If you haven’t noticed by now the Orlando Magic are a team worth watching. The team started the season 5 – 20 and since have been 15 – 11 making them 20 – 31 for the season. They are presently just four games out of a play-in spot. Some of their wins have come against good teams, Boston (three times), Golden State (twice), Philadelphia last night, Dallas, Phoenix and the Clippers.
This isn’t the real story though. Loaded with young players taken through the draft the Magic, barring injury or some other problem, will only get better. Let’s take a look at their talent.
Paolo Banchero – The first player taken in last years draft is a lock for Rookie Of The Year. Banchero is averaging over twenty points a game and six rebounds.
Franz Wagner – Looks to be the future Robin to Batman, Banchero. Wagner is averaging over nineteen points a game. He was taken eighth overall in the draft.
Wendell Carter Jr. – The Magic got him from the Chicago Bulls in the Nikola Vucevic trade. He was the seventh pick in the draft and is only twenty-three years old. His numbers continue to get better. This season he’s averaging fifteen points and eight rebounds a game.
Markelle Fultz – Everyone knows his story, Philadelphia’s first pick in the draft and first pick overall after the Jayson Tatum trade. Philadelphia gave up on him and he is resurrecting his career with the Magic. The point guard is averaging twelve points and five assists a game.
Cole Anthony – Another first round pick, the fifteenth player chosen. Anthony has adapted well to a sixth man role averaging twelve points and four assists per game.
Jalen Suggs – The fifth overall pick in the draft Suggs has had injury problems and is slowly adapting to the NBA. This year he’s averaging nine points a game. Coming out of college he was regarded as a can’t miss prospect so he should continue to improve.
Bol Bol – The seven foot two player was taken in the second round of the draft. Orlando acquired him last year from the Celtics. For a big man the Magic have been using him at the three. He is averaging eleven points a game and over six rebounds a game.
Mo Bamba – Another first round selection by the Magic. As the backup center he’s averaging seven points and over four rebounds a game. For a big he can shoot the three, shooting it at over thirty nine percent.
Mo Wagner – Franz’s brother. He was picked up after the Celtics cut him and has done well. He’s averaging eleven points per game.
Jonathan Isaac – After being an outstanding young player with the Magic, Isaac is just coming back from being out for over two years because of knee and hamstring surgery. If he comes back to his old form the Magic have an outstanding big.
The Future Looks Bright
The team has been so deep Terrence Ross a good volume shooter has not been able to see the court. Gary Harris another smooth player has been starting but with his contract up at the end of the year probably won’t return to the Magic. Of their core Isaac is the oldest player at twenty-five.
The Magic have their most success in the open court. If their success continues teams will try to get them in a half court game but in time the Magic should adjust and be able to do well in a slower paced game. They are a big team that because of their size gives other teams problems matching up.
Through shrewd drafting, good trades and waiver pickups the Magic are a team to be reckoned with. Their biggest problem may be who to keep and who to let go as their players age and no longer are on rookie contracts.