Player News - Magic

Date: Team: Pos:

Aaron Gordon (ankle) did not practice on Thursday.

Head coach Frank Vogel said that Gordon is "antsy" to return to the court, and GM Rob Hennigan said he expects Gordon to suit up for the preseason, so it sounds like he'll be cleared sooner rather than later. Gordon had a nice post-break showing last season, putting up mid-round value behind averages of 12.0 points, 7.3 boards, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks and just 0.9 turnovers per game, and it's reasonable to expect across the board improvement this season as he's fully unleashed under Vogel.
Sep 29 - 3:59 PM

Elfrid Payton (hip flexor) did not participate during Thursday's practice.

Payton has plenty of time to get himself right before the regular season tips, so we're not very concerned about this injury impacting his status for opening night. With Victor Oladipo now in OKC, Payton will be more heavily relied upon to orchestrate the offense. However, the shooting percentages will more than likely remain an issue, so Payton's value will be stronger in points formats.
Sep 29 - 3:55 PM

Magic coach Frank Vogel said that Aaron Gordon is day-to-day with a sprained ankle he suffered last week.

"Just to know how much I worked in the summer ... and then to just be slowed down, it's a little frustrating," said Gordon. "I'm waiting to cash my chips." Vogel has indicated that he wants to put the ball in Gordon's hands offensively, and said that the loss of training camp days is "not anything we can't overcome." Gordon is a nice upside pick in the later rounds.
Sep 28 - 11:24 PM

Elfrid Payton (hip) missed practice on Wednesday.

He did say he's feeling better after his injury last week. Payton did also aggravate this injury, so the Magic will be taking their time. With Victor Oladipo in Oklahoma City, Payton should have more chances to produce. He'll have to be more efficient to be a reliable fantasy asset.
Sep 28 - 4:09 PM

Magic head coach Frank Vogel said that Elfrid Payton is day-to-day after suffering a strained hip flexor.

Payton hasn't had any issues with his hip in the past, and he's been very durable through the first two years of his career, so this isn't an issue we'd expect to linger into the regular season. Vogel has been making flowery comments about Payton this offseason, which is a stark contrast from the relationship that Payton had with Scott Skiles, so perhaps he can take a step forward during Year-3. The shooting percentages will likely remain an issue, but if you’re seeking some production in the steals and assists categories during the later rounds, go ahead and give him a look.
Sep 28 - 10:53 AM

Serge Ibaka said he's looking to stay in Orlando "forever."

General manager Rob Hennigan said the Magic "certainly" traded for Ibaka long term, which seems obvious after they traded away Victor "Mr. Feathery" Oladipo. Ibaka has talked about getting more shots, so he should get a chance here. After two down seasons, Ibaka might be a bargain in the fourth round.
Sep 26 - 6:24 PM

C.J. Wilcox will have some X-rays on his hand on Monday and could be cleared in time for training camp.

He broke his finger over the summer, but it sounds like the Magic are expecting good news. Jodie Meeks (foot) won't be ready for the season opener, so Wilcox will fight for minutes off the bench behind Evan Fournier. His role will be limited, at best.
Sep 26 - 12:32 PM

Aaron Gordon (ankle) will not participate in full-contact drills at the start of training camp.

He tweaked his ankle in a recent workout, but it's not believed to be serious. In fact, Magic GM Rob Hennigan said that Gordon is fully expected to play in the preseason games. Gordon is fine and this shouldn't dissuade owners from spending a mid-round pick on him.
Sep 26 - 12:28 PM

Magic GM Rob Hennigan said there should be enough minutes for Bismack Biyombo, Serge Ibaka and Nikola Vucevic this season.

"We made it a priority this summer to ensure that we have competition at all positions across the board," Hennigan said. "We see that as a healthy dynamic and as something that will make all of our players better." The frontcourt is very crowded, and while Vucevic is a possible trade candidate, the good news for all three players is that Aaron Gordon will see the bulk of his minutes at SF. Biyombo should at least see minutes in the mid-20s considering the size of his paycheck, so he's worth a look for owners targeting boards and blocks.
Sep 24 - 11:55 AM

Orlando GM Rob Hennigan is expecting to see a lot of improvement from Elfrid Payton this season.

"Well, I’ll tell you that Elfrid had a great summer, a very productive summer," Hennigan said. "He put in a tremendous amount of work in all areas of his game. He’s gotten a lot stronger. So we’re expecting him to show a lot of improvement across the board." Hennigan added that he still really believes in Payton, and it's worth noting that new coach Frank Vogel is anticipating a "heck of a year" from the third-year PG. If his shooting has improved as much as the Magic say it has, he could have a big year in Orlando, assuming he outplays D.J. Augustin.
Sep 24 - 11:48 AM

Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said Aaron Gordon "tweaked" his ankle during a recent workout.

"It’s not serious, but he may be a partial participant in the early goings," Hennigan said. "But we’re not quite sure there yet." It sounds like he will be limited in the early stages of training camp, but the good news is that he's not expected to miss any preseason games. The injury doesn't sound serious and shouldn't discourage owners from taking him in the middle rounds.
Sep 23 - 11:12 AM

Frank Vogel said that Mario Hezonja is a "big part of what we're doing."

"He had a good Olympic showing. [There were] a couple of games where he didn't get involved a ton, but in the last game he played really well even though they lost," Vogel said. "He's a young talent. He's going to be somebody that's a big part of what we're doing." Jodie Meeks (foot) will be on the shelf for a while, so Hezonja could be the first wing off the bench in Orlando. He won't have a lot of value right out of the gate, but he's still a decent flier in deeper leagues for his upside in triples and steals.
Sep 22 - 1:39 PM

Frank Vogel indicated (again) that he wants to put the ball in Aaron Gordon's hands, a role that he gave Paul George in Indiana.

"Yeah. Let's see what he can do," Vogel said of Gordon. "I think he's more of a 4 than Paul was. Paul is more of a 2/3. Aaron's more of a 3/4. But I've seen a lot on tape that I think that he can do a lot of similar things." Gordon will be starting at small forward and will spend time at the four as well, so it sounds like his minutes are safe despite the arrival of Serge Ibaka. Gordon wants to be more of a scorer this season and will be running some pick-and-roll sets, so he's on the radar as a breakout candidate in the middle rounds.
Sep 22 - 1:32 PM

Frank Vogel said that Elfrid Payton strikes him "as a guy who's going to have a heck of a year."

Scott Skiles wasn't Payton's biggest fan last season, so a coaching chance could really benefit the third-year guard. "So he had some growing pains, like this whole team did," Vogel said. "But I think he's poised to have a great year." Payton has prioritized working on his shot this summer and Vogel's comments indicate that his starting role ahead of D.J. Augustin is safe. Give him a look if you're targeting steals and dimes.
Sep 22 - 1:24 PM

Magic head coach Frank Vogel said he intends to teach Nikola Vucevic the proper angles on defense and the "verticality rule."

"So I don't want to come in and say that Vooch is going to become Roy Hibbert," Vogel said. "But I think Vooch can be a lot better than he's been. And I think some of those lessons we learned with Roy will apply to Vooch and how we use him and what he's being asked to do." The Magic brought in Bismack Biyombo and Serge Ibaka to provide some rim protection, but Vucevic's outlook will significantly improve if he makes strides on the defensive end because he's already their top option on offense right now. We'd like him better if Biyombo wasn't around and he could be a trade candidate, but grabbing him in the early middle rounds still makes sense.
Sep 22 - 1:16 PM


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