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NBA projections 2014: Magic likely to finish near bottom of East

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Even after adding Victor Oladipo with the second pick in the Draft, Orlando figures to be one of the league's worst teams yet again.

Jacque Vaughn
Jacque Vaughn
Chris Trotman

The Orlando Magic have another lean season in store for them in 2013/14, according to a panel of 22 SB Nation bloggers who were asked to rank each of the NBA's 30 teams as they stand at this juncture of the offseason.

Orlando's average finish in these rankings was 27.3, with a high of 21 and a low of 30, or dead last. Only the Phoenix Suns (28.1) and Philadelphia 76ers (29.7) placed lower, on average.

The Magic finished the 2012/13 season with a 20-62 record, the league's worst. They added Victor Oladipo via the second pick in the Draft and then rounded out their bench by signing a pair of 30-year-old, eight-season veterans in Jason Maxiell and Ronnie Price. Beno Udrih and DeQuan Jones will not return to the team. On balance, it's fair to say that Orlando did not significantly upgrade its roster, and will have to improve from within if it is to climb the East's ladder.

Notably, Tom Haberstroh of ESPN Insider is more bullish on Orlando's chances of improving than SB Nation's panel. Haberstroh picked the Magic to finish 12th in the East, ahead of the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, and Sixers.

Health could also play a role in a potential Orlando improvement: each of the Magic's co-captains missed significant time due to injury in the team's league-worst 2012/13 campaign. Foot and shoulder injuries kept starting power forward Glen Davis out of the lineup for 58 games, while top point guard Jameer Nelson missed 26 games of his own due to hamstring and knee issues.

Where do you think Orlando will finish in the East once the proverbial dust settles in April?

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