There is a final picture to this crazy puzzle that Rob Hennigan is trying to put together. For those outside the inner offices of Amway Center, that picture does not look so clear. What the Magic will look like in 2016 or 2017 when the team should be preparing to contend again is a complete mystery.
There are a few pieces here and there that seem to make the most sense for the long-term future of the franchise.
In two short years, Nikola Vucevic has shown he can be a strong rebounder in the league and a versatile offensive option, if not still in need of some improvement on the defensive end. Tobias Harris had a fantastic final half to the season after the trade from Milwaukee, enticing fans with his versatility. Maurice Harkless showed a ton of potential as a defensive athlete and his offensive game appears to continue to be growing.
Then there is the draft pick in Victor Oladipo, a hard-nosed and experienced defensive player with improving offensive skill and the will to become great in the league (even after just one week in Summer League).
Then, of course there are the veterans such as Glen Davis, Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson who provide leadership and a calming presence in both the lineup and the locker room.
In all, these are nice pieces. Fitting them together is another issue. Fitting them together to field a team for the 2014 season while still being mindful of that long-term plan is a completely different matter too.
That is the balancing act Rob Hennigan has had to examine as he continues this rebuild project. The plan is clearly to build around the 2014 Draft and the potential cap room Orlando will have in 2014 and 2015. Orlando's projected payroll has them in line to have somewhere around $10-12 million in cap room in 2014 with no guaranteed contracts (at the moment) set for the summer of 2015.no comments