Southeast Notes: Fultz, Hunter, Len, Magic

The Magic‘s performance as of late without point guard Markelle Fultz has highlighted his importance to the club, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic. The Magic are 1-6 since Fultz was lost for the season with an ACL tear. Fultz’s savvy court vision had been a key component of the Magic’s offense.

“We’ve got to figure something out to try to get us going into offense smoother and understand how we’ve got to play,” shooting guard Terrence Ross noted. “With no Markelle we’re trying to figure it out, but it’s tough. So we’ve got to keep going at it.”

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Hawks wing De’Andre Hunter has grown into the club’s most reliable player, with an improved offensive attack, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic opines. Hunter’s development can be a boon to the franchise in both the short and long term. “He has a chance to be really, really special,” Hawks center Clint Capela said. “To be able to guard the star on the opposite team every night, (it) has been amazing to see that.”
  • With the Wizards losing starting center Thomas Bryant for the year due to a torn left ACL, the club may need to shore up the position with some additional help. Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington posits that recently-waived big man Alex Len could be an intriguing defensive fit for the team.
  • Given the season-long absences of recently-extended young starters Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac, Josh Robbins of The Athletic explores whether or not it makes sense for the Magic to tank for a high draft pick this season.
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24 thoughts on “Southeast Notes: Fultz, Hunter, Len, Magic

  1. Ironmonger835

    Stupid Pelicans should’ve just kept him. Did t they trade down for Jackson Hayes? He’s trash.

    • kayjaygee626

      We have to see how Alexander-Walker turns out as a player before Atlanta is declared the winner in the trade

  2. Luckylefty2

    Magic should tank and draft a center that they can actually develop for the future. No disrespect to vucevic(who has been playing out of his mind) but next season, he will have 2 more years left on his deal. They could have him under his wing for 1 season and then they could trade him on his last year and can get alot of assets.

    • Lionel Muggeridge

      If Vucevic is getting all the shots on your team, you aren’t going to be very good

      • El Don

        Why ’cause Nik is a great shooter, 51/43/79, you probably rather let the other 99+% players in the league that shoots worst do the shooting! Makes real sense! SMH!

        • x%sure

          Ten years in the league, and he’s still getting better! I don’t get Muggeridge’s oft-repeated point… Vooch’s job is to play for his team, the Magic, and they’re as good as they are, which is still not great. But his PER is 28!

      • Magic 24/7

        ORL’s issue is that they haven’t had a high caliber perimeter threat.

        Vuc has developed into an effective high volume player because of his 3pt shot (23.3 PPG on 58.1 TS% including 42.7 from 3Pt range on 6.4 3PA per game).

        Fournier is good, but only as a solid 3d-4th option on a deep playoff team.

        Fultz was looking really good, but he’s not a perimeter threat and its still too early in his development arc to tell if he can be a #1.

    • siggers84

      Vucevic is a good player. Why would they do that when Fultz is only out for one year and Isaac will be back. They should have a good team now when fully fit.

  3. "Stons" Fan

    Been said Magic should have just gone and traded for Rose. Would have just cost a first rounder. If they wait much longer back to the lottery for them. Problem with that is their payroll is sky high!

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Magic should tank. Move Gordon already what are they waiting for. And what about La Bamba. Next yrs draft is the one to tank for. Top 10 is very nice player.

    • Lil_D_Top_3

      Is there any difference between the Magic tanking and just playing the way they have been? Neither team makes the playoffs, and not sure going lower would guarantee a better draft pick. Tanking is pretty despicable, not sure why a real fan would call for it.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Being a lottery team is tanking. When you know you’re a lottery team. Either early or late in season. You can take priority in wins. Or priority in building a core. Playing young guys feeling out bench players. Playing guys with an eye towards next yr. To real fans is best move you can make. And if one of benefits of that is a higher pick in lottery. Then even better for the team. I’m sure some tank on purpose. As a fan I want to get my young guys mins. It’s all part of building a true team. Even trading away vets and looking to the draft. Winning is for teams moving forward. For playoff teams. For contenders. Even young teams fighting for playoffs (like Hawks this year). Lottery bound teams priority to me. Is looking to next yrs team. That’s the way you build a team. That’s the business of the NBA. It’s not always winning. It’s also about building a winner. And that could take years of lottery.

        • x%sure

          You say that about every team you don’t care for, that and get rid of the vets. Pretty presumptuous. Maybe they don’t want to lose, or think it’s too early to try. Tanking does not pay off like it used to. Also it lacks clear examples of success or failure, since some teams would lose anyway.

          “Being a lottery team is tanking”— wrong. Intentionally losing is tanking. Trying to win but losing is regular losing. One should be able to assume effort in a contest.
          “To real fans the best move”— No, real fans want to see wins, not players unsure whether they should make effort.

          • KnickerbockerAl

            No I say that about all teams facing lottery this yr. Try and keep up. I doubt you know what I care for. Teams that are looking to the future. Should all be looking at this draft as big help. Lottery teams and teams who face unsure futures or a first rd exit. For instance any lottery team fits the Bill. A team like Wiz who seem to be headed in wrong direction. Move Beal and they get plenty of help in draft. A team like Rockets who are at best an eight seed. With old vets. Why not move PJ n Gordon and use this draft. I guess you don’t get or understand how deep this draft is. That the whole first rd has real value. So if there are 14 lottery teams. It also means there are 4 first rd exits of aging teams. All could use an infusion of talent. No better place than to get it in a deep draft. So 14 plus 4 makes 18 teams. That’s more than half the NBA that can benefit greatly with multiple picks. Or by moving up the draft for a player. It’s called basketball sense. It’s caring more than you’ll ever know it seems. The draft is always a place for future talent. This yr just happens to be one of best in a long time. I’d say that’s caring big time and knowing the game. 18 out of 30 teams can benefit. That’s caring

        • Magic 24/7

          ORL were just battered with injuries. But they’ve started getting players back.

          Fournier returned last game and already made big impact. MCW who is desperately needed back up PG and key defender might return tonight or later this weekend. Aminu and Okeke should be back soon as well.

          You are confusing “media/fan hype of potential” with reality of tanking…and ignoring harsh truth about “youth movement” teams.

          • KnickerbockerAl

            Realistically where are Magic going this year with their two best players down. Even with them they are a young team fighting for playoffs. So considering life threw them a curve. And Gordon is a guy that can bring them value. Considering J Isaac is taking his spot. It’s a wise move to look to next yr. Next yr healthy with two lottery picks. How much better are they. How much better does the future look. Even with just two 1st rd picks. This draft is an excellent deep draft. Magic can use this yr to evaluate their bench and depth. Let Bamba and Cole get mins. Therefore be more ready next yr. I’m speaking as a basketball fan who knows drafts. Any lottery team this yr. Can benefit greatly from this draft. Especially if you have multiple picks. Isn’t it wiser to get better, stronger, deeper, and younger. Trust me this is the yr 1st rd, especially lottery teams. Can add big talent.

            • Magic 24/7

              Realistically how has your type of strategy worked? It hasn’t for vast majority of teams. But it has deep-sixed numerous small market franchises that attempted it though.

              It has sent several of them on a fiscal tailspin that decimated their infrastructure. It also put most of them in a place that is much worse than the “mediocrity treadmill”…the “bottom-feeder treadmill.” Orlando was one of them.

              Most casuals don’t realize the massive difference between small markets vs the big or destination markets.

              Your type of strategy turns small market teams into a farm system for big markets. This is why the better small market franchises have learned NOT to take strategy you suggest.

              Instead they develop their youth within a competitive context…which aside from being best method for developing young players, is also the best way to maintain the trade value of their players + keep the franchise attractive for free agency (their own and other team’s FA’s).

              They’re not naive to the reality of player movement and how long it actually takes for young players to develop AND when it is they actually impact winning. They realize to retain the players they draft and develop they must maintain a competitive context that is attractive for them to stay in. Even then those markets often lose those players (see Kawhi/Paul George).

              To say just trade away good players for picks is incredibly naive to how erratic both the lottery and the drafting process actually are. Trading away a player like Aaron Gordon doesn’t automatically get you equal player back…in fact in draft it rarely does AND if it does it almost always chews up entire rookie scale part of the contract for that player to impact W side of column. Usually teams have to commit massive $ before they actually know what they have (see Wiggins etc).

              …AND to top it off, it’s incredibly rare for a player to sign a 3d contract (aka their peak prime/time when they most contribute to W’s) with the team that drafted them.

              Trust me…draft hype and reality are not the same thing.

  5. formerlyz

    There are a few guards out there that Orlando should consider signing. Their depth at that spot has been a struggle with so many guys out

  6. That’s a flattering article for Markelle – it’s Fournier’s (don’tgooglehisname) absence that’s done the damage.

  7. siggers84

    I love Fultz such a fun player to watch and such a shame he got injured again

  8. Curtisrowe

    I don’t know if the Magic miss Fultz all that much, they miss having any halfway decent point guard. Anthony isn’t one.

    • Magic 24/7

      The key issue is that they built their system around his ability to play at pace + get into the paint at will.

      The offense wasn’t built around ball movement, but rather a ball dominant PG who created looks for others once D collapsed to his attack.

      Now they’re having to build a new offensive system without practice time because of compressed schedule AND with many of their actual rotation players missing because of injury.

      Fournier’s return has already added some organization plus much needed shooting/driving. When Carter-Williams returns, he’ll add a pace pushing PG and crucial defender, who ORL relied on a lot.

  9. KnickerbockerAl

    I thought Fultz was looking good this yr. He has great size for a PG. Plays both ways. He is a true PG, a scorer. Still working on his gm and shot. Considering last yr was his real first yr and only 22. He’s only playing 27 mins a gm. His stats are solid. I think he’s still getting better. Still has big upside to me.

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