Do you believe in Magic? A quote engraved with time, from good ole’ Mickey D’s (the hamburger place!) to Magic Johnson, to the actual Magic. Perhaps even real magic? One can only hope. And what does this journey have to do with the aforementioned Magic? Nothing really, I just like leaving easy clues to how old I’m getting. It’s either providing catharsis or more depression, but at this point, who can tell? But speaking of which, when you think of the Magic, there’s literally just one or two “eras” that the team found success. The first was the one we all know of, the Shaq-attack in prime form, Penny, Nick Anderson, ah yes, the mid-90’s… No Diggity, No Doubt. The second age of Magic “prosperity” would probably be then the end of the 00’s, an underrated team in history that saw some dominant performances from Vince Carter and Hedo Turkoglu. But beyond that, darkness. A world without Magic, if you will. This might not be the case much longer though, the real question is, does the return of Magic begin this year? Let’s find out!
Record: 22-60 (15th Seed)
If you squint really hard, LOL no, the return of the Magic probably doesn’t begin this year. And stop squinting, you might hurt yourself. But despite the 22-win season, there were some things to really like moving forward. First, there was the fact that a total of 449 games were missed by players who were injured for the Magic, so any semblance of luck there will automatically provide some improvement. And Wendell Carter had a strong season, setting a career-high in points-per-game (15), rebounds (11) and assists (3) in just 30 minutes average. Cole Anthony also contributed with a 16/5/5 split. It’s a young team, so even with the horrendous record, this team has the chance to start shining sooner rather than later.
Projected Depth Chart
PG: Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz, RJ Hampton
SG: Terrence Ross, Jalen Suggs, Gary Harris
SF: Franz Wagner, Chuma Okeke
PF: Paolo Banchero, Chuma Okeke, Jonathan Isaac
C: Wendell Carter Jr., Mohamed Bamba
While the Magic may not be playoff bound, they will certainly be a better team, and more importantly, this Magic roster could be a lot of fun to watch. All the young and exciting pieces in Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, along with RJ Hampton, Mo Bamba, and Anthony and Carter can only get better moving forward.
Draft Spotlight: Despite Chet Holmgren often being linked to the Magic, the team ended up going with Paolo Banchero and his reletively high ceiling with scouts raving about his advanced basketball IQ. With agility and quickness, Banchero could end up a having a big footprint in the rotation with his playmaking abilities.
Projected Record: 32-50 (11th Seed).
Because of the play-in threshold being the 10th seed, you could say I’m being mighty aggressive here with my projection. OR to stay on brand, you could just simply say that yes, I do believe in Magic. Or maybe I’m just hungry for a Big Mac. I ask you all, why not both?
Jay is a longtime Razzball everything who consumes an egregious amount of Makers Mark as a vehicle to gain wisdom and augment his natural glow. Living in the D.C. area, he also likes spending time visiting the local parks and feeding lettuce to any turtles he encounters, including Mitch McConnell. You can follow him on Twitter @jaywrong.