As the Orlando Magic enter their third season in their current rebuilding effort, the franchise took a significant step forward in June by drafting Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton. Both lottery picks are considered key pieces of the team’s young core of players and part of the reason that the future in Orlando is bright.
Gordon and Payton were both drafted in the top 10 and figure to be productive during their rookie seasons. While Gordon and Payton should make noise this season, the Magic also have a third rookie on the team in Devyn Marble who wants to make an impact as well.
“I feel like I can make a name for myself,” Marble told Basketball Insiders. “I’ve been able to leave an imprint everywhere I’ve been so that’s the goal here, to be able to come in and make positive plays when I step out onto the court. I don’t have to out-do or out-shine anybody, but just play within my game.”
The Magic acquired Marble on draft night from the Denver Nuggets. The Magic sent Afflalo to the Nuggets in exchange for Evan Fournier and the 56th pick in the second round, which was used to select Marble. The Magic signed Marble to a three-year deal with the first year fully guaranteed.
“It’s good to have peace of mind,” Marble said on having the first year fully guaranteed. “It’s something that you don’t necessarily have to worry about. For me, I’m still going to come ready to play and still continue to work hard; nothing is guaranteed even though it technically is. I’m still going to find ways to help and I would want to be here for the rest of my career. I’m just doing anything I can in the time frame now to help the team out.”
Rookies at this time of the year are busy learning the playbook, training and staying busy in the weight room. A lot of players are adjusting to the faster pace of NBA games and are trying to work on their conditioning. Marble credits the coaching staff and the team’s player development for his smooth transition from college to NBA.
“To be honest it’s been pretty easy,” Marble said. “Coach [Jacque] Vaughn does a good job of explaining what he wants me to do and the rest of the coaching staff and player development has done a good job of getting my game ready to where I can help work on what I know I’ll be doing in games and what my role is. I think I’m playing pretty good when I do get the minutes when Coach Vaughn calls my number, so I just try to come in play hard and be consistent.”
It’s not very often that players drafted late in the second round can have an impact on a team, but the Magic may have found that rare contributor in Marble. During his time in college, Marble established himself as a versatile player as he saw time at both shooting guard and small forward. In Marble’s senior year at Iowa, he averaged nearly 17 points a game along with 3.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds a game while shooting 35 percent from long distance.
“I think the most impressive thing is he’s played extremely hard,” Vaughn told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “Defensively, he’s been pretty good [at] being able to be in passing lanes, being very active. He does a little bit of everything. He’ll have a rebound. He’ll have a deflection. He’ll get a steal. He’ll get out in transition and run.”
Perhaps the biggest area in which the Magic need Marble to be effective is in three-point shooting. The Magic finished in the bottom-half of the league last season in three-point shooting and are counting on Marble to stay hot shooting the ball. Marble has played in three of the Magic’s four preseason games and is averaging 6.7 points and has converted four out of his six shot attempts from three-point range.
“I’m going to be a good three-point shooter and I’m shooting the ball well so far in preseason; that’s what you [practice] all day, every day,” Marble said. “For me, I’m just going to keep it textbook and be consistent. If I get a good enough look, I’m going to take it and more times than not I’m probably going to knock it down.”
In the offseason, the Magic addressed their shooting woes, bringing in shooters Channing Frye (on a four-year, $32 million contract) and Ben Gordon (on a two-year, $9 million contract). The arrival of Frye and Gordon have the team excited about the season.
“I know Victor [Oladipo] was excited about it, that we we’re getting Channing to be able to spread the floor and open up driving lanes for him,” said Marble. “I think it’ll also do the same thing for Elfrid and Aaron Gordon.”
If all goes as planned, Marble will be able to spread the floor as well and become a significant contributor just like Orlando’s other rookies.
NBA Team Salaries
- NBA Betting Picks: Detroit Pistons vs Portland Trail Blazers preview, prediction and picks
- NBA Betting Picks: Golden State Warriors vs. Phoenix Suns preview, prediction and picks
- NBA Betting Picks: New York Knicks vs Brooklyn Nets preview, picks and prediction
- NBA Betting Picks: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Sacramento Kings Preview
- NBA Betting Picks: Memphis Grizzlies vs Toronto Raptors preview, prediction and picks