The Orlando Magic are on the stationary bike of insufficiency

Wrote about the Orlando Magic, who are nowhere. An excerpt:

The one place pretty much everyone seems to agree that an NBA team never wants to be is on the treadmill of mediocrity. You know what it is: your team is nowhere near good enough to make the playoffs but also not quite bad enough to pick at or near the top of the draft. It’s NBA purgatory, basically.
The Orlando Magic are not on the treadmill of mediocrity. Orlando has won just 131 games since trading Dwight Howard back in 2012, fewer than every team in the NBA save for the Sixers. Their 26.2-win average over these last five seasons it the lowest of any five-season span in the franchise’s 28-year history. As such, they’ve picked near the top of the draft several times over the last few seasons. After trading Howard, the Magic picked second, fourth, and fifth in the following three drafts. They also traded for an additional top-10 selection in 2014.
They approached last summer as if they were finally ready to make a big leap toward a playoff spot, but their plan crashed and burned and they’ll likely win seven fewer games this season than they did last year. The Magic’s plan appeared haphazard as we watched it play out last summer — with Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon already on the roster, they traded for Serge Ibaka and then paid Bismack Biyombo $72 million, virtually ensuring that their most promising young player (Gordon) would almost never play his proper position; and then they paid Jeff Green as well — and it’s not all that surprising that things didn’t work out as planned.

Read the full story at The Step Back.