Orlando Magic: Ranking Every Rotation Player from Worst to First
With an aging core that includes the likes of Jameer Nelson, Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson, it would be foolish not to acquire talent for the future to start the rebuilding process.
Magic owner Rich DeVos still wants to see his team stay competitive in the Eastern Conference if they do choose to ship D12’s talents elsewhere. However, with teams like the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics patrolling the conference, I don’t see the Magic being successful without the dominant Howard.
As more time passes in this critical stage of the Dwight Howard fiasco, I believe the only way the Magic Front Office could convince “Superman” to stay in O-Town is to acquire another star player to be his “Jimmy Olsen.”
With a roster riddled with bad contracts, however, there are relatively few attractive trading chips that would land another dominant athlete.
Nonetheless, the Magic do indeed have a talented team whether Dwight Howard thinks so or not.
So without further ado, here is your Orlando Magic rotation from worst to first.
*Quentin Richardson, Daniel Orton, DeAndre Liggins, Larry Hughes, Justin Harper and Earl Clark will not be featured in this list due to their lack of playing time in Orlando’s first two games.
9. Chris Duhon
When Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith acquired Chris Duhon by signing him to a four-year, $15 million contract back in 2009, the Magic thought they acquired a talented point guard that could reduce the playing time of starter Jameer Nelson.
However, Duhon has definitely regressed from his glory days in New York and has become a liability on both sides of the ball.
Despite losing a step against opposing guards, Duhon does provide a safe option at point guard when Stan Van Gundy chooses to rest starter Jameer Nelson.
8. Von Wafer
Guard Von Wafer was completely overlooked in the December sign-and-trade that sent former Magic power forward Brandon Bass to Boston in exchange for the services of Glen Davis and Wafer.
The former Florida State Seminole has played admirably for the Magic as the team’s fourth option off the bench. He brings high energy to a team that desperately needs a spark on both sides of the court and is a quality marksman from deep.
However, Wafer does play recklessly and probably won’t be trusted with major minutes.
7. Jason Richardson
After watching the Orlando’s season opener versus the Oklahoma City Thunder, it is sadly evident that Jason Richardson is a shell of his former self. His two-point performance was horrendous, as he went 1-of-10 from the field.
Richardson has definitely lost a considerable amount of the athleticism that made him so popular with the Golden State Warriors. When the Magic acquired Richardson right before last season’s deadline, Orlando thought they finally had a guard who could create his own shot. However, Richardson has resorted to launching bombs from three-point land, instead of taking it to the hole.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has hinted to the possibility of line-up changes in the near future. Look for Richardson to be replaced with the energetic J.J. Redick.
6. J.J. Redick
J.J. Redick may never become the player the Magic thought they were drafting with the 11th pick in the 2006 Draft, but the former Duke Blue Devil has become a fantastic marksman off the bench.
After his legendary college tenure, many believed that his lack of defense and size would prove to be too much of a liability in the NBA. However, the Magic took a chance on the young sharpshooter and had giant expectations for Redick.
Despite not living completely up to those lofty expectations, Redick did make huge strides on the defensive side of the ball.
Redick may be the most dangerous player on the whole Magic roster. Not only can he knock down the open jumper, but he also can penetrate efficiently and dish it off to teammates for open looks.
5. Hedo Turkoglu
Hedo Turkoglu is the definition of inconsistency.
Some days, Hedo Turkoglu will drop twenty points and dish out ten dimes while being ridiculously efficient.
Other days, the 11-year veteran from Turkey just looks plain awful, as he is notorious for racking up turnovers and shooting horrendously from the field.
Since returning to the Magic in that blockbuster trade before last season’s deadline, he has showed sparks of brilliant play that made him a fan-favorite in his first tenure with the team.
However, his inconsistency has become a problem for Orlando and coach Stan Van Gundy has taken note. Van Gundy believes “part of it is an energy thing, but part of it is just a mentality: ‘You’re a great player, make plays.’”
If Turkoglu finds consistency in his game this year, expect the starting small forward to skyrocket up this list.
4. Glen Davis
If there is any player on the Magic roster that could break out this season, it is the talented, young Glen Davis. After being locked up behind future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett during his whole tenure in Boston, Davis will finally be exposed to a larger amount of minutes with the Magic.
Not only is he Orlando’s sixth man, but he is the only big man in the rotation that could give Ryan Anderson or Dwight Howard a breather.
Davis is a perfect fit in Orlando, as he brings energy and hustle to a team that absolutely lacks these qualities. Plus, he has a refined post game and a great mid-range jumper.
I have great expectations for the former LSU Tiger.
3. Ryan Anderson
After averaging over 10 points a game last season, Ryan Anderson is looking to build on his break out 2010-11 campaign. So far this season, Anderson is averaging over 16 points and seven rebounds a game.
Anderson is a perfect complement in the starting line-up to All-NBA center Dwight Howard. When opposing teams collapses on Dwight in the post, Howard kicks it back out to marksman Ryan Anderson. Last year, Anderson averaged a fantastic 39 percent from beyond the arc.
When Ryan Anderson is at his best the Orlando Magic are a very difficult to beat, as he spaces the floor on offense and is a hard-working defender.
2. Jameer Nelson
Since being acquired by the Orlando Magic in the 2004 NBA Draft, Jameer Nelson has been the “glue guy” on the roster. Not only is he one of the most unselfish players in the NBA, but he is also a natural leader.
Stan Van Gundy has high praise for the tiny guard out of St. Mary, as he believes that Nelson is capable of being an “outstanding player.”
However, Nelson has faced criticism in the past for his inconsistency and sometimes lackadaisical defense. Nonetheless, Nelson is a fantastic player and extremely valuable to the Orlando Magic.
1. Dwight Howard
Did you expect anyone else?
Dwight Howard has been the franchise cornerstone of the Orlando Magic since being drafted in 2004. From winning three consecutive NBA Defensive Player of the Year Awards to leading O-Town to the NBA Finals, Dwight “Superman” Howard has put the Magic franchise on his humongous, muscular shoulders.
Whether Howard wants to be in O-Town or not, he is not just the best player on the Magic roster, but also the best center in the NBA.