a young base, a healthy base, but you will have to be patient before winning again

It never feels good to see the preview of your favorite team come out in the first moments of autumn, but let’s face it and it’s not a drama: the Magic may lose a wagon of matches this season. That is the process as we have said for a long time in Pennsylvania, and the Florida Process will therefore have as an objective, starting from the takeover, to develop some potential cracks in order to make the Orlando franchise a serious contender in… how long will it take?

To have a drink while talking about the Magic season, it’s here!

What happened last season

A pretty incredible start to the season, then the start of trouble with a diminished Evan Fournier, an Aaron Gordon either injured or bad, and a Markelle Fultz bleeding at the start of the year but who saw his season end precipitously, once again. Little by little the Magic slipped in the standings and in March one of the most obtuse turns of the recent past of the franchise takes place. Aaron Gordon moves to Denver, Evan goes to Boston and Nikola Vucevic to Chicago, almost ten years of memories are swept away and the Magic go like a bullet in the tanking system. A transitional season, local heroes who are leaving, young people who are trying to assert themselves (Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr. at the end of the season) and in the end a great operation since the Draft will allow John Hammond to recover Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner, however rather approached in Toronto or Sacramento before the ceremony.

Orlando Magic, the 2020-21 report: all the young people were injured, all the old ones left, all the SOS cries

Some useful links

The summer market

  • They left : Dwayne Bacon, James Ennis, Otto Porter, Chasson Randle, Sindarius Thornwell et Steve Clifford (coach)
  • They re-signed: Moritz Wagner and Ignas Brazdeikis
  • They arrive : Jalen Suggs (Draft), Franz Wagner (Draft), Robin Lopez et Jamahl Mosley (coach)

A change of direction that had already taken place on March 25, on the evening of the trade deadline, with the departures mentioned a little above but, above all because this is what interests us, the arrivals of Gary Harris (not really the beam of the new project), Otto Porter Jr. (since gone to Golden State) and the duo RJ Hampton / Wendell Carter Jr., from Denver and Chicago. Two men who will undoubtedly be found in the heart of the reconstruction, while the useful but no more Dwayne Bacon and James Ennis are so strong that they still have not found a job to this day. The vintage of rookies seems to be full of promise, Robin Lopez also arrives to teach the hooks and the castagne to the young people of the group and, last but not the least, Steve Clifford has seen his Florida lease end and leaves his place to Jamahl Mosley, former assistant to Rick Carlisle in Dallas and long regarded as one of the most desired coaches this summer.

Le roster 2021-22 du Magic

  • Leaders: Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony et Michael Carter-Williams
  • Rear: Jalen Suggs, R.J. Hampton, Gary Harris et Terrence Ross
  • Wingers: Chuma Okeke, Franz Wagner and Ignas Brazdeikis (two-way)
  • Strong wingers: Jonathan Isaac and Moritz Wagner
  • Pivots : Robin Lopez, Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba

In bold, the potential starters, according to the famous sources close to the file

Lacking enough talent to go for the title in the next twenty years, Mosley’s roster seems to date rather balanced and frankly exciting. Nice people on the back lines with almost half a dozen talented guys capable of playing in both positions, a position 3 which seems weaker but Franz Wagner and Chuma Okeke have the arguments to scratch the minutes and progress (Okeke already started to do this last season), while inside the Magic’s ability to be dangerous will be mainly linked to the state of health of Jonathan Isaac, potentially one of the best two-way players in the League at his post but for the moment determined to follow the path dictated by his body a little too fragile.

The banker’s little point

Incredible lease that this salary grid since we realize that the four highest paid players of the Magic are either players whose future is not necessarily written in Orlando (Gary Harris, Terrence Ross), or players of which 95% of the salary is used for trips between the hospital and the pharmacy. For the rest we are on a fairly low account with a lot of rookie contracts and therefore a fairly incredible quality / price ratio., and it is more in two or three seasons that we will measure the ability of the Florida board to make the right choices.

The full point on Magic salaries is right here

Read TTFL tips

A perfect team to win… the Exotic League, you know, this ‘in the competition’ which consists of finding who will be the best of the worst. We will watch Jonathan Isaac without too many convictions, we can perhaps ensure the minimum with a Wendell Carter Jr. and we will hope to see Jalen Suggs seize the keys to the truck as soon as possible, but for the rest we are therefore going on a risky 8 or 35, the kind of bet not to make if you don’t want to find yourself in the murky waters of the rankings on the first night.

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The Doc paragraph

When we look at the Orlando infirmary last season, five names stand out. Jonathan Isaac, to begin with, had an early career marked by injuries. After one rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in the left knee in August 2020, he had a blank season in 2020-2021. On the cusp of recovery, it’s difficult to assess his state of health and the Magic haven’t given a timeline for his return. If the rumors say he is ready, he confided to be still in “weaning from his splint” at the beginning of September, to be continued … Like his teammate, Markelle Fultz is also recovering from rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in the left knee. Injured more recently (January 2021), there is little chance of seeing him on the ground during the recovery. Gary Harris, in contract year this year, has not done a full season since 2017/2018. Seven games are missing at the end of January for a left adductor voltage and made his injury worse by coming back too early, missing twenty-one more games. His thigh continued to hurt him until the end of the regular season, cutting many of his games short. This year is important for Harris, who must prove that he is capable of staying healthy. Wendell Carter Jr., newly arrived from Chicago, missed eleven games because of a severe contusion to the right quadriceps. No real worries for this year but we will have to watch WCJ, who has never played more than 54 games in a season. Mo Bamba finally, had a start to the season complicated by a Covid well long which left him very tired with muscle pain. He will experience two other alerts with a hip contusion and hamstring pain. Much like WCJ, Bamba must prove that he can be productive on the pitch while avoiding injury …

Help young people progress, don’t win too many matches but don’t take too many jerks

The example of the Thunder 2019-20 is interesting enough to be… taken as an example. A pretty attractive team on paper (with an All-Star border player nonetheless, which the Magic probably doesn’t currently have), with a rookie coach, who wins a few more games than expected, and during the season the decision to scuttle the little happiness in place to be completely sure of losing eleven games out of ten. Clearly the Magic has what it takes to get a few teams drunk and release crazy nights from time to time, but we must not forget the main objective: to transform the teenagers of the group into real basketball players, into leaders. We think of Jalen Suggs obviously, pleasantly recovered on the evening of the Draft, we think of Wendell Carter Jr., we think of Cole Anthony or even RJ Hampton or Chuma Okeke, if we assume that Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz are already very solid when they are not injured, if we assume that Mo Bamba is three corners of FC Bust but we remain optimistic. Some elders are there to put pies to the specialists in alarm failures (Robin Lopez in particular, while waiting to know the future of Gary Harris and Terrence Ross), some middle players can also put their nose to the window (Moritz Wagner?) , and we are in any case on a group far from being a bunch of no-names and which could surprise. Surprise by trying to allow the Magic to get even stronger in the next Draft, yeah, we’re already talking about tanking, but we’re talking about smart tanking.

The editor’s prognosis

17 wins and 65 losses, and last place in the East. As we said in the preamble, nothing alarming, it will rather be to put in the best conditions Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony in particular, and behind everything that will be taken will no longer be taken. RJ Hampton and Wendell Carter Jr. who must become players who matter, Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz who will try to stay upright, a new coach who must prove himself in a difficult context … in short everything will be difficult this season, but the essential is elsewhere, on the horizon.

Defeat does not necessarily mean no interest, and in more than one respect this Magic will be scrutinized this season, scrutinized and perhaps even attractive. There is gear in store, kids eager to show off their skills and above all… no pressure for results, and it is perhaps through this prism that the Magic version 2021-22 could surprise us. Chick?

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