Blazer Banter

The Scouting Report: Orlando Magic

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

(AP Photo/John Raoux)

Projected starting line-up: Jameer Nelson, Aaron Afflalo, Tobias Harris, Glen Davis, Jason Maxiell

Key injury: Nikola Vucevic (concussion)

The Orlando Magic (10-24, 3 games ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks for the worst record in the NBA) are tanking in asset accumulation mode and nobody has any confusion about it.

The Magic, now in year number two of the post-Dwight Howard era, are still a bad basketball team.

Their first year of being awful saw them land the number two overall pick and athletic shooting guard Victor Oladipo from Indiana. While Oladipo is coming off the bench behind veteran guard Aaron Afflalo, it’s no secret that the team’s future will depend in large part on Oladipo’s development.

The Magic have lost four straight games and in their most recent loss, they lost their most consistent big man in Nikola Vucevic, averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds per game.

Things haven’t been as bad since Glen Davis came back from injury as the Magic are slightly more respectable with him on the court. Still, Davis isn’t enough to turn the Magic into a winning team, something the Magic aren’t even pretending to be.

Looking at the Magic’s cap numbers, they are going to be 13 million dollars under the cap next season. They recently waived Hedo Turkoglu, who has been chilling in Turkey, to help them save $6 million and Turkoglu is free to sign with whomever once he clears waivers.

While the Magic are not a good team as a whole, they have some intriguing players. Maurice Harkless, a 6-8 forward, plays about 20 minutes a night and is showing signs of developing into a decent three-point shooter. Tobias Harris had a 30-20 game toawards the end of last season is averaging 11 points and 6 rebounds off the bench.

Oladipo, you obviously know about.

From the outside observer,  it looks like the Magic should be looking to move their veteran guard Afflalo to a veteran team and to allow Oladipo to get more floor time.

Afflalo has been Orlando’s best player the whole season, averaging over 20 points a game, four assists and 4.5 rebounds while maintaining pretty efficient shooting. Afflalo is shooting 41.9 percent from three and he’s shooting 49 percent on two point shots.

The Blazers have lost two in a row and the Magic aren’t riding any momentum and will be playing without their best big man. Afflalo can get hot and is a criminally underrated shooting guard who could hurt the Blazers.

However, with the team slipping, a team without their best big man and riding a losing streak may serve as a spoonful of sugar for the Blazers.

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He started writing about NBA Basketball for SwishScout.com before being the Sports Reporter Intern for TrailBlazers.com. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

Comments