Orlando – The Orlando Magic’s 13-23 record at the turn of the year is anything but confident.
While I have a lot to love about the direction Magic is headed, next year is going to be a pivotal year for development.
Here are three solutions Magic should have in the next 12 months.
get (and stay) healthy
The Magic schedule was almost halfway through, but the team was still not 100% healthy.
In the new year, Jonathan Isaac should be back after missing two years of action completely.
We hope Jalen Suggs will be back on the floor soon too. He has played only his 14 games so far this season and has not been seen on his court since injuring his ankle on November 25.
Chuma Okeke is also recovering from knee surgery, but his return timeline is far less certain than the other two.
The rest is juggling to cheer up the rest of the players. He is only three injured, which is his healthiest of the 2022-23 season, but during the rebuilding front he said he wanted to keep them in order to allow the office to fully evaluate each player. Staying healthy is important.
young guns cook
With Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner in the frontcourt, the Magic have a solid base to create winners. Orlando has done a good job of making them the focal point of the team while incorporating an altruistic style of play.
That said, as Banchero and Wagner become more familiar with each other and the NBA game, their ability to become stars will be key to Orlando’s growth.
Looking at all the nominations from the last 20 years, there’s a clear hierarchy of stars and role players. The only team that didn’t follow this blueprint he was the 2004 Detroit Pistons.
The Magic are not the Pistons of 2004 and will never be.
Banchero and Wagner need more in command in 2023.
trust the process
While it can be frustrating as one of the worst teams in the league, Orlando has a bright future and is on the right track to rebuilding.
As a small-market team, Orlando drafts the sheer talent a team can win. There are several avenues to contention, possibly starring Banchero and Wagner. But that’s not the only way out of the NBA’s gutter.
The team will likely bring another lottery-selected pair into the squad in the 2023 NBA Draft, adding even more talent to round out the roster.
Too much talent in building can be a problem, but that’s a good thing.
Orlando is on the right track and they shouldn’t go off track and panic just because their team is losing right now.
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