Over the next few weeks Orlando Magic Daily will be taking a look at the things that went right and wrong this season as Orlando ended its season with its first Lottery season in six years.
The future for Orlando is bright. There are young players who have developed much quicker than expected and could form the backbone of the Magic's franchise. Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic, Maurice Harkless and Andrew Nicholson are all players that have a future in this league. And considering they are all entering no later than their third year, they likely have the better part of a decade of good basketball left in them.
Orlando hopes to be able to take advantage of that and have these players be a major part of the team when it returns to contention. The Oklahoma City model Rob Hennigan is bringing with him includes having young players grow together as the center of the team.
That is where the rub is. Oklahoma City caught lightning in a bottle. Portland had to select Greg Oden ahead of Kevin Durant. The Celtics had to be willing to forego the draft mode and look for a star like Ray Allen to help the Thunder lay that foundation through the Draft. There had to be sufficient questions about Russell Westbrook and James Harden for other teams to pass them.
And there had to be losing. Lots of losing for at least three years.
It is hard to tell if this is Year One of that process or Year Zero. How many Draft will it take for the Magic to build back up? Can any organization really bank on the Draft Lottery for their franchise's future?
Yes, good scouting and preparations will limit those mistakes in drafting and make sure each pick counts. But the bottom line is that except in very rare instances (the 2004 Pistons, for instance), championship teams need superstar players. No matter how bad his supporting cast, a healthy Dwight Howard made the Magic title threats and kept them in the conversation.no comments