2019 Orlando Magic Depth Chart
|Point Guard||D.J. Augustin||Jerian Grant||Michael Carter-Williams|
|Shooting Guard||Evan Fournier||Terrence Ross|
|Small Forward||Jonathan Isaac||Wesley Iwundu|
|Power Forward||Aaron Gordon||Jarrell Martin||Khem Birch|
|Center||Nikola Vucevic||Mohamed Bamba*||Timofey Mozgov*|
The Orlando Magic are coming off just a 25-win season last year and have failed to reach the 30-win mark in five of their last six seasons. Things don’t look much better for them this season as they are expected to be one of the bottom-dwelling teams in the NBA once again. However, just because they may not win a lot of game this season, that doesn’t mean they won’t improve and have a better season than they did last year. Injuries contributed to Orlando’s struggles last year, with Aaron Gordon missing 24 games and both Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic missing 25 games each. They also missed rookie Jonathan Isaac and Terrence Ross for over a quarter of the season, making it tough for them to find any sort of continuity on with their offense. With all five expected to kick off the 2018-19 season healthy, and the addition of Steve Clifford to the sidelines, Orlando Magic fans at least have something promising to look forward to. Clifford is an excellent player development coach that should help the young guys grow, and of course, fans will get to look forward to seeing first-round pick Mo Bamba take the court this season.
The Magic did very little to improve their backcourt depth this season and they will head into the year with D.J. Augustin running the offense. Augustin was Orlando’s most efficient three-point shooter last season, connecting on 41.9 percent of attempts, and was a good option for them at the point guard position, but he is by no means a big-time playmaker that can contribute to winning games on a normal basis. Jerian Grant comes in from the Chicago Bulls to run the second-unit for Orlando but he is unlikely to help out an Orlando bench that ranked 20th in the NBA last season in scoring with 34 points per game. Grant played 74 games for the Bulls last season, averaging 8.4 points and 4.6 assists per game, and his 14.3 player efficiency falls below even a league average player.
Sharing the backcourt with D.J. Augustin on the starting unit will most likely be Evan Fournier once again and he provides a Magic offense that finished 25th in the league with a 102.8 offensive rating with at least a little bit of offense on the wings. Fournier is coming off a career-best 17.8 points per game and was one of the Magic’s most efficient shooters, connecting on 51.6 percent of two-point attempts and 37.9 percent of attempts from beyond-the-arc. Orlando has very little depth at the two-guard position with Wesley Iwundu projected as the backup behind Fournier, so there is a pretty good chance that Terrence Ross and Jonathon Simmons see minutes at the position. Expect Steve Clifford to experiment a bit with both his starting lineups and rotation a bit this season, so it will be worth paying attention to rotations early on in the season. Clifford could elect to bring Simmons off the bench, similar to the role he had last season, as a combo guard that can help run the offense.
Right now, it looks like Jonathan Isaac might be the odds-on favorite to get the nod as the starting small forward, although Clifford has not provided any clarity on that quite yet. Isaac was injured much of the season last year but was effective when he was able to play and he is an excellent defender. The Magic have depth at the power forward position with their cornerstone player Aaron Gordon occupying the starting role. Gordon only appeared in 58 games last season but averaged a career-high 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game for Orlando in his fourth season. Sitting behind Gordon is the newly acquired Jarell Martin who is a stretch big that can hit from three and gives the Magic offense off the bench.
It will be interesting to see how the Magic handle the center position this season as developing Mo Bamba will be one of Orlando’s goals this season, but giving him time at center will most certainly come at the expense of starter Nikola Vucevic who is a much-needed offensive weapon for the team. Vucevic averaged 16.5 points and 9.2 rebounds for Orlando last season and is a very underrated passer, something the Magic desperately need. Keep an eye on Vucevic’s role early on in the season as it could give an indication as to what Clifford plans on doing with the offensively-challenged Bamba for the rest of the season.