Commentary

NBA Offseason Buzz: Orlando Magic

The search for a leader amid more changes at point guard

Originally Published: September 18, 2009
By John Hollinger and Ric Bucher | ESPN Insider

Want to know who's heating up for a big season on the hardwood? Insider is tapping into John Hollinger's projected player efficiency ratings to see who's trending up and down across the NBA. Ric Bucher rounds out the report by examining a pivotal player you'll want to watch as the season approaches. The series continues with the Orlando Magic.

Two ways to look at the Magic's offseason overhaul: They messed with a formula that got them to the Finals for the first time in 14 years, or they reloaded to improve their chances at finishing the job and winning a title this time around. Their chance of doing the latter probably will depend less on personnel upgrades and more on the maturation of Dwight Howard -- or the sudden evolution of Vince Carter -- into a bona fide leader. No team has ever won a championship without its best player leading the charge and those are Orlando's two candidates.

To see which player is taking off, which is crashing to earth and which name you'll need to know for the 2009-10 season, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Ric Bucher

NBA Reporter, ESPN The Magazine Senior Writer