That is depressing to hear. So what should we do, in your opinion? So that we can have a future of contention
We are in a tough spot, and over the next year or two I think the best we can realistically hope for is incremental improvements.
1. As I said earlier in this thread, I think Evan opts in and you look to trade him if you can get one of these;
- A younger player with potential (think how we got Evan for Afflalo etc)
- A player who is as good a shooter who doesn't need to dominate the ball
- A better playmaker
But, it has to be on a contract that doesn't handcuff the team down the line, which is not easy.
If you can't get one of the above and the Magic are in playoff contention, rather than make a bad trade they may just ride Fournier out all the way to the end of his contract and try to replace him through the draft/MLE and/or hope by then other scorers have developed.
2. Keep Vuc. As I have said recently in posts the end goal is for the team to make enough money that it doesn't become a money sink for the DeVos family and sold to another city. Vuc keeps us in playoff contention and the right moves and player development around him could improve the team overall.
3. Keep Gordon for now. If Okeke is as good as we need him to be, and Aminu is better than this season, then look to move AG at the trade deadline. Again though, if we are in the playoff hunt, and/or Okeke isn't ready, the Magic may stand pat until Isaac proves he can play.
4. Get some real player development staff in here to get Okeke and #15 off on the right foot, Markelle's 3 point game cooking and a big man coach suited for the modern NBA to help Bamba become servicable.
5. Unless you use #15 on a PG, whoever you bring in to backup Markelle needs to be on a 1-2 year deal (not opposed to it being DJ or MCW). If it is a FA, do not give them this full MLE 4 year garbage they gave Aminu, because if Markelle develops as hoped they backup PG might only be playing < 15mins.
6. Take a punt on Isaac's health and try and extend him cheap now while he is injured, hope for the best, and if he goes down again, well, at least his contract isn't a team killer.
7. The rest of the players, take them or leave them, look for cheap buys like Ennis/Clark and don't take on any bad contracts.
So basically, I am saying in a perfect world we move Evan for someone who is younger but becomes better, we move AG for value/youth at the deadline because Okeke/Aminu are playing well, Markelle and Bamba develop well and Vuc carries over his bubble play to next season...
To me that's the best we can hope for.