways the Magic imagined when they selected him.
It just did not happen in Orlando.
The poor infrastructure around Oladipo in his early years kept him from channeling his work ethic and energy into something that would help the team win consistently. They moved him around from point guard to shooting guard without any real direction and Oladipo never quite improved.
Still, his departure in a trade alongside the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis for Serge Ibaka is a sure lesson that a team should not give up on promising talent too soon. The Magic certainly missed out on a really talented player.