In the wake of the news that Victor Oladipo is "out indefinitely" due to a facial fracture he sustained Thursday, let us remind ourselves of these facts:
The Orlando Magic aren't so good at scoring
In the 2013/14 season, the Magic averaged 99.3 points per 100 possessions. Only the Philadelphia 76ers, at 96.8 points per 100 possessions, fared worse, and Philadelphia is only an NBA team insofar as it plays in the NBA.
Oladipo is an important part of Orlando's offense
Oladipo ended 24.4 percent of the Magic's possessions via a shot attempt, free-throw attempt, or a turnover when he was on the floor as a rookie. Whatever issues one has with his efficiency--among 48 qualified players with such a usage rate and who averaged at least 16 points per 36 minutes, he ranked 35th in True Shooting--there's no question that Orlando heavily relies on Oladipo to generate points.
The Magic don't have many other scorers
After jettisoning Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo over the summer, Orlando finds itself wanting for offensive-minded players, especially in the backcourt. Free-agent addition Channing Frye ought to provide some floor-spacing and outside shooting once he returns from his sprained MCL, but there's no telling when the Magic might expect him to be ready.
So on whom can Orlando, minus Oladipo, rely to put the ball in the basket? We have some ideas.
Harris is an interesting case, especially given that Orlando signed Frye and drafted Aaron Gordon at the same position over the summer, moves which suggest the team may not have the utmost confidence in him as a long-term part of its rebuild.
Harris has flaws, especially defensively, but he's a talented scorer. Though his 2013/14 season appears, on the whole, pedestrian, it's worth noting that no Magic player scored more points per minute than Harris after the All-Star Break. Per 36 minutes, the Tennessee product posted 20.2 points on 58.4 percent True Shooting, thanks in large part to his cutting down on three-point tries and taking the ball more aggressively to the hole.
With Frye and Gordon on board, it's tough to tell what Harris' role with the team might be. But he showed plenty of potential as an efficient and productive slasher in the back half of his previous season. With Oladipo out, there's no real reason for Harris not to see plenty of playing time and offensive touches.
Vučević signed a long-term extension with Orlando on Thursday, just turned 24 on Friday, and is entering his fourth season in the league. It's high time for the Montenegrin to take another step or two forward in his development.
Yes, he can rebound with the best of them, and yes, he has a reasonably reliable mid-range jumper. The Magic have asked him to work on his back-to-basket game, and the early returns on that front were encouraging. If he can finish stronger inside, or at least draw some fouls in the process, it'd go a long way toward offsetting the loss of Oladipo's production.
Without Oladipo, Orlando's wing corps won't strike fear into the hearts of many opponents: Willie Green and Ben Gordon have long passed the point at which they'd command extra defensive attention, and rookie Devyn Marble may not be ready for rotation minutes just yet.
Enter Fournier, whom Orlando received from the Denver Nuggets in the Afflalo trade on Draft Night. His undistinguished NBA résumé--with a career scoring average is 7.4 points and a 43.5 percent field-goal mark--could indicate he's a marginal NBA player... or that his meager role in Denver didn't do him many favors.
In 2013/14, the Frenchman played 30-39 minutes in 12 different games. He averaged 18.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and three assists on 57.1 True Shooting and 42.1 percent from three.
Fournier doesn't have Oladipo's athleticism, nor does he make too many plays, but he at least offers the potential for some efficient, high-volume nights, given his solid shot mix: according to NBA.com/stats, rim twos and three-pointers accounted for 73.7 percent of his total shot attempts a season ago. If he can throw in 12 points per on 55 percent True Shooting in Oladipo's absence, the Magic might be in OK shape.
None of these options is ideal, and as the Magic showed in Oladipo's rookie season, they're a poor offensive team even with him available. But replacing such a ball-dominant player will prove tricky for any team, no matter its talent level.