Hill is back in Central Florida. Orlando fired him midway through the 1996-97 season. His return, after a five-year hiatus from the NBA, is largely celebrated in Orlando. His main goal is to make defense the hallmark of a team that allowed 102 ppg last season.
ROSTERSTACEY AUGMON, F
HT/WT: 6-8, 213
TEAM ROLE: Augmon is a vet who, even in his old age and with those rickety knees, is still a versatile defender. He averaged 12 mpg last season. His highlight, though, came in the locker room when he squirted lotion at a reporter during an argument.
TONY BATTIE, F-C
HT/WT: 6-11, 240
SCHOOL: TEXAS TECH
TEAM ROLE: Battie needs to stay healthy. He is probably the Magic's toughest player, the kind of guy who does a lot of banging and hustling.
KELVIN CATO, C
HT/WT: 6-11, 275
SCHOOL: Iowa State
TEAM ROLE: He came to Orlando in the McGrady trade and averaged 7 ppg and 7 rpg. If Howard breaks out this season, Cato's main goal will be to stay healthy and stay out of foul trouble.
TRAVIS DIENER, G
HT/WT: 6-1, 175
TEAM ROLE: A second-round pick in the 2005 draft, Diener made less than a quarter of his shots during the preseason. He might be a candidate to get sent down to the Florida Flame, the Magic's NBAD-League farm team.
KEYON DOOLING, G
HT/WT: 6-3, 195
TEAM ROLE: Dooling came from the Miami Heat, where he saw spot duty (16 mpg) behind Dwyane Wade and Damon Jones. Depending on Orlando's opponent, he might get time over Jameer Nelson, his main competition for backup minutes.
STEVE FRANCIS, PG
HT/WT: 6-3, 200
TEAM ROLE: Francis is the team's best player and, probably, most important. He's moving back to point guard under Hill, where he's again responsible for distributing the ball. He was one of the league's most productive players last season (21 ppg, 6 rpg and 7 apg). This season Orlando is looking for more playmaking and fewer turnovers.
PAT GARRITY, F
HT/WT: 6-9, 238
SCHOOL: Notre Dame
TEAM ROLE: His numbers were down last season, coming off an injury that knocked him out of most of 2003-04. If he can return to form, the Magic will be that much stronger.
GRANT HILL, F
HT/WT: 6-8, 225
TEAM ROLE: We might have to start calling him Dr. Hill soon. He said he's learning enough about his anatomy, with all his injuries, that he probably could earn a Ph.D. Hill is as important a cog for Orlando as any player. When he's on the floor, the offense runs smoother and he takes some of the playmaking load off Francis. The Magic will have to tread water while he recovers.
DWIGHT HOWARD, PF
HT/WT: 6-11, 265
SCHOOL: SW Atlanta Christian Academy (GA)
TEAM ROLE: Lil' Diesel? The 20 and 10 Club? All-Star? It's all possible. Howard is looking to build on his outstanding rookie season.
MARIO KASUN, C
HT/WT: 7-1, 260
TEAM ROLE: Kasun played a little more than half the season for Orlando before going on injured reserve. Like most European big men, he has a nice, soft jump shot.
TERENCE MORRIS, F
HT/WT: 6-9, 221
TEAM ROLE: Francis' old running mate during their days as Maryland Terrapins. He's lithe, fairly athletic and has some nice range. He could be a nice option off the bench.
JAMEER NELSON, PG
HT/WT: 6-0, 190
SCHOOL: St. Joseph's
TEAM ROLE: Nelson had a good rookie campaign, averaging about 9 ppg and 3 apg and starting 21 games. This season, he wants his minutes to increase. That will depend on how much time Francis spends at shooting guard and whether Nelson outperforms Dooling.
BO OUTLAW, G-F
HT/WT: 6-8, 220
TEAM ROLE: Outlaw is a bundle of energy and grit on the court, the guy who will commit a hard foul and crash into the court seats for a loose ball.
DeSHAWN STEVENSON, G
HT/WT: 6-5, 210
SCHOOL: Washington Union HS (CA)
TEAM ROLE: When Chris Jent took over, he inserted Stevenson into the starting lineup, and Stevenson excelled, averaging a little more than 18 points in the 11 games in March. Under Hill, he's firmly planted in the starting shooting-guard spot.
HEDO TURKOGLU, F
HT/WT: 6-10, 220
TEAM ROLE: Last season he averaged 14 ppg in about 26 minutes. He will begin the season in the starting lineup, replacing Hill. Orlando is counting on him to step up.