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Figuring Out The Orlando Magic's Roster

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The Orlando Magic will need to make a few more decisions before the season starts.

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When the Orlando Magic decided to bring back Ish Smith to join Jameer Nelson at point guard last week, it expanded their roster to 16.

The Magic are also expected to add another point guard, possibly former Washington State and Cal State Fullerton standout Josh Akognon (Akognon played for the Sacramento Kings in the Las Vegas Summer League and averaged 19.3 points per game on 53.3% shooting from the field).

That would leave Orlando's roster at 17 and as most know, they can only carry 15 players.

DeAndre Liggins, a second round pick of the Magic in 2011, will also likely be invited to camp.

The Magic only carried two point guards for a large chunk of last season before injuries forced them to call Smith up from the D-League, but they would probably be more comfortable carrying three point guards.

That means the Magic will have to rid themselves of one or possibly two players. If Orlando really likes Liggins, they could let three players go.

Orlando will probably try to trade Al Harrington before the deadline and could part with J.J. Redick at some point as well. Redick is in the last season of his deal and is a solid player, meaning he's now Orlando's best asset.

The two players most likely to be released before the season starts are the two players the Los Angeles Lakers sent to Orlando in the Dwight Howard trade - Christian Eyenga and Josh McRoberts. Both players are in the last year of their current contract (Eyenga has a team option worth $2,119,213 next season).

If the Magic do decide to carry three point guards and can't dump a veteran like Quentin Richardson on someone, both players will likely be gone.

Gustavo Ayon, who was acquired from the New Orleans Hornets in the Ryan Anderson sign-and-trade has a non-guaranteed deal this season so unlike McRoberts and Eyenga, you can cut ties with Ayon without owing any money. Releasing Ayon seems unlikely since the Magic seemingly liked him enough to ask for him in return for Anderson. However, it appears as though Nikola Vucevic will earn the starting center job. Plus, the Magic like rookie Kyle O'Quinn and Glen Davis was much better as a center than he was as a power forward last season. With first round pick Andrew Nicholson in the mix and the ability to play Harrington at the four, releasing Ayon is still an option, although it's probably unlikely.

Releasing Justin Harper, who was a rookie last season, is something the Magic could consider. The Magic have a team option on Harper, who averaged 1.4 points and .9 rebounds per game in 14 games last season, in the 2013-14 season.

With a logjam up front, releasing McRoberts -- who averaged 2.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game last season -- makes sense.

Since Richardson has a team option worth $2,808,600 for the 2013-14 season, he could be difficult to deal. The Magic return their starting small forward in Hedo Turkoglu and added rookie Maurice Harkless. Shooting guard is maybe Orlando's best position with Redick and Arron Afflalo. That means Eyenga, who averaged 2.4 points and 2.0 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game last season, is probably out of luck as well.

If one were to guess, Orlando's depth chart would probably look something like this next season (Harrington will clearly play more than it looks in this depth chart, but he's being listed there so every player on the projected roster can be shown):

Center: Vucevic/Ayon/O'Quinn
Power Forward: Davis/Harrington/Nicholson
Small Forward: Turkoglu/Harkless/Harper
Shooting Guard: Afflalo/Redick/Richardson
Point Guard: Nelson/Smith/?

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.