Last month, an agreement between Basketball Australia, Foxtel and the ABC ensured all 60 games of the WNBL season would be shown live across the country – and Bec Cole of the Southside Flyers was an unexpected beneficiary.
The 2019-2020 NBA season is behind us.
The Los Angeles Lakers were crowned champions in one of the most dominant post-season performances ever. But even though matches will not be played anytime soon, a thrilling offseason has just started.
In the next few days, we will be hearing rumours about potential trades, draft picks, next season’s logistics and salary cap.
With this mind, let’s talk about two franchises that need to reshape their rosters in order to have a brighter future in the league.
The Orlando Magic are stuck in a limbo. Their roster is decent enough to clinch the eighth seed in the East, only to be swept in the first round.
Even though Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier are reliable players, they can’t provide that leap into the conference’s top tier. Thus, if Orlando’s front office does not act soon, they might lose their playoff spot to teams with younger cores, such as the Hawks and the Bulls.
On the other hand, this offseason could be a turning point for the Magic. The uncertainty surrounding the cap space for the next season will force teams to look for trades instead of big free agency signings, and this is where Orlando could hit the jackpot.
Vucevic and Gordon are solid players who could fit in a top tier rotation, so they could be traded for younger players and draft picks, as well as Fournier, who could be in his last contract year if he opts in, enabling the Magic to free up cap space soon.
Orlando’s roster has already some promising young players such as Markelle Fultz, Mo Bamba and Jonathan Isaac. Moreover, in this year’s draft, the Magic has the 15th overall pick, so it could at least select another solid player for the future and form a young core.
To sum up, if Orlando’s front office plays his cards right, Disneyland might have a bright future for its basketball team.
San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have been the most consistent franchise of the last two decades, but their magical 22-year playoff streak came to an end.
Had Kawhi Leonard not left in 2018, they could still be title contenders, but they were not able to replace the ‘Fun Guy’ properly.
LaMarcus Aldridge is past his prime, struggling with injuries and DeMar DeRozan is simply not able to lead a franchise. So, if the Spurs keep this roster with ageing stars (Aldridge has turned 34 and DeRozan 30) they will have no chances in the Wild West.
On the flip side, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for the five-time champions. Aldridge and Rudy Gay will be free agents in 2021, so San Antonio could either trade or just part ways with them next summer. DeRozan has a player option for next season, so they could start freeing up cap space soon.
Their young core, formed of Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, Keldon Johnson and Luka Samaric, is one of the most solid and underestimated in the league. Furthermore, the Spurs have the 11th overall pick in the draft, so they could draft another player with huge star potential.
Just like Orlando, if San Antonio’s front office acts soon, they might have a bright future ahead of them and, as we learned in the past 20 years, we can never doubt the Spurs management.