Next up, a Magic team that’s still renovating its roster.
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The Orlando Magic will be one of the most talked about teams this year, and not because of how they play on the court.
Orlando is chock full of young wings and big men. If this were any other year, they would be the perfect candidate for a blockbuster deal. Isn’t it funny to think that GM Rob Hennigan actually WON the Dwight Howard trade? But this is no ordinary year. This is the year of Andrew Wiggins, and if you fell asleep over the offseason, then just know there are a multitude of teams trying to tank for the purpose of landing the “Riggin’ for Wiggins” (â„¢Grantland) sweepstakes this year.
Orlando probably has the most talented tank team in recent history. Make no mistake they will be competitive night in and night out, but they will lose a lot of close games. It’s up to coach Jacque Vaughn to get as little as possible out of his roster without making it look like they’ve totally given up already.
With that said, players like No. 2 pick Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris, Kyle O’Quinn, Nikola Vucevic, Arron Afflalo, and Moe Harkless aren’t just going to lie down and accept these losses without a fight (or should I say without highlights). The Magic have the pieces to transform into a poor man’s Oklahoma City Thunder circa 2009-10. However, adding a top-5 pick â€”which will likely add Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Dante Exum, or Marcus Smart â€” will make this team’s turnaround from pretender to contender happen at a much faster pace.
But before we look too far into the future, let’s get back to why you should watch the Magic this season.
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Victor Oladipo’s athleticism
In the words of Rick James, Victor Oladipo is a “super freak.” Oladipo’s athleticism is off the charts. The pre-draft numbers â€” 33 in No Step Vertical, 42 in Maximum Vertical, 10.69 sec Lane Agility, 3.25 sec 3/4 Court Sprint â€” don’t do him justice when you actually watch him play. During his junior year with Indiana, he made SportsCenter’s Top 10 Countdown for a dunk he DIDN’T make. The popular pick to take home this year’s Rookie of The Year award, Oladipo will get plenty of opportunities to show off his game. The anticipation for Oladipo’s athletic feats will be through the roof every time he sets foot on the court. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be the first person to tweet about the amazing play ‘Dipo pulled off
Can Nikola Vucevic continue his dominance of the Miami Heat?
Nikola Vucevic had the biggest breakout year last season of anyone not named Paul George. Initially considered a throwaway in the Dwight Howard three-team mega deal, Vucevic went on to average 13.1 PPG and 11.9 RPG in 33.2 MPG. One team that Vucevic continuously had his way with was none other than the two-time champion Miami Heat. In their four meetings, Vucevic had two 20 and 20 games. Besting the likes of Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, and Chris Andersen in the process. With a new season comes another four games to try and match or even outdo last years numbers. Look out Miami.