Nikola Vucevic has been considered the face of the Orlando Magic franchise for a couple years now and one of the most underrated big men in the league. He was expected to have a huge season under new head coach Frank Vogel this year. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been what has transpired thus far.
According to a report, Vucevic is unhappy that Vogel moved him to the bench this early in the season.
“I spoke to Frank [Vogel] about it last night, and obviously I wasn’t happy with the decision they made,” said Vucevic. “I didn’t think that there was a reason for me to go to the bench, but it’s coaches decision. All I can do is control what I can control, which is when I’m on the court, play to the best of my ability and help the team win. Stay professional and whatever is going on, I’ll keep giving my best and give them my full effort.”
Vogel also spoke with the media about the decision that he made and his concerns about the Magic’s offense.
“We’re 30th in offense; I want to explore some new combinations in the same nine guys being in the rotation,” said Vogel. “Try to get a different feel, a different flow. Try to take the first quarter and put the ball in Evan Fournier’s hands more with a spot up three-point shooting point guard out there with him. I thought that part was effective. Utilize Biz [Bismack Biyombo] and Serge [Ibaka] together, with Biz as a roller and Serge as a spot up guy where he’s been effective and to get Elfrid [Payton] and Vooch [Nikola Vucevic] a different look coming off the second unit, going against second unit guys.”
Even though Vogel’s reasoning doesn’t sound bad, that doesn’t mean that his star big man is going to be fine with a bench role. Vucevic was obviously frustrated, which could lead to some issues moving forward.
Orlando has a lot of talent on their roster and there is no reason for them to be 6-11 at this point in the season.
Expect to see Vogel continue messing around with rotations until the Magic begin playing better. That may be a little ways off, but at least he isn’t sitting on his hands doing nothing. Vucevic may be back in the starting lineup in the near future, but if not, it wouldn’t be shocking to see frustration continue rising.