Gustavo Ayón may have gotten the nod at center when the Orlando Magic played the New Orleans Hornets in an exhibition on Sunday, but when the regular season begins, it looks like the job will belong to fellow second-year man and Orlando newcomer Nikola Vucevic, reports Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel.
"The Magic like the 6-11 Vucevic's versatile offensive skill set," writes Schmitz in predicting that Vučević will start the season ahead of Ayón on the depth chart. "They view the 6-10 Ayon as an Energizer Bunny off the bench."
The Magic obtained Vučević from the Philadelphia 76ers in the trade which sent Dwight Howard, their former center, to the Los Angeles Lakers. As a rookie, the 16th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft posted 5.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game in just 15.9 minutes. He was markedly more effective before the All-Star break, averaging 6.6 points and five rebounds on 53.2 percent shooting; in the second half of the season, his scoring and rebounding numbers fell to 4.5 and 4.7, respectively, while his shooting percentage fell to 36.1 percent. That wayward shooting prompted Doug Collins to yank Vučević from his playing rotation in the postseason.
"I can shoot the ball and I can pass the ball," Vučević said. "I think I do a lot of things fans won't see."
According to Schmitz, coach Jacque Vaughn has played Glen Davis, the four-year veteran who replaced Howard at center after back surgery ended Howard's season, "almost exclusively" at power forward during training camp.