Connect with us


2022-23 NBA Preview: Orlando Magic

A New Orlando Core

The Orlando Magic finished last season 21-51, the third worst record in the NBA. Due to a lucky bounce in the lottery, the Magic selected Paolo Banchero first overall in the NBA Draft. He joins a young group of talent on the Magic. Many former top picks are finding their way in the NBA on this team, and some players like Franz Wagner and Cole Anthony look like future cornerstones. Wagner averaged over 15 points a game and showed his versatility throughout the season. While Anthony was instant energy on offense. The Magic hired Jamahl Mosley as their Head Coach. A coach known for the way he develops young talent. With so much youth on this team, the Magic are certainly in a good position to succeed.


The Magic’s leading scorer last year was Point Guard, Cole Anthony. Anthony is a 22-year-old guard out of UNC who swaggered his way to a great season. His incredible dunking ability and isolation scoring ability was extremely impressive. Anthony is primed to be an important scorer on the Magic, however he most likely will not play that starting point guard role. He was not a great facilitator and struggled defensively throughout the season. He is instant offense whether off the bench or starting and will energize the crowd.

With the 5th pick in the 2021 Draft, the Orlando Magic selected Jalen Suggs. Suggs struggled at times due to lineup inconsistency, injuries, and shooting. Yet, he draws fouls well and is an incredible defender. With him on the floor, the Magic are a significantly better team defensively, and he is still young enough that his shooting can improve. That will be essential, as the Magic struggled to score last year having the second worst points per game in the NBA.

Markelle Fultz was the first overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. He has struggled with injuries and did not live up to the hype on the Philadelphia 76ers. Since 2019, Fultz has been very good in the games he has been able to play in. With only 26 games the past two seasons, it has been difficult for him to carve a role into this offense. He is dynamic on offense distributing and driving and will run the offense at many points for the Magic.

RJ Hampton and Caleb Houstan are both young guards to watch on the Magic. Hampton is only 21 years old and has freak athleticism and length for his position. He struggled over Summer League as the primary ball handler; however, he can guard multiple positions. He is a young player and has attributes that very few guards have. Houstan was selected in this year’s draft with the 32nd pick. Houstan has the skill set to become an elite three-point shooter. He has a great form, confidence and was excellent at spot up shooting over Summer League.

Garry Harris and Terrence Ross are two of the most consistent contributors on the Orlando Magic. The “elder statesmen” of such a young team. Harris was 5th in minutes per game for the Magic and was expected to carry responsibility of both sides of the ball. He is currently a trade candidate due to the second half of his contract being non-guaranteed. He can either be traded for future draft assets or continue to be a very solid NBA rotational piece. Terrence Ross is the oldest member on the Magic roster at 31. He shot the worst in his career from the 3, however he still averaged 10 points a game and was important on defense.



This offseason, the Orlando Magic surprised everyone when they selected Paolo Banchero first overall. This shock was due to the secrecy of the Magic throughout the draft process, not Banchero’s ability. Paolo Banchero is a 6’ 10”, 19-year-old forward with the ability to handle the ball as a guard. In the past, the Magic have had great luck with their first overall selections. These selections becoming franchise cornerstones like Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway and Dwight Howard. Banchero is simply too big for guards to defend him, while too skilled and fast for big men. If developed correctly, Banchero can be a mismatch nightmare. Similar to the way players like Jayson Tatum and Kevin Durant have excelled scoring on all three levels. He will be the leading scoring threat for this Magic team and supplies them with high level offensive talent.

The star rookie for the Orlando Magic was their 8th overall selection, Franz Wagner. Wagner started in 79 games and averaged 15 points a game. He showed his versatility on the offensive end, as he both created for himself and others. All while being a 6’ 10” forward. He was also decent on defense and showed he can stay in front of guards as well as forwards. He does not project to be the alpha on an NBA team. However, his ability to distribute and score in the pick and roll make him an absolute cornerstone for this organization.

Jonathan Isaac’s future with the Magic is currently uncertain. His career has been riddled with injuries including missing the past two seasons. The 6’ 11” forward has all of the tools to be one of the best defenders in the NBA. He has shot 80% from the line from his career and his potential on the offensive end is untapped. With the arrival of Banchero, it will be interesting to see where Isaac falls in the rotation. Along with whether his athletic ability is still as elite as before injury.

Chuma Okeke is a 24-year-old small forward who played quality minutes for the Magic. Okeke’s career took off to a slow start due to injuries. In college, he tore his ACL which meant rehabbing for his first NBA season. After two average seasons, he flashed ability but was inconsistent. Now, three years removed from this injury, Okeke is hoping to become a core piece to this Magic team. His three-point shooting will be a huge part of this, as he shot under 32% from three. With his defense and improvement of his shot, he can be a valuable 3 and D player for this team.



The Magic have a lot of young talent at the Center position. Featured are two top-10 picks from the 2018 draft. Wendell Carter Jr. was the anchor of this Magic team, averaging 15 points and 10.5 rebounds a game. Carter was acquired in the Nikola Vucevic trade and has done a great job in his role. He is only 23, and his peak as an NBA Big has not been reached.

This offseason, the Magic signed Bamba to a two-year contract. The former 6th overall pick has struggled to stay healthy. However, he has tremendous untapped potential. His ceiling as a 7-footer who can stretch the floor, as well as dominate the defensive end. His contract is low risk, and his ability as a player is incredible if he can stay healthy.

Mo Wagner, the older brother of forward Franz Wagner, has been a member of the Magic for two years. Wagner will be a solid role player for the team; however, he is not expected to play many minutes. Instead opting for younger players. Bol Bol is perhaps one of the most interesting prospects in the NBA. He has only played 52 games in his three-year career. However, his 7’ 2” height, handles, and shooting ability make him at times an unguardable player. With a crowded front court, it will be interesting to see if he gets playing time. If he can develop, the length defensively for this team can be a mismatch nightmare.


The Orlando Magic have done everything possible this offseason to help this team succeed. Having the number 1 selection in this year’s draft, they selected the player with the best odds of becoming an elite NBA scorer. His size and versatility allow the Magic to use a lot of different types of lineups. The progression of their young core, especially Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr and Jalen Suggs, is essential for Orlando this season. Depending on the impact of Banchero and the development of those around him, the Magic may not see the lottery next season. A lot needs to go right, but regardless of finish, the Magic will be another year into developing this core and acquiring draft assets.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Articles

Featured Writers

More in Features