Ranking the Top 25 Players in Orlando Magic History

Jordan RodewaldContributor IIAugust 22, 2013

Ranking the Top 25 Players in Orlando Magic History

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    Twenty-four years of being in existence isn't a long time for a sports franchise.

    But as the team enters its 25th season, fans of the Orlando Magic should be proud of the product that's been on display for a good portion of those years.

    No, there's not a championship banner hanging from the rafters of the Amway Center, but two runs to the Eastern Conference Finals and two trips to the NBA Finals is nothing to brush off.

    Many franchises would kill for those results, especially in a relatively short period of time.

    And through the deep playoff runs and years of mediocrity, the Magic have seen some tremendous talent step foot on the court while wearing the blue and white.

    From big men like Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard to lethal scoring threats like Tracy McGrady, the franchise has seen impressive play from a variety of positions.

    Rankings were determined by analyzing statistics and recognizing how important the player was to the franchise during his stay, with emphasis on the latter.

    In order for a player to qualify, he must have been on the roster for at least one full season (i.e. a player arriving via trade halfway through the year and departing at season's end would not qualify).

No. 25: Pat Garrity

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    Years: 1998-08

    Career: 7.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.8 APG, 41.7 FG%, 39.8 3FG%

    Magic: 7.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 0.8 APG, 41.3 FG%, 39.8 3FG%

    Pat Garrity spent most of his career sparsely accumulating minutes during garbage time.

    However, he was a fan favorite and the 513 games he played for the Magic ranks fourth in franchise history.

    And while he wasn't used very often, he made the most of his playing opportunities by knocking down threes at a solid percentage.

    There wasn't a whole lot Garrity did to make himself stand out, but his hard work, hustle and ability to knock down open shots made him an asset.

    That was especially true from 2001-03 when he averaged 10.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 41.1 percent from three-point territory.

    Those numbers were the best of his career, but his efficiency outweighed any of the other shortcomings he may have had.

No. 24: Jason Richardson

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    Years: 2010-12

    Career: 17.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.7 APG, 44.0 FG%, 37.1 3FG%

    Magic: 12.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, 42.1 FG%, 37.7 3FG%

    Known for his tremendous athleticism and dunking ability, Jason Richardson came to the Magic at a point in his career where neither were at their peak.

    However, that's not to say he didn't still have a little left in the tank.

    For many of the 109 games Richardson suited up for the team, he was incredibly streaky. Some games he would go off for 20 points, others he would be held to single digits.

    A lot of that probably had to do with the fact that he did lose a step due to his age and began settling for jump shots instead of driving to the hoop.

    Regardless, Richardson was a solid contributor in his prime and did a fairly good job of providing the Magic with a third scoring option during his time in town.

No. 23: Nik Vucevic

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    Years: 2012-Present

    Career: 10.1 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1.4 APG, 50.2 FG%

    Magic: 13.1 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 1.9 APG, 51.9 FG%

    Nik Vucevic certainly made a fantastic first impression last season and likely made plenty of Magic fans forget about the Dwight Howard debacle.

    Wasting no time, Vucevic exploded onto the scene and had one of the best years any big man in franchise history has ever had.

    His 11.9 rebounds per game is currently third-best, trailing only Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal. The 13.9 points per game he posted proved he was more than just a body in the paint.

    On New Year's Eve, Vucevic broke the franchise record for rebounds in a game by snagging 29 against Miami Heat. As if that weren't enough, he also scored 20 points that game.

    Perhaps the excitement should be tempered. After all, it was only one season.

    However, the future is clearly bright for Vucevic and if he can keep up this stellar level of play, he will certainly be moving up these rankings in a hurry. 

No. 22: Ryan Anderson

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    Years: 2009-12

    Career: 11.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 0.9 APG, 42.6 FG%, 38.4 3FG%

    Magic: 11.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 0.8 APG, 43.5 FG%, 38.8 3FG%

    When Ryan Anderson arrived in Orlando in the same trade that saw Vince Carter come to town, he seemed like nothing more than a throw-in piece who might be a nice role player.

    But over the three seasons he spent with the Magic, he turned into a legitimate threat off the bench and eventually a very solid starting power forward.

    At 6'10", Anderson is a true stretch-4 and arguably one of the best in the NBA.

    Winner of the 2012 NBA Most Improved Player award and leading the league in three-point field goals that same year while averaging 16.1 points and 7.7 rebounds, he became a hot commodity.

    The Magic decided not to compete with the four-year, $34 million contract the New Orleans Pelicans gave him prior to 2012-13, but had they matched, he would likely have moved up these rankings as his career progressed.

    During his time with the team, he was a hard worker and fan favorite whose production greatly helped the team move in the right direction.

    Hopefully he can move past the terrible tragedy that recently occurred in his personal life and continue to have a nice career. 

No. 21: Juwan Howard

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    Years: 2003-04

    Career: 13.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 46.9 FG%

    Magic: 17.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 45.3 FG%

    Looking at his career numbers, it's easy to think that Juwan Howard may have underachieved based on his extremely successful collegiate career.

    However, the 6'9" forward had some excellent years, especially early in his career.

    He was already 30 years old when he signed with the Magic, but he quickly dismissed any questions about his age by posting solid numbers across the board.

    And while his time with the Magic was short-lived, he proved that he still had what it took to play at a high level and earned himself minutes with the Houston Rockets the following year.

    His time with the Magic won't be remembered much due to its short nature, but he's one of the best players to ever wear the uniform. 

No. 20: Reggie Theus

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    Years: 1989-90

    Career: 18.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 6.3 APG, 47.1 FG%

    Magic: 18.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 5.4 APG, 43.9 FG%

    As his career was coming to an end, Reggie Theus found himself making a one-year stop in Orlando.

    Despite it being a short stay, it was a productive one.

    In his lone season with the Magic, Theus averaged 18.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists as the Magic finished 18-64—the worst showing in franchise history.

    Despite that, Theus proved why he was once a two-time All-Star Game participant. His knack for scoring in combination with his ability to get teammates involved made him tough for defenders to lock down.

    Even if it was only for a year, the Magic did the right thing by drafting him in the 1989 expansion draft.

    Having a big name like his around helped the franchise capture a fanbase.

No. 19: Terry Catledge

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    Years: 1989-93

    Career: 12.7 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 0.9 APG, 48.5 FG%

    Magic: 15.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.1 APG, 47.9 FG%

    Terry Catledge wasn't the most talented player in the world, but he made the most of his eight-year career.

    And the four he spent with the Magic were exceptionally good.

    At 6'8", he wasn't the biggest player on the roster and his skill set was somewhat limited, but he scored relatively efficiently and rebounded quite well.

    During the 1989-90 season he averaged 19.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.0 assist while shooting 47.4 percent from the field on his way to leading the team in scoring during a dreadful season. 

    Maybe that's why his career with Orlando is often overlooked.

    His time spent with the team was during some of their worst years. In fact, during his stay, the Magic went 80-187 and never competed for anything other than staying out of the cellar.

    Still, the numbers don't lie. Catledge provided the team with some solid play.

No. 18: Steve Francis

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    Years: 2004-06

    Career: 18.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 6.0 APG, 42.9 FG%, 34.1 3FG%

    Magic: 19.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 6.5 APG, 42.6 FG%, 28.4 3FG%

    An argument for Steve Francis being higher on this list could certainly be made. For several years, he was one of the best point guards in the game, especially from a scoring perspective.

    And during his 124 games with the Magic, he played pretty solid basketball, but ultimately "The Franchise" didn't leave much of a mark on this franchise.

    Sure, his stats are solid, but Francis wasn't really the type of player who would impress with his efficiency or his ability to run an offense.

    And both of those things are pretty crucial for a point guard.

    Nonetheless, he was an impressive talent and seemed to be able to score whenever he want.

    Never a great three-point shooter, Francis relied on his quickness and athleticism to blow by defenders and finish at the rim. He also had a propensity for getting to the free-throw line, averaging 6.1 trips there for his career.

    At age 30, the 2007-08 season with the Houston Rockets was his last in the NBA. After a short stint with the Beijing Ducks in 2010, it now appears as though Francis has unofficially hung up his sneakers.

No. 17: Vince Carter

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    Years: 2009-10

    Career: 20.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.8 APG, 44.3 FG%, 37.6 3FG%

    Magic: 16.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 3.1 APG, 43.6 FG%, 36.3 3FG%

    Vince Carter may not have been in his prime when he was traded to Orlando prior to the 2009-10 season, but he was still a capable scorer who management felt could help the team make its way back to the NBA Finals.

    And that almost happened.

    During his first season with the team, Carter scored 16.6 points per game and was the second-leading scorer behind Dwight Howard.

    Since a title wasn't won, it could be said that bringing in Carter turned out to be a mistake, but he gave the team one-and-a-half seasons of quality play.

    Not to mention, it'd be impossible to leave someone with his credentials off of this list. There are very few teams which Carter wouldn't find himself in the top 25 on.

No. 16: J.J. Redick

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    Years: 2006-13

    Career: 9.4 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.0 APG, 42.9 FG%, 39.0 3FG%

    Magic: 9.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 1.9 APG, 43.2 FG%, 39.8 3FG%

    Is No. 16 too generous for a role player like J.J. Redick? Perhaps.

    But no player in recent memory did more for the team without it necessarily showing up in the box score than Redick did.

    Yes, there was 2012-13 in which he averaged 15.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists in the 50 games he played before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks.

    However, even during the early part of his career, Redick's value was best assessed via the eye test. Whenever he stepped onto the court, things just seemed to click better.

    His relentless movement and excellent conditioning allowed him to run circles around defenders and tire them out in a hurry. Additionally, his high understanding of the game and willingness to play within the offense's structure allowed for a smoother flow.

    All of that said and his shooting hasn't been mentioned yet.

    One of the best pure shooters in college history, Redick hasn't lost much in the NBA. He's been streaky at times, but sits at 39.0 percent for his career. That number should continue to improve with more repetitions.

    A fan favorite, it was tough to see Redick traded in 2013. However, he'll always have a special place in the hearts of many Magic fans.

No. 15: Rony Seikaly

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    Years: 1996-98

    Career: 14.7 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 1.3 APG, 48.4 FG%

    Magic: 16.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 48.2 FG%

    Rony Seikaly's stay in Orlando wasn't a lengthy one, but he did make the most of it.

    For most of the 121 games he played in a Magic uniform, Seikaly proved that he could still be the guy that was almost a guaranteed double-double threat each and every night.

    While many people may forget that he ever played a game for the Magic, he was an important piece for the short time he was in town.

    In fact, his arrival immediately after the departure of Shaquille O'Neal was a major reason why the team was able to make it back to the postseason at the conclusion of the 1996-97 season.

    His 17.3 points were second that year to Anfernee Hardaway, while his 9.5 rebounds per game led the team.

    With excellent footwork and a great arsenal of post moves, Seikaly is one of the best big men the franchise has seen.

No. 14: Darrell Armstrong

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    Years: 1995-2003

    Career: 9.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 40.9 FG%, 33.4 3FG%

    Magic: 11.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 5.1 APG, 1.7 SPG, 41.9 FG%, 34.6 3FG%

    Some may feel that No. 14 is a bit too high for Darrell Armstrong, but there was a three-season stretch in which he was a very serviceable—if not solid—starting point guard.

    When the team was in desperate need for someone to run its offense in the late '90s and early '00s, Armstrong stepped to the front of the line and took on the challenge.

    The winner of both the 1999 Most Improved Player and Sixth Man of the Year Award was never overly efficient on the offensive end, but he was a pesky defender who opposing point guards likely dreaded having to face.

    From 1998-99 to 2001-02, Armstrong averaged 2.0 steals and racked up 11.6 defensive win shares in the process.

    On top of all that, his unmatched energy and relentless hustle only added to his value. 

No. 13: Mike Miller

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    Years: 2000-03

    Career: 12.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.9 APG, 46.1 FG%, 40.6 3FG%

    Magic: 14.1 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.5 APG, 43.1 FG%, 37.9 3FG%

    Mike Miller was the fifth overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft and, while he hasn't lived up to the hype, has had a pretty solid career.

    As the numbers show, as his career has progressed he's made the transition to being more of a standstill shooter, but when he was younger he possessed the ability to beat defenders off the dribble.

    And when he managed to do that, he always made sure to finish at the rim with excellent efficiency.

    In 2005-06 with the Memphis Grizzlies, he won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award. A year later, he proved that he could also be a team's go-to scoring option when he averaged 18.5 points.

    Perhaps, had they not traded him, he could have ended up having that kind of success in a Magic uniform for most of his career.

    Nonetheless, everything works out for a reason and Miller has ended up winning two championships with the Miami Heat.

    Still, his time with Orlando won't be forgotten.

No. 12: Hedo Turkoglu

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    Years: 2004-09, 2010-Present

    Career: 11.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.1 APG, 42.6 FG%, 38.1 3FG%

    Magic: 14.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.9 APG, 43.2 FG%, 37.9 3FG%

    It's not often that a 6'10" forward who can run an offense, score, pass and rebound comes along. But that's exactly what the Magic got when Hedo Turkoglu signed during the summer of 2004. 

    Immediately, Turkoglu made an impact and gave the team a legitimate scoring option off the bench. From there, he continued to shine.

    The 2007-08 season saw him average 19.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists (all career highs) while shooting 45.6 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from behind the three-point line en route to winning the NBA Most Improved Player award.

    That's not to say that he hasn't been frustrating at times.

    In fact, his second stint with the Magic has been absolutely dreadful and it wouldn't be surprising to see the team try to buy out the remainder of his contract.

    Either way, he had a very good run and was a vital role in Orlando's run to the 2009 NBA Finals. 

No. 11: Rashard Lewis

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    Years: 2007-10

    Career: 15.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.7 APG, 45.3 FG%, 38.8 3FG%

    Magic: 16.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.1 APG, 44.2 FG%, 39.9 3FG%

    Rashard Lewis came to the Magic in in 2007 after a successful run with the Seattle SuperSonics. He provided the team with a 6'10" forward who could stretch floor and knock down open shots.

    And for the majority of his time in Orlando, he did just that.

    In fact, despite playing in just 257 games for the Magic, Lewis finished with sixth-most threes made in franchise history.

    Some might say he settled for the three too much and was a bit trigger happy. 

    That's certainly an argument worth listening to, but his efficiency never really suffered and was always in a pretty respectable range. It's hard to argue that someone shooting 39.9 percent from three-point range is taking too many of them.

    For someone his size, Lewis could have spent more time perfecting his low-post game and ability to rebound, but those are relatively small criticisms.

No. 10: Jameer Nelson

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    Years: 2004-Present

    Career (with Magic): 12.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 5.2 APG, 44.8 FG%, 38.0 3FG%

    Love him or hate him, Jameer Nelson will likely be the starting point guard at the start of the upcoming season.

    And despite some struggles, he's done a more than respectable job for the past nine years.

    Drafted 20th in 2004, one of the major knocks on Nelson was his size. At a generous 6'0", he doesn't have great size for the point guard position, at least not in this day and age.

    However, he's made the best of it, converting on 44.8 percent of his field-goal attempts.

    Following a poor 2011-12 campaign, Nelson bounced back in 2012-13.

    The 14.7 points he averaged were the most he posted since 2008-09, the year he was selected to his first All-Star Game. On top of that, the 7.4 assists per game were a career high.

    In fact, a slight increase in turnovers and struggles shooting the ball are about the only criticisms that could be made about Nelson's most recent effort.

    As the young talent around him gets better, his numbers could continue to improve, assuming he remains in Orlando.

    If they do, he could move higher up on this list.

    Regardless, his solid play through 583 games in blue and white help him lock down the No. 10 spot. 

No. 9: Horace Grant

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    Years: 1994-99, 2001-03

    Career: 11.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.2 APG, 50.9 FG%

    Magic: 11.3 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.1 APG, 50.2 FG%

    With four championship rings, four selections to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team and one All-Star Game appearance, Horace Grant's resume isn't lacking in a whole lot of areas.

    And while he was clearly at his best with the Chicago Bulls, he still made an impact and provided the Magic with solid play during his seven seasons with the team.

    Grant was a competitor in every sense of the word.

    He was tough, willing to grind, he rebounded, defended and scored with great efficiency. Oh, and as an added bonus, he took extremely good care of the ball too, rarely turning it over.

    Needless to say, Grant was a guy you wanted for a teammate.

    His numbers don't blow you away, but he ranks sixth in franchise history for rebounds per game and the 411 games he played in a Magic uniform is good enough for eighth.

No. 8: Dennis Scott

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    Years: 1990-97

    Career: 12.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.1 APG, 41.7 FG%, 39.7 3FG%

    Magic: 14.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 2.3 APG, 42.2 FG%, 40.3 3FG%

    Dennis Scott wasn't the most well-rounded player to ever step foot on the court. He wasn't a big rebounder, he didn't drop 10 assists per game and his ability to breakdown defenders and take them off the dribble wasn't anything to write home about.

    However, Scott did one thing extremely well: shoot.

    For his career, Scott took 4.9 threes per game and converted on 39.7 percent of them. Considering the volume, that's a very respectable percentage and it certainly helped him become one of the most prolific three-point shooters of the 90's.

    He was able to benefit from teammates Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee Hardaway drawing the attention of most defenses. As teams collapsed on Shaq or doubled Penny, Scott was often left wide open, waiting for his chance to strike.

    And more often than not, he did.

No. 7: Scott Skiles

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    Years: 1989-94

    Career: 11.1 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 6.5 APG, 43.5 FG%, 37.9 3FG%

    Magic: 12.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 7.2 APG, 43.6 FG%, 38.0 3FG%

    Playing in an era with great point guards like John Stockton, Mark Jackson, Tim Hardaway and Kevin Johnson, it was nearly impossible for Scott Skiles to get any attention.

    However, he might also be one of the most underappreciated and unrecognized players in franchise history as well.

    But for most of his five seasons with the Magic, Skiles orchestrated the offense and was an excellent distributor.

    And while he was known most for his passing ability—he still holds the record for most assists in a game with 30—Skiles was more than capable of scoring.

    In fact, from the 1990-91 season through 1992-93 he averaged 15.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 8.4 assists on 44.2 percent shooting from the field and 37.0 percent from three-point range.

    For someone of his stature, he scored pretty efficiently throughout his career.

    That three-season stretch was the best of his 10-year career, and it was a stretch that was good enough to firmly secure his spot at No. 7.

No. 6: Grant Hill

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    Years: 2000-07

    Career: 16.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.1 APG, 48.3 FG%

    Magic: 16.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.1 APG, 50.0 FG%

    They're certainly not bad, but Grant Hill's career numbers don't tell half the story.

    Over his first five seasons in the league, Hill averaged 21.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.6 steals while shooting 47.6 percent from the field. He was a legitimate triple-double threat every night he played.

    But then came the injuries. And unfortunately, they kept on coming.

    During his time with the Magic, Hill wasn't what he was with the Detroit Pistons during the early portion of his career. However, when he was on the floor, he made the most of his minutes and produced at a solid rate.

    For his size and position, Hill was a fantastic rebounder and could distribute the ball as well as some point guards. And while he was never a fantastic shooter, he possessed the ability to blow by defenders and get to the rim better than almost anyone.

    Despite playing in just 200 games over his six seasons with Orlando, there's no question that Hill is one of the best players to step foot on the court for the young franchise.

    And had it not been for those injuries, he may have been one of the best to ever play the game. 

No. 5: Nick Anderson

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    Years: 1989-99

    Career: 14.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.4 SPG, 44.6 FG%, 35.6 3FG%

    Magic: 15.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.5 SPG, 45.4 FG%, 36.3 3FG%

    Before the arrival of Shaquille O'Neal, Nick Anderson was quickly turning into the Magic's go-to player on offense.

    During the 1991-92 season—one year before Shaq's arrival—Anderson averaged 19.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists on 46.3 percent shooting from the field, proving he could score at the 2-guard position and do so efficiently.

    When Shaq did come to town a year later, Anderson's production didn't fall off at all.

    At 6'6", he had good size for a shooting guard and his solid build allowed him to physically take charge of defenders who were of smaller stature.

    Anfernee Hardaway's arrival meant that Anderson would fall another rung and become the third man of an excellent trio, but that doesn't take away from what he did for the franchise.

    Not to mention, the 692 games he played in a Magic uniform still tops the list, and loyalty is something that shouldn't be taken lightly.

No. 4: Tracy McGrady

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    Years: 2000-04

    Career: 19.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 4.4 APG, 1.2 SPG, 43.5 FG%, 33.8 3FG%

    Magic: 28.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.5 SPG, 44.6 FG%, 36.1 3FG%

    During his prime, there were very few players who could score as well as Tracy McGrady.

    In fact, for two of the four seasons he played in Orlando, McGrady led the league in scoring.

    Defending him was an incredibly difficult task.

    With a solid mid-range jump shot, decent accuracy from behind the three-point line and a relentlessness in terms of attacking the basket, McGrady was a beast in terms of his scoring prowess.

    In the 2002-03 season, he averaged 32.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists on 45.7 percent shooting from the field and had a three-point percentage of 38.6. More impressively, he got to the free-throw line 9.7 times per game.

    His years with the Magic were clearly the best of his career, and he led some mediocre teams to three-straight playoff appearances.

    While he never made it to the NBA Finals, his time with the Magic cannot be overlooked. As far as pure scorers go, McGrady is the best the franchise has ever seen.

No. 3: Dwight Howard

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    Years: 2004-12

    Career: 18.3 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 2.2 BPG, 57.7 FG%

    Magic: 18.4 PPG, 13.0 RPG, 1.5 APG, 2.2 BPG, 57.7 FG%

    Is he Shaquille O'Neal? Absolutely not.

    However, that doesn't mean Dwight Howard didn't have a great impact on the franchise and that he wasn't dominant in his own right.

    In terms of shot-blocking and rebounding, the two big men are pretty equal.

    But where Shaq stands out—and where Howard sometimes struggles—is on the offensive end.

    Shaq was virtually unstoppable when he caught the ball in the post. His excellent footwork, elite arsenal of post moves, soft touch and athleticism made him a nightmare for defenders.

    While Howard is getting there, he still lacks many of those skills.

    He has yet to develop post moves he can turn to on a consistent basis and his touch around the rim—when he's not dunking—is still not quite there.

    Still, that's not a knock on Howard. Being compared to one of the game's greatest big men is a compliment in itself and, with some hard work, he could surpass Shaq when his career is finished.

    After leading the Magic to an NBA Finals appearance in 2009 and to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010, Howard's spot near the top of the list is firmly in place, even if his departure irked many fans.

No. 2: Anfernee Hardaway

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    Years: 1993-99

    Career: 15.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 5.0 APG, 1.6 SPG, 45.8 FG%

    Magic: 19.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.9 SPG, 47.2 FG%

    Had it not been for injuries, Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway may have been one of the best point guards the game had ever seen.

    The 6'7" Hardaway was gifted with excellent height and length for his position and was a nightmare for defenders throughout his prime.

    Not only that, but he was rare in the sense that he could score, rebound and distribute the basketball at an efficient rate.

    Penny and Shaquille O'Neal combined to make a great duo for the Magic and led them to the NBA Finals on one occasion.

    The two would eventually be split when Shaq decided to pursue interests in Los Angeles, but there's no denying that the duo was one of the best in their early years when both were healthy.

    Hardaway could have had a much lengthier career, but it was cut short.

    Regardless, he was one of the best players to ever step foot on the court for the Magic. 

No. 1: Shaquille O'Neal

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    Years: 1992-96

    Career: 23.7 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 2.5 APG, 2.3 BPG, 58.2 FG%

    Magic:  27.2 PPG, 12.5 RPG, 2.4 APG, 2.7 BPG, 58.1 FG%

    Was there ever any doubt as to who would top the list of greatest players in Magic history?

    Arguably one of the greatest centers to ever play the game, no one had a greater impact on the franchise than Shaquille O'Neal did during his four seasons in Orlando.

    His numbers—both for his career and with the team—speak for themselves, but watching the big man get up and down the court in his early days was a special treat.

    Never before had the game seen someone who combined size, strength, quickness and athleticism the way that Shaq did.

    Not long after his arrival, he would lead the team to its first NBA Finals appearance just six years after becoming a franchise. The following year, an appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals was due in large part to his play.

    Shaq's play and personality off the court made him an incredibly likable and available player who could connect with the fans.

    And while his departure may have left a bitter taste in the mouths of some fans, it's hard to blame Shaq for pursuing greener pastures.

    Regardless, there's no one else who belongs in the top spot when it comes to the greatest players to ever don a Magic uniform.


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