75. Nikola Vucevic, C, Magic

Monday September 12th, 2016

Vucevic put up big numbers in back-to-back seasons for the Magic, but knock on his stat line and it rings a bit hollow. There’s only so much value to his 18.2 points per game when it results in one of the league’s lesser offenses. Obviously Vucevic isn’t solely to blame for all that held back Orlando’s offense last season, though the fact that his high usage and notable production didn’t elevate the Magic speaks to a certain caveat. Still Vucevic deserves credit for making the most of compromised spacing. Every roll to the rim and post-up he’s made has been crowded and pressured by a defense that edged in from the Magic’s non-threats at the three-point line. Vucevic has produced in spite of that and even added some spacing himself by connecting on 46% of his 7.6 mid-range jumpers per game. There is no question that Vucevic can produce when given opportunity. What’s less reliable are the returns on that investment on the team level and his ability to offset his lacking rotational defense. (Last year: No. 67)

+ Scorer in bulk who can sop up usage and churn out buckets
+ Decent passer even in a complicated setting
Defense remains a glaring problem. Unlikely to contribute to an elite defense.
Has yet to contribute to a winning offense (or even an average one)

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