Young Magic Tracker: Payton, Oladipo attacking the boards

Orlando Magic's Victor Oladipo has a 16.4 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 53.4 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), and 25.1 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

John Raoux/AP

With close to half of their roster born in 1992 or later, the Orlando Magic began the season as the NBA’s fourth-youngest team and therefore need to figure out which players have a future with them. Every Thursday for the rest of the season, FOX Sports Florida’s Ken Hornack takes a closer look at those players, measuring, highlighting and evaluating their progress.

EVAN FOURNIER (age 22, third NBA season, first with Magic)

Statistical averages, last week (season): 0.0 minutes (28.8), 0.0 points (11.9), 0.0 rebounds (2.6), 0.0 assists (2.1), 0.0 blocks (0.0), 0.0 steals (0.7), 0.0 FG% (43.7), 0.0 3PT% (37.4).

Advanced stats, season: 12.3 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 53.9 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 19.8 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

Trending: Unchanged

Noted: Fournier has missed the Magic’s last 14 games due to a sore right hip, an injury which was the result of a collision with New Orleans’ Anthony Davis on Feb. 20. The team has four days off in a row after Friday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons, so there is a chance the native of France could try practicing during that stretch to see if he’s healthy enough to return. Despite all of his recent inactivity, Fournier has already played more minutes in 56 games with the Magic than he did in 76 games last season with the Denver Nuggets (http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/f/fournev01.html).

AARON GORDON (age 19, first season)

Statistical averages, last week (season): 15.3 minutes (15.2), 4.0 points (5.0), 4.0 rebounds (3.1), 0.3 assists (0.6), 0.3 blocks (0.4), 1.0 steals (0.4), 33.3 FG% (48.6), 0.0 3PT% (31.4).

Young Magic Tracker

Advanced stats, season: 12.1 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 56.3 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 15.9 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

Trending: Down

Noted: After helping contribute to their victory over Portland with four points and six rebounds in 18 minutes, Gordon was a non-factor in the Magic’s losses to the Nuggets and the Atlanta Hawks. More than half of his playing time Sunday night came in the final 12 minutes after the Nuggets led 102-72 through three quarters, and he played fewer than 10 minutes in a game for the eighth time this season Wednesday night. He has appeared in more games in March (12) than in any previous month but is averaging only 14.3 minutes and 3.7 points. The return of both Tobias Harris and Dewayne Dedmon against the Hawks kept Gordon and Channing Frye largely on the bench, with interim coach James Borrego electing to go with Andrew Nicholson in place of Dedmon for most of the fourth quarter at power forward as the Magic searched for anyone who could provide a spark on offense.

MAURICE HARKLESS (age 21, third season)

Statistical averages, last week (season): 23.7 minutes (15.7), 3.0 points (3.8), 2.0 rebounds (2.4), 0.0 assists (0.6), 1.0 blocks (0.2), 0.5 steals (0.8), 33.3 FG% (40.3), 0.0 3PT% (19.2).

Advanced stats, season: 9.1 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 45.4 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 14.0 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

Trending: Down

Noted: A starter a week ago but a DNP-CD (did not play — coach’s decision) Wednesday night, Harkless went from 18 points in his first game filling in for Harris (http://www.nba.com/magic/video/teams/magic/2015/03/18/harklessbaselinemp4-3548459) to a total of only six points and four rebounds in the two games which followed. He was not part of the group on the floor toward the end of the first quarter against the Nuggets which Borrego singled out for criticism afterward, but Harkless had to bear some of the blame for the career-high 40-point game by Danilo Gallinari which included six 3-point field goals. Only Gordon, Nicholson and Devyn Marble have played fewer minutes than him all season, and chances are Gordon will pass him up by the end of next week.

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TOBIAS HARRIS (age 22, second full season with Magic)

Statistical averages, last week (season): 35.8 minutes (34.7), 14.0 points (16.9), 2.0 rebounds (6.1), 2.0 assists (1.9), 0.0 blocks (0.5), 1.0 steals (1.0), 42.9 FG% (46.2), 25.0 3PT% (36.6).

Advanced stats, season: 16.6 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 54.8 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 22.5 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

Trending: Down

Noted: Harris was back in the starting lineup against the Hawks after missing three games with a sprained left ankle. Not surprisingly, he was rusty as a result of his layoff. He went 2 of 7 from the floor with one rebound and no assists following halftime and never got off a shot in a fourth quarter where the Magic were held to 12 points and committed seven turnovers. The ankle he hurt was the same one which kept him out of five games in January and a total of 21 games last season, when Harris averaged 14.6 points and 7.0 rebounds. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could be shut down at some point over the final nine games, which includes five meetings with Eastern Conference teams either fighting for position (Milwaukee, Chicago, Toronto) or trying to get in (Miami, Brooklyn).

DEVYN MARBLE (age 22, first season)

Statistical averages, last week (season): 0.0 minutes (13.0), 0.0 points (2.3), 0.0 rebounds (1.9), 0.0 assists (1.1), 0.0 blocks (0.1), 0.0 steals (0.6), 0.0 FG% (31.8), 0.0 3PT% (18.2).

Advanced stats, season: 5.9 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 36.2 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 13.2 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

Trending: Unchanged

Noted: Marble has been on the inactive list since March 4 because of a detached retina in his left eye that he had surgery on six days later. The second-round pick out of Iowa could miss the rest of the season.

VICTOR OLADIPO (age 22, second season)

Statistical averages, last week (season): 36.6 minutes (35.2), 19.7 points (17.7), 5.7 rebounds (4.2), 4.3 assists (4.1), 0.3 blocks (0.2), 1.0 steals (1.7), 39.6 FG% (44.1), 33.3 3PT% (34.2).

Advanced stats, season: 16.4 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 53.4 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 25.1 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

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Trending: Unchanged

Noted: Is anyone up for re-examining who was the top player chosen in the 2013 NBA Draft? Oladipo received only 16 of a possible 124 first-place votes in finishing a distant second in the Rookie of the Year balloting last May to Michael Carter-Williams, who the Philadelphia 76ers have since traded to the Milwaukee Bucks and is averaging only 13.8 points and shooting 40.1 percent in 14 games for his new team. In the loss to the Hawks, Oladipo showed an ability to get to the free-throw line which had been missing for the better part of the past month. He went 8 of 9, including two foul shots with 10:20 remaining which put the Magic up 76-71. They scored only seven points the rest of the way, with Oladipo committing three turnovers in the final 4:16 — one for having Kyle Korver steal the ball from him, one for stepping out of bounds, and the last coming on an offensive foul. Off the court, Oladipo followed through Thursday on his promise to donate a portion of his earnings from the NBA Slam-Dunk Contest ($15,000 in all) to the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute earmarked for Florida Hospital’s Breast Care Fund.

ELFRID PAYTON (age 21, first season)

Statistical averages, last week (season): 35.8 minutes (29.5), 15.7 points (8.8), 9.0 rebounds (4.2), 8.3 assists (6.2), 0.0 blocks (0.2), 2.7 steals (1.6), 48.8 FG% (42.5), 0.0 3PT% (22.9).

Advanced stats, season: 13.3 player efficiency rating (based on 15.0 league average), 45.3 true shooting percentage (accounting for free throws and 3-pointers), 18.9 usage rate (possessions used per 40 minutes).

Trending: Up

Noted: Until he was responsible for five turnovers in the second half and got six of his shots blocked by the Hawks, Payton had a near-flawless week. His 22 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against the Trail Blazers enabled him to become the first rookie since Antoine Walker in 1997 with back-to-back triple doubles.

Payton is averaging 6.1 rebounds a game this month, a number which few guards other than Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook are averaging for the entire season. As part of his 10-point third quarter Wednesday night, Payton outfought Korver for a missed shot by Nikola Vucevic and scored on the putback. The Magic had only eight fast-break points in the 95-83 loss, but thanks largely to Payton, they recorded consecutive games of 16 points last week in that category. "We should see that number continue to rise as we continue to grow as a team," Borrego said. "But it really starts for us on the defensive end. You saw when our guards rebound — Elfrid Payton rebounds, Victor Oladipo rebounds — that’s our best offense. Now they’re running, they’re pushing the pace. And that’s what guys (on other teams) have a hard time with."

You can follow Ken Hornack on Twitter @HornackFSFla or email him at khornack32176@gmail.com.