2018-2019 Orlando Magic Team Preview and Betting Picks
Amway Center in Orlando, Florida Steve Clifford – Head Coach Eastern Conference – Southeast Division 2017 Record: 25-57
Orlando Magic CoachingThe Orlando Magic terminated the contract of Head Coach Frank Vogel at the end of the season after missing the postseason for the 6th straight time. The organization felt that Vogel wasn’t getting the most out of the talent on the roster and wanted to go in a different direction. It just so happened that the Charlotte Hornets were in the process of parting ways with their Head Coach Steve Clifford. Clifford had missed back to back years in the postseason with the Hornets and really didn’t put together much success while with the team, going 196-214 in 5 seasons with the team. That being said, the Magic felt that he was the right person to fill their vacancy and hired him as the Head Coach of the Magic.
Orlando Magic Offseason Transactions
- June 21, 2018 – The Magic used their 1st round NBA Draft selection to pick 6th overall and take former Texas Center Mo Bamba.
- June 22, 2018 – The Magic used their 1st of two second-round NBA Draft selections to pick 35th and take former Tulane Small Forward Melvin Frazier.
- June 22, 2018 – The Magic used their 2nd of two second-round NBA Draft selections to pick 43rd and take former Maryland Small Forward Justin Jackson.
- June 25, 2018 – The Magic lost Shelvin Mack in free agency, who signed with the Memphis Grizzlies.
- July 3, 2018 – The Magic lost Mo Speights in free agency, who signed with the Guangzhou Long-Lions.
- July 6, 2018 – The Magic lost Mario Hezonja in free agency, who signed with the New York Knicks.
- July 6, 2018 – The Magic re-signed Aaron Gordon to a contract extension.
- July 6, 2018 – The Magic signed free agent Isaiah Briscoe, formerly of the BC Kalev.
- July 7, 2018 – The Magic were part of a three-team trade the saw them send Bismack Biyombo and two second-round NBA Draft picks to Charlotte in exchange for Jerian Grant and Timofey Mozgov.
- July 11, 2018 – The Magic signed free agent Troy Caupain, formerly of the G.S.A. Udine, to a two-way contract.
- July 20, 2018 – The Magic traded Rodney Purvis to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Dakari Johnson.
- July 23, 2018 – The Magic traded Dakari Johnson to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jarell Martin.
- August 7, 2018 – The Magic signed free agent Amile Jefferson, formerly of the Minnesota Timberwolves, to a two-way contract.
- September 5, 2018 – The Magic signed undrafted free agent B.J. Johnson, formerly of the La Salle Explorers.
- September 5, 2018 – The Magic signed free agent Gabe York, formerly of the Medi Bayreuth.
Orlando Magic Starting 5D.J. Augustin (PG) – The Magic are banking on the fact that Augustin can go from a career backup point guard to an everyday starter in the NBA. The basis of their immediate success will rely heavily on whether he can run the 1 or if the Magic made a major mistake! Evan Fournier (SG) – Fournier has always been one of the top three-point shooting guards in the league. This year should be no different. He averaged just under 18 points per game last year but this year, he should see an uptick on minutes and usage with Augustin playing the 1 with questionable leadership skills. Jonathan Simmons (SF) – Simmons is in a contract year. He has a team option for next season but without an impressive season, he will most likely be playing in his final season with the Magic. He is fresh off a wrist injury and looking to get back on the court for a fresh start with the Magic. Aaron Gordon (PF) – There was a question on if Gordon would return this year but once he hit the free agency market, the Magic made it abundantly clear that they want him for the long haul. The Magic re-signed him to make sure he would be with the team for at least the next 4-years. Gordon is an explosive player that is a double-double threat each and every night he steps on the court. Nikola Vucevic (C) – Vucevic will be a free agent at the end of the year so he could be playing in a season where he looks to impress in each and every game.
Orlando Magic Key Bench PlayersJerian Grant (PG) – Many people, including myself, believe that Grant will end up being the starting Point Guard by the season's end. He just needs a chance to be able to prove he can run the 1 and if he is afforded that opportunity, he should rise up and take advantage. Mo Bamba (C) – Bamba is expected to come in and compete with Vucevic for playing time. The rookie is as exciting of a player in the paint as anyone in the league. The Magic would like to see him bulk up a bit and put on some weight but he has a very bright future. Jonathan Isaac (PF) – Isaac was limited in 2017-2018 with only playing 27 games in his rookie season but now he seems adjusted well and the former #6 overall selection will be looking to show the organization that he is ready for the next step.
2018 Predictions and Betting Outlook for Orlando MagicThe Magic appear on paper that they will have one of the better defensive units in the NBA and also look like they could use their new frontcourt to put pressure on opposing defenses in coverage. The way this front court appears, they could truly become one of the most defensive units in basketball and create multiple turnovers each and every night. That is the optimistic side of things……now for the reality. This team is young…..very young, and it is going to take some time for them to mend together and work as a unit. It’s nice to wish they would be immediately successful but that isn’t realistic. The organization is going to bring Mo Bamba along slowly, similar to what they have done with Jonathan Isaac, and I don’t expect them to get him many minutes early on in the season as he is young and inexperienced. With the team being so young, I don't expect a winning season is in their immediate future. I think they are still a bit away from putting together a team that can get them over the hump and into the .500 range. Our friends over at MyBookie have set the following lines on the Orlando Magic:
- Odds to Win NBA Championship: +30000
- Odds to Win Eastern Conference Championship: +8000
- Odds to Win Southeast Division: +2200
- NBA Regular Season Wins Total: 31