Following an excellent late-season burst, the Orlando Magic managed to sneak into the 2019 playoffs ahead of the Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets. It was the organization's first postseason appearance since Dwight Howard left in 2012, and the team threatened to upset the Toronto Raptors after recording a road victory in Game 1.
Orlando eventually succumbed to a 4-1 series defeat, although buoyed by a solid season, the Magic opted to bring back Nikola Vucevic and Terrence Ross to long-term deals this summer.
However, the franchise is known for its constant changes of direction, and no current member of the roster appears untouchable. So, as the new NBA season quickly approaches, here we will assess three players who may not finish the season with the Orlando Magic.
#3 Markelle Fultz
Markelle Fultz signed for the Magic ahead of the 2019 trade deadline, although the 21-year-old has yet to make an appearance for the team. The point guard has not played since November, although after stepping up his return over the summer, Fultz is reportedly on track to make his return in time for Orlando's season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While this is a positive sign, it is worth remembering that Fultz showed very little during his 33 appearances with the Sixers, and it will take a huge turnaround for the 21-year-old to develop into the player that many thought he was after he was taken first in the 2017 draft.
The Magic recently extended Fultz's contract by a further year, and if he doesn't start the 2019-20 season well, the team look towards a trade while he still holds some value.
#2 Mo Bamba
When Orlando took Mo Bamba with the sixth overall pick of the 2018 draft, they were actively looking to trade Nikola Vucevic to clear a starting spot for the Texas Longhorns product. However, Vucevic was not shipped out before the start of the 18-19 season, and the veteran went on to enjoy a career-year - earning a first All-Star appearance.
The Montenegrin has since signed a new four-year $100 million deal with the Magic, and Bamba's route to the first team has been blocked for the foreseeable future. However, possessing a 7 ft 10-in wingspan, Bamba remains highly rated around the league, and the 21-year-old holds plenty of value.
Ultimately, the Magic will be reluctant to lose yet another one of their lottery picks, however, Bamba's role will be limited in Orlando, and his departure could help flesh out other parts of the roster.
#1 Terrence Ross
Terrence Ross enjoyed a resurgent 2018-19 season, which eventually resulted in the Magic handing him a new four year, $54 million contract. The amount Orlando paid to retain Ross was criticized by many analysts, and there are doubts whether Ross will replicate the 15.1 points and 3.5 rebounds that he managed during his contract year.
The Magic front office has also quickly changed their mind on the likes of Serge Ibaka in recent years, and a similar scenario could play out with Ross around the trade deadline. A trade also becomes even more likely if Orlando fail to replicate their playoff form from last season.
Due to the length of his contract, the Magic may be forced to give up several future picks, and the team's decision to bring Ross back already looks like the wrong decision.