Biggest Questions and Answers for Orlando Magic This Offseason
For most fans of the Orlando Magic, the 2012-13 season probably went just as they expected it to. Now, after finishing the year with the league's worst record, the team faces an offseason full of questions.
And many of those questions don't have incredibly obvious answers.
What will the team do with injury-riddled veterans Hedo Turkoglu and Al Harrington? Is Arron Afflalo considered part of the long-term, youth movement? Does Glen Davis have a place on the roster after the emergence of Tobias Harris and Andrew Nicholson?
All of these are legitimate questions that general manager Rob Hennigan must ask himself this summer.
Eventually, he'll have to answer them.
When he does, how might some of those answers look?
Should the Team Cut Ties with Hedo Turkoglu and Al Harrington?
The simple answer here is yes.
Both Turkoglu and Harrington are aging veterans who played a combined total of 21 games this past season while combining to make roughly $18.4 million.
They also both are only partially guaranteed their salaries for the upcoming season.
If the Magic can't find anyone to take either player off their hands over the summer, simply cutting them might be in the best direction for the franchise moving forward.
With Hennigan seemingly committed to the youth movement, keeping these two around doesn't make much sense.
And their value on the roster doesn't either.
Sure, they bring veteran knowledge and might fill the mentor role quite well, but certainly not at the salary they're currently owed. Besides, they provide little in the way of production and are just filling two spots on the roster that young talent could be inserted into instead.
At the end of the day, this one is a no-brainer.
Whether it's via trade or by simply cutting them, there's no way Turkoglu and Harrington should be around next season.
What Should Be Done with Arron Afflalo?
Afflalo's first season as the starting shooting guard in Orlando would probably best be defined as mediocre.
In 64 games, he averaged 16.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting a rather inefficient 43.9 percent from the field. His three-point shooting also took a dramatic dip from 39.8 percent last season to a paltry 30 percent with the Magic.
For someone who was the team's primary scoring option—not counting Tobias Harris' time with the team—Afflalo's scoring output was too low.
That's not to say he didn't have his moments—both good and bad—though.
But with the highs came lows.
And while he's not necessarily old, he'll turn 28 prior to the start of the upcoming season and doesn't exactly fit with where the franchise is seemingly headed.
Whereas 31-year-old point guard Jameer Nelson is a leader at a key position, Afflalo isn't.
With a reasonable contract and his value still high, Hennigan should make Afflalo available this summer and at least see what teams offer for him.
Dealing him becomes more obvious if Moe Harkless shows signs of being able to improve his jump shot in order to take the shooting guard position over the summer.
What Role Will Jameer Nelson Serve in 2013-14?
As Hennigan tries to bring in younger talent, another player left unaccounted for is Nelson.
In 56 games, Nelson averaged 14.7 points and career highs in both rebounds (3.7) and assists (7.4) per game.
Despite those numbers, he didn't shoot particularly well.
In fact, his 39.2 field-goal percentage was the worst of his career, while 34.1 percent shooting from three-point range was the second worst since entering the league.
That shouldn't be a huge concern, though, as poor shooting can often be remedied.
More problematic, especially with the hard push to get younger, is the fact that he's 31 years old.
Nelson certainly provides a ton of value as a mentor not only to the team, but to his successor at the point guard spot.
Whether his replacement will come in this summer's draft, through free agency or not for another year, Nelson might be the one veteran worth keeping around.
He seems to always carry a positive attitude, and despite a season in which he struggled shooting the ball, still produces a lot when he's on the court.
What Is Nik Vucevic's Ceiling?
Did anyone see that coming?
Last August, Vucevic seemed like just one of the many players involved in the four-team, Dwight Howard trade.
Vucevic played well enough to be selected to the Rising Stars Challenge and, even more impressively, set a franchise record for most rebounds in a single game when he hauled in 29 against the Miami Heat on New Year's Eve.
That's quite the accomplishment when you consider both Howard and Shaquille O'Neal manned the paint for the Magic prior to his arrival.
But what exactly is Vucevic's ceiling?
It seems silly to question what his potential is, though.
He proved to be an efficient player who already possesses the unique ability to hit mid-range jump shots and rebound at a high rate.
If there are areas in which Vucevic needs to improve, they'd be his post play and defense.
Fortunately, significant improvements can be made in a relatively short time if proper work is put in.
There's no reason to think Vucevic cannot improve on his numbers from this season and solidify himself as one of the league's premier big men.
Who Should the Magic Select with the 2nd Overall Pick in the Draft?
While this draft seemingly doesn't have a bona fide superstar, there are a few players who could make a big impact for the team in the near future.
It would seem that the Magic are more in need of a backcourt player, which makes taking McLemore a more likely scenario should the Cleveland Cavaliers pass on him.
One option that hasn't been discussed much is the notion of them using the second overall pick on University of Michigan point guard Trey Burke.
Based upon the mock drafts provided by NBADraft.net and Draft Express, No. 2 would be a high spot to take Burke. However, he fits their needs, and there's always the potential to trade down.
With Nelson getting older, they'll eventually need a new point guard, and Burke might fit the mold perfectly.
Burke had a tremendous season for the Wolverines, averaging 18.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game en route to leading his team to the national championship game.
Listed at 6'0", 190 pounds, the biggest knock on Burke is his size.
But that hasn't hurt small players in the past, and simply dismissing him for that reason would be a big mistake.
Hennigan should strongly consider taking Burke in an otherwise weak draft.