Orlando

Magic

Survey data collected from team site writers and editors.

9.0

Out of 10

I trust in management and the coaching staff

6.0

Out of 10

I enjoy rooting for these players and this franchise

5.0

Out of 10

I am optimistic about the direction of the team

A Q&A with Zach Oliver of SB Nation’s Magic site Orlando Pinstriped Post.

What needs to happen for this to be an enjoyable season for Magic fans?

The biggest thing is consistency. The Magic have shown some signs of turning the corner in their rebuild over the past couple seasons, but could never keep it going for more than 10 games at a time. Their inability to put it together has pushed some fans away, and quite frankly we’re tired of it.

Orlando Magic
Position Starters Bench
Guards Elfrid Payton Shelvin Mack D.J. Augustin
Wings Aaron Gordon Evan Fournier Terrence Ross Jonathon Simmons Arron Afflalo Mario Hezonja Wes Iwundu
Bigs Nikola Vucevic Jonathan Isaac Bismack Biyombo Marreese Speights

What makes Magic fans most excited about this year? What makes Magic fans most nervous?

The increased depth excites us the most. Over the past few seasons, the Magic have brought in veterans with the hopes they could provide big contributions, but they've all failed. But with the additions of Jonathon Simmons, Shelvin Mack, Arron Afflalo, and Marreese Speights, the Magic should have much better depth than they’ve have in a long time, especially on the wing

But their continued reliance on the same core makes fans nervous. It hasn't worked yet, so why will this season be different? We don't think it would've been fair to expect the new front office to come in and completely overturn the roster, but they needed to shake it up a little more than they did. It could end up being another long season for the Magic if they don't figure it out with their core young players.

What storyline might a national audience be missing about the Magic?

Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton's contract years. Both of them finished last season strong, and will look to carry that momentum over to this year. While they could get extensions before the Oct. 16 deadline, it's more likely they'll both hit restricted free agency next summer.

Will Payton show he can be a starter in the league, or will his inability to shoot continue to hinder his production? Can Gordon continue on the upward trajectory he's been on and prove to be the face of the franchise the Magic desperately need, or will he continue to tease?

Why should neutrals pay attention to the Magic this year?

Because this is a big, big year for the franchise. Gordon and Payton are both entering contract seasons and could have very good seasons.

The Magic's offseason moves also make them flexible, allowing them to try some interesting lineups. They could play with Gordon as a small-ball center, much like Draymond Green does for the Warriors. They could also put together potential highlight-reel wing units with Gordon, Simmons, and Terrence Ross.

What's your prediction for the season?

34-48, No. 10 seed in the East.