Predicting the Magic's perfect starting lineup after ideal offseason

The Magic must fill their biggest need this offseason.
Orlando Magic, Paolo Banchero
Orlando Magic, Paolo Banchero / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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The Orlando Magic are back. After three years of missing the playoffs, they won 47 regular season contests and finished fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Magic pushed Cleveland to seven games in the opening round but did not quite have enough. With two young stars, this is only the beginning, but Orlando must improve their roster to take the next step.

They are projected to have significant cap space this summer, and fans are already hearing the rumors. The Magic finished 22nd in offensive rating and desperately need a lead playmaker to run things. Finding a star guard should be their top priority, but it should not stop them from improving in other areas.

The Magic could use two new starters for the 2024-25 campaign. They have draft capital to trade and cap space to burn. Does Orlando go all-in? Expect them to make moves. Signing a starting center will be easier than finding a star guard. If Orlando is willing to pay, this could be their starting five on opening night.

C: Nicolas Claxton

Wendell Carter Jr. saw his playing time decline this season. He received over 29 minutes per game in his first two full seasons in Orlando before going down to just 25.6 this year. Carter Jr. struggles to protect the rim and his production dropped off mightily in the playoffs. He averaged just 7.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks in 26.4 minutes over the seven contests. The 25-year-old played more as the series went on, but Cleveland plays big.

Orlando could look to upgrade at the five and will have options. Isaiah Hartenstein was outstanding for the Knicks in the playoffs, especially after Mitchell Robinson went down. He will likely get a significant raise in free agency, but the Magic should target Claxton.

The 6’11 big man is a plus defender capable of switching onto the perimeter. Claxton averaged 11.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.1 blocks in 29.6 minutes per game this season. He is only 25 and continues to improve. His minutes also increased the last two times Brooklyn made the playoffs.

The Orlando Magic would add a strong frontcourt partner for their star and improve their already elite defense. Signing Nicolas Claxton makes them even more dangerous, but the ideal offseason is far from done.