After losing eight of their last 12 games, two of the Orlando Magic's longest-tenured players are raising the alarm bell as the team's early-season playoff hopes seem to be sliding away.
"We're not stupid," guard Evan Fournier said, according to Magic.com's John Denton. "We know that if we don't make the playoffs this year, this is probably it for us. Just like (center Nikola Vucevic) and myself, we like it (in Orlando) and we like to play with each other."
Fournier made the comments in reference to an apparent pointed locker-room speech by Vucevic after Saturday's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.
"I'd say he was just adamant, and you could just see the want on (Vucevic's) face," forward Jonathan Isaac said, according to Denton. "It was just the realization that it really is go time, and we need to fasten our seat belts and get to work."
Vucevic remains an intriguing player ahead of the Feb. 7 NBA trade deadline. The Magic could choose to deal him in the midst of a career season if they feel the playoffs are out of reach, as Vucevic is an unrestricted free agent this summer and Orlando has young center Mo Bamba waiting in the wings.
"We've struggled for so long here and we want to see the results," Fournier added. "We spent so much time and hours with the Magic and you want to see it work."
The Magic currently possess the NBA's third-longest postseason drought, last qualifying for the playoffs in 2012.