The 1989–90 season was Orlando Magic's first season in the NBA. Several years after local developer and banker Jim Hewitt began promoting the idea of an NBA franchise in Florida, he was awarded the Orlando Magic. His first move was to hire Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Pat Williams. Together, the two convinced the NBA to give Orlando a franchise after local fans made $100 deposits on season-ticket reservations. On November 4, a sold out crowd watched the Magic lose their first ever game at the Orlando Arena. The final score was 111–106 to the New Jersey Nets. On November 6, the franchise experienced its first victory as the Magic stunned the New York Knicks 118–110. By the end of the inaugural season, the Magic finished last in the Central Division with a record of 18 wins and 64 losses.
Prior to the 1989 NBA Draft, the NBA held a coin toss between the Magic and the other new expansion team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, to determine their order for the NBA Draft and the expansion draft. The Magic won the coin toss and chose to have the first pick in the expansion draft and pick 11th in the NBA Draft, while the Timberwolves picked second in the expansion draft and 10th in the NBA Draft.
The previous season's expansion teams, the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat, were not involved in this year's expansion draft and did not lose any player.