The Magic won the Southeast Division three straight seasons from 2007-10 and made it to the NBA Finals in 2009. Like the Mike D’Antoni-era Suns, Stan Van Gundy’s Magic squads—featuring big men Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis playing outside—were ahead of their time. Dwight Howard was an absolute force. But the relationship between Howard and Van Gundy went south, and the team hasn’t done anything remotely interesting since the wacky four-team deal that sent Howard to the Lakers.
The Magic have won an average of 26 games over the past six seasons, so they’ve accrued an abundance of top picks, but it’s still not clear there’s a single star on that roster. Somehow, Orlando couldn’t figure out how to use Victor Oladipo. But it gets worse! Orlando traded Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova, and the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis (yes, all of that) to Oklahoma City for...Serge Ibaka. He lasted eight months with the Magic.
Orlando also blew it with Tobias Harris. Then, on draft night 2014, Orlando sent Dario Saric, a first-round pick, and a second-rounder to Philly for Elfrid Payton. Advantage: The Process.
The Magic might squeak into the playoffs this year, but that doesn’t say much about Orlando—the East is terrible.