Orlando Magic: Ranking Most Important Players on the Team from Worst to First

Eddie WaltersAnalyst IIOctober 10, 2011

Orlando Magic: Ranking Most Important Players on the Team from Worst to First

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    The Orlando Magic have the NBA's second-highest payroll, but when you break down the entire Magic roster, you quickly learn that high payrolls do not always translate to great teams. 

    The Magic are in a bind with multiple bad contracts on their team (Gilbert Arenas, Hedo Turkoglu), making it nearly impossible to bring in new help for Dwight Howard. If the Magic do not find a way to shake up this roster and show Dwight Howard he can win a title in Orlando, Superman could take his talents elsewhere. 

    Regardless of some of the bad contracts on the Orlando roster, they do have some up-and-coming talent mixed in with a few young draft picks.

    It will be interesting to see how things play out for Orlando over the next year—but for now, here is your 2011-12 Orlando Magic roster from worst to first.

    *NOTE, Jason Richardson is not listed as he is an unrestricted free agent heading into the season.  

Malik Allen

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    2010-11 Stats: 1.3 Points Per Game, 1.8 Rebounds Per Game 0.2 Blocks Per Game

    Malik Allen will enter the 2012 season at 33 years of age with his best basketball years far behind him.

    With the Magic having depth problems with their front court, Allen could actually see some court time.

    Yikes. 

Daniel Orton

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    2010-11 Stats: N/A

    Daniel Orton was selected by the Orlando Magic in the first round of the 2010 NBA draft, though he has yet to record a minute of action with Orlando. 

    Orton was taken simply because of his potential—Orlando fans may like to know when they will see that potential suit up. 

Chris Duhon

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    2010-11 Stats: 2.5 Points Per Game, 2.3 Assists Per Game

    Duhon was about as bad as an NBA point guard can be last season for Orlando.

    What's most upsetting about his play is that the Magic payed him more than $3 million to put up those numbers. 

    Duhon did not receive many minutes in 2010, but even when he was on the court, he just looked lost. 

DeAndre Liggins

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    2010-11 Stats: N/A

    DeAndre Liggins was selected in the second round of the 2011 NBA draft by the Orlando Magic for his defensive ability. 

    Liggins is a big body at 6'6'', 210 pounds, and he has the ability to be a very good defender in the NBA—but his offense will have to improve for him to see any kind of consistency in minutes. 

Justin Harper

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    2010-11 Stats: N/A

    Justin Harper, like DeAndre Liggins, joined the Magic through the 2011 NBA draft. 

    Harper brings a similar style of play to former Orlando Magic forward Rashard Lewis, though we will have to lower our expectations until we actually see him take to the court.

    Regardless, Harper is a stout three-point shooter who should be a great fit in Orlando.  

Earl Clark

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    2010-11 Stats: 3.9 Points Per Game, 2.4 Rebounds Per Game

    Earl Clark was acquired by the Magic as a part of the blockbuster midseason trade with the Phoenix suns. 

    Clark showed some great promise while flashing his skills on both ends of the court in limited action with the Magic last season. 

    It will be interesting to see if head coach Stan Van Gundy goes to Clark more often in 2012 simply because of his ability to guard three different positions on the court.

    Also, Clark has nice touch on his mid-range jumper while possessing the ability to crash the boards. 

Quentin Richardson

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    2010-11 Stats: 4.4 Points Per Game, 3.1 Rebounds Per Game

    Quentin Richardson is the best pure defender on the Orlando Magic roster (excluding Dwight Howard).

    He'll continue that roll in 2012 while knocking down some three-pointers in the process. 

Gilbert Arenas

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    2010-11 Stats: 10.8 Points Per Game, 3.9 Assists Per Game

    Gilbert Arenas was about as disappointing a player could be last season for the Magic. He never really caught onto the offense and seemed to clash with Stan Van Gundy throughout the year. 

    His knees look all but done, and his explosiveness is a thing of the past.

    His All-Star days have come and gone, but one would have to hope the Magic find a way to involve Arenas more in the offense this season. 

    Arenas is due to make nearly $22 million this season, so it would be disheartening to see him sitting on the bench for 30 minutes a game next year. 

Hedo Turkoglu

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    2010-11 Stats: 10.8 Points Per Game, 4.2 Assists Per Game, 4.4 Rebounds Per Game

    Hedo Turkoglu is now in his second tour with the Magic, though that's not necessarily a good thing.

    Turkoglu was not nearly as bad as Arenas last season, but he is still an overpaid, underachieving player.

    Some fans may feel I'm being harsh on Turkoglu, but when you're making $12 million a year, you're expected to perform at a high level—a level that Turkoglu is not on right now.

    He is far from a consistent player for the Magic, but when he is on his game, Turkoglu can still help the Magic out quite a bit.   

Brandon Bass

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    2010-11 Stats: 11.2 Points Per Game, 5.6 Rebounds Per Game

    Brandon Bass has become a consistent player for the Orlando Magic, working his way into a starting role last season. 

    Bass has good touch on his mid-range jumper but can also use his big frame (6'8'' and 250 pounds) to his advantage down low.

    When Bass is in the lineup for Orlando, the Magic have a more traditional starting power-foward/center combination to go along with Dwight Howard. 

J.J. Redick

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    2010-11 Stats: 10.1 Points Per Game, 1.7 Assists Per Game

    J.J. Redick has gone from bench player who rarely saw the court to sometime starter during his five years in the NBA.

    Redick is an elite three-point shooter who fits perfectly into the Orlando Magic's offensive scheme.

    Redick shot nearly 40 percent from deep in 2011 while shooting 44 percent from the field.

    Redick has worked as hard as any player in the NBA to get to where he is today, and with Jason Richardson being a free-agent, Redick could become an every-game starter this year.  

Jameer Nelson

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    2010-11 Stats: 13.1 Points Per Game, 6.0 Assists Per Game

    Jameer Nelson has been the backbone of the Orlando Magic for the past seven years, and although he's been often been criticized throughout his basketball career—he is a very good player. 

    Nelson can shoot the ball from deep (40 percent in 2011) and also beat his man off the dribble and take it to the rim. 

    The only knock in Nelson's game is his less-than-average defense and limited passing ability. 

Ryan Anderson

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    2010-11 Stats: 10.6 Points Per Game, 5.5 Rebounds Per Game

    Ryan Anderson had a breakout year in 2010 for Orlando, and he's just 23 years old, making him by far the most promising player on the entire Magic roster. 

    Anderson shot 39 percent from the three-point line last season.

    Even more impressive was his willingness to hit the boards and work for tough finishes at the basket. 

Dwight Howard

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    2010-11 Stats: 22.9 Points Per Game, 14.1 Rebounds Per Game, 2.4 Blocks Per Game

    This one isn't even close.

    Dwight Howard is by far the best player on the Orlando Magic roster.

    Superman has become the face of not just the Magic, but for the entire city of Orlando. 

    The Magic relied heavily on Superman in 2011, and it's safe to say the Magic will go as far as Howard can take them in 2012.