2021-22 report: 22-60
Key addition: Paolo Banchero (2022 draft)
Key subtractions: None
Last season: In a two-month wintry weather stretch, the Magic gained a complete of 4 video games, which sealed their destiny as a basement-dwelling, rebuilding workforce. It didn’t lend a hand that rookie Jalen Suggs overlooked 34 video games and began slowly, whilst veterans Terrence Ross (19), Markelle Fultz (64) and Jonathan Issac (all 82) additionally overlooked vital time. Despite some reassuring play by means of rookie ahead Franz Wagner and second-year guard Cole Anthony, the Magic discovered themselves again in the Draft lottery. This time, they had been blessed with the No. 1 total pick out. (Stop should you’ve heard this one ahead of.)
Summer abstract: In their historical past of amassing No. 1 total selections, the Magic have finished beautiful neatly. Previous drafts resulted in Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway (after a Draft-day business for Chris Webber) and Dwight Howard. In their very own distinct manner, all 3 had been franchise-changers and helped the Magic succeed in the NBA Finals ahead of two of them (O’Neal, Howard) left in a huff. So you may say their newest No. 1 has giant prime tops to fill.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 20, 2022
Unlike O’Neal and Howard, Banchero wasn’t a consensus selection; if this is the case, Orlando would’ve showed as a lot at the Draft lottery when the order was once made up our minds. Instead, the Magic weighed the deserves of Chet Holmgren (No. 2 total in 2022) and Jabari Smith Jr. (No. 3) and toyed with the concept of buying and selling down as they did with Hardaway in 1993 … ahead of in the end following their intestine and taking Banchero on draft night time.
Like many sizzling potentialities over the previous few many years, Banchero performed just one yr in faculty. Scouting them is trickier than ever and, steadily, groups should position an inexpensive quantity of weight on a participant’s highschool and AAU years. At least in that regard, Banchero aced all the ones ranges as he was once regarded as an NBA-level prospect as a highschool sophomore.
It’s simple to peer why. He’s 6-foot-10 and 250 kilos with the abilities of a smaller participant. His care for is cast, his taking pictures vary respectable and he sees the surface. He’s versatile sufficient to suit at a couple of positions, a skill that’s extremely valued in the league.
Will he be the highest in his Draft magnificence 4 or 5 seasons from now? Maybe, possibly now not. As lengthy as he’s in line for a rookie max by means of then — and doesn’t go away in a huff — the Magic selected correctly.
Orlando had extra choices to make this summer time: Keep the roster intact, or make wholesale adjustments? Based on what transpired all over loose company, the Magic’s philosophy was once very transparent — persist with adolescence, construct a foundation and forego, for now anyway, chasing A-list loose brokers.
With that in thoughts, the Magic re-signed Gary Harris, Mo Bamba and Bol Bol when they might’ve declined to convey again all 3, and can necessarily run it again with remaining season’s workforce (the best rotation participant to depart the fold was once Robin Lopez).
The Magic gave Harris two years and $26 million, reasonably wealthy for the reason that Harris’ occupation has flatlined since he signed a fats contract in Denver, the place he spent his first six seasons. The Magic did see certain indicators remaining season, particularly on protection, and had been inspired by means of his stepped forward 3-point taking pictures.
Bamba was once an excellent trickier choice. He’s a former top-10 pick out (No. 6 total in 2018) who by no means won a lot traction, principally as a result of his skinny frame prevents him from being a put up presence and due to this fact pressured him to develop into a 7-foot 3-point shooter. He additionally misplaced the heart place to Wendell Carter Jr. and shifted to energy ahead. He’s a good floor-spreader (38.1% on 3-pointers remaining season) however doesn’t challenge as a quantity shooter. He left a cast affect later in the season and delivered 10.6 issues, 8.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in line with recreation, all occupation highs. But, it is going to be curious to peer the place he will get mins with Banchero in the fold and large guy Jonathan Isaac returning.
As if the Magic didn’t have sufficient thin put up gamers, they made up our minds to present Bol an extended glance. As with Bamba, the workforce’s funding in cash and years is sufficiently small to make sense.
With the exceptions of Harris (27) and Ross (31), each and every different participant on the workforce is 24 and more youthful. That loss of veteran presence most certainly gained’t imply a lot to a workforce that without a doubt wishes extra building and appears to go back to the lottery once more (until Banchero presentations the roughly promise O’Neal and Howard did). In NBA historical past, best really particular freshmen alternate their membership’s fortunes in a single day — be mindful, even LeBron James couldn’t take the Cleveland Cavaliers to the playoffs as a rookie.
By refusing to swing for the fence in loose company and trades, the Magic are focusing on participant building. You may say, in some way, they already gained giant even ahead of the season starts by means of getting some other No. 1 total pick out in the fold.
Those generally tend to paintings in Orlando’s desire.
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