The Orlando Magic entered last season as one of the youngest teams in the league with the average player age of 24. Despite the squad starting off the year with a 5-20 record, the team found their stride once players such as Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony, and Wendell Carter Jr. returned to the lineup from injury. Orlando would turn it’s season around with a 6-game winning streak in December, and ultimately cruising at a rate just over .500 to close out the year after the 25-game skid to start the season, ending with a record of 34-48, a 12-game improvement from the year prior.
Orlando saw flashes of what could be in the future, as Paolo Banchero’s 20 PPG led the team and was good enough to claim the Rookie of the Year award. Franz Wagner avoided the sophomore season slump, adding a solid 18.6 PPG last season and was a consistent 4th quarter option - leading the team averaging 5.8 points while shooting above 40% from deep in the final 12 minutes.
It seems like Paolo and Franz will be an easy lock at 1 and 2 based on their production and potential early in their young careers, but who will join them in Brandon and I’s top 6?
Here's some other candidates based on stats from last season:
- G Markelle Fultz: 14 PPG, 5.7 AST, Career High 60 games started.
- C Wendell Carter Jr.: 15.6 PPG, 8.7 REB, defensive anchor in the paint
- G Cole Anthony: 13 PPG, claimed ‘6th Man’ role last season, entering contract year.
- G Jalen Suggs: 9.9 PPG, 1.3 STL, 2021 5th overall pick
- F Jonathon Isaac: 11 games played last year, 25 y/o 6’10 defensive specialist, promising start to his career before injuries.
The Magic also added two rookies in the 2023 NBA draft:
- G Anthony Black: Arkansas, 6th Overall Pick, 12.8 PPG, 5.1 REB, 3.9 AST in one season for the Razorbacks.
- G Jett Howard: Michigan, 11th Overall Pick, 14.2 PPG, 36.8 3FG% in one season for the Wolverines
To get Kravitz and I’s Top 6, tune in the ‘In The Zone’ at 3 p.m. EST on FM 96.9 The Game or the iHeart Radio App.