D.J. Augustin is best known for his 3-point shooting and ability to initiate contact on drives to the hoop. Augustin has been a reliable back up point guard during his 9 years in the NBA, playing for 7 other teams before signing with the Magic during free agency in 2016.
Following a disappointing 2017-18 season, Augustin had an improved second season in Orlando, he became the full time starter following the trade of Elfrid Payton in February, finishing the season averaging 10.2 points, 3.8 assists and 41.2% from beyond the arc.
D.J. will likely start the 2018-19 season as the starting point guard, as the Orlando Magic search for a long term answer at the point guard position.
Khem Birch is a developing big man with tremendous athleticism and defensive potential. He’s been known throughout his basketball journey as a tenacious defender and a hard worker. Last season, Birch split time between Orlando and Lakeland, the Magic’s G League affiliate, during his first season in the NBA.
Birch found playing time difficult to find last year, playing behind Nikola Vucevic and Bismack Biyombo in a crowded front court. He appeared in 42 games during the 2016-17 season, averaging 4.2 points, 4.3 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game.
As the Magic enter the new season, the teams front court remains loaded with Nikola Vucevic, Mohamed Bamba and Timofey Mosgov, all likely ahead on the teams depth chart. Heading back to play for the Lakeland Magic in the G League, seems a likely scenario for Birch allowing him to develop his game.
Evan Fournier is a versatile offensive player, as he’s shown the last few years in Orlando that he’s an effective scorer on the perimeter and when he attacks the basket. Fournier has led the Magic in scoring the past two seasons as he enters his fifth season in Central Florida.
The Frenchman has become a consistent scorer, often drawing attention from opposing teams at the end of games. Despite grabbing the most attention, last season Fournier averaged 17.8 points, 3.2 rebounds shooting 37.9% from 3.
This season the Magic will be relying on Evan to continue putting up points for a team who may struggle shooting during stretches of games. Keeping him healthy will be key, if the Magic hope to have a good season.
Aaron Gordon is one of the most athletic and agile players in the NBA. Throughout the early portion of his career, Gordon has excited fans with countless jaw-dropping dunks. He’s an elite defender with a ton of upside to grow into one of the game’s best two-way players.
This summer Orlando resigned Gordon to a team friendly, four year contract, an important step as the Magic continue to rebuild this roster. In 2017-18, Gordon had a career year that saw him improve in every major category including 3-point shooting (33.6%), rebounding (7.9) and points (17.6) per game.
At 23 years of age, Aaron has bags of potential and the teams most likely All Star candidate over the coming seasons. He will need another big jump this year as the Magic begin to build around the trio of Gordon, Jonathan Isaac and Mohamed Bamba.
Jonathan Isaac is a young, promising forward who was selected sixth overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. His length, athleticism and defensive versatility is why so many basketball observers think he can be a difference-maker as he matures and develops.
A frustrating rookie campaign saw Isaac play just 27 games in a Magic uniform in 2017-18. He sprained his ankle during a road game against the Denver Nuggets in November, that was followed by several set backs before suiting up for several games at the end of the season.
But the flashes of potential and his ability on the defensive end were clear to see when he did play, Jonathan will be hoping to have a better second season after adding healthy weight during the offseason. Expect Isaac to cause opposing players nightmares, on the defensive end this season.
Wesley Iwundu came into the NBA as a versatile wing defender, after being selected 33rd overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. Not known for his scoring, he was drafted last year as a young player that needed time to develop and work on his shooting.
Orlando suffered a lot of injuries during the 2017-18 season, that gave Iwundu opportunities to showcase his talent and defensive instincts, playing in 62 games for the Magic, starting 12 times. In 16.5 minutes per game he averaged 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds.
Wes Iwundu will have to impress in training camp if he has hopes of making the roster, especially after the Magic drafted Melvin Frazier II this June. Two players with a similar game, will competing for a roster spot and playing time. It’s also likely that Wes could end up on the Lakeland Magic at some point during the season, to help his development.
Jarell Martin has had some of his best performances in his career when he has been matched up against elite competition. Last season, for example, Anthony Davis missed all seven shot attempts when the Baton Rouge, La. native was his closest defender. Now with the Magic, Martin hopes to give his new team some extra grit and toughness.
Terrence Ross is a high-flyer with outstanding range from 3-point distance. He once scored 51 points while playing for the Toronto Raptors, and he won a slam dunk contest in 2013. The Magic acquired Ross from the Raptors in 2017.
2017-18 was a season to forget for Ross, who missed 58 games with a knee injury suffered in late November against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He appeared in the first 22 games before playing sparing minutes in 2 of the last 3 games of the season.
Terrence will be hoping for a better start this year, after struggling to shoot at the beginning of last season. A career 37.1% 3-point shooter, his ability to spread the floor will be important for the Magic offensively this season.
Jonathon Simmons is a gritty, tenacious, defensive-minded guard, who became known throughout NBA circles when he landed a roster spot with the Spurs after originally auditioning for the organisation’s G League team. Last summer, Orlando signed Simmons to a 3 year deal.
Despite only winning 25 games last year, Jonathon enjoyed a career year playing for the Magic. In 29.4 minutes a night, he averaged 13.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game, all career highs.
With a healthy Terrence Ross, we may see Simmons come off the bench as a 6th man, a role that suited him last season. His energy and aggression off the bench is the Magic lost at times last season, when Simmons was forced to start because of injuries.
Nikola Vucevic is best known for his offensive skills. He’s an excellent low-post scorer and he excels in the pick-and-pop because of his ability to consistently knock down mid-range jumpers. Vucevic has expanded his range beyond the 3-point line, last season he averaged 3.6 attempts a game, shooting a respectable 31.4%. Vucevic is entering his 7th season with the Orlando Magic and has become one of the teams most consistent scorers. He’ll be hoping for a bounce back year after seeing his scoring averages drop the past two years, going into the season as the likely starter at Center.
A lot of questions surround Nikola’s future with the Magic, now in the last year of his contract. After drafting Mohamed Bamba 6th overall in June, Vucevic’s role will be to help the team with his scoring, but to also mentor the young Bamba as the Magic build for the future.
Steve Clifford (Head Coach)
Steve Clifford is one of the more experienced coaches around the NBA, his teams are known for playing smart, disciplined basketball, posting low turn over ratios and rebounding the ball well on both ends of the court.
After the Magic relieved Frank Vogel at the end of the 2017-18 season, the Orlando Magic hired Steve to take over as Head Coach, become just the 14th in franchise history. Steve isn’t new to Orlando though, he was an Assistant Coach under Stan Van Gundy from 2007-2012.
Clifford will be looking to make the same impact on the Magic, as he did with the Charlotte Hornets, seeing a big jump in wins and helping develop some of the young, bright, talent the Magic have on the roster including Aaron Gordon, Jonathan Isaac and Mohamed Bamba.