3 goals for Orlando Magic as they pick up pieces of new roster

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R.J. Hampton, Denver Nuggets,
R.J. Hampton is in line to receive more playing time after his trade to the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

Step 2: Figure out what you have

Because of so many injuries, the Orlando Magic do not really know what they fully have in a lot of the players on the roster.

Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz seem to be the players the team knows the most about at this point.

Before his injury, Isaac was showing his ability to be an All-NBA defensive player night in and night out, and potentially even a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Whereas Fultz started to see real growth — showing flashes of elite playmaking ability, a continually increasing feel for the game, and the athleticism he was so highly regarded for in college.

Chuma Okeke and Cole Anthony have also shown promise during their rookie seasons. Despite missing time early in the season, Okeke has also shown a growing feel for the game, defensive promise and the ability to shoot the three. Anthony, before his injury, assumed the starting point guard role and averaged 12.6 points, 4.2 assists, and 4.2 rebounds.

Right before his injury, he looked like he was finding his rhythm and building confidence as a rookie.

Mohamed Bamba, on the other hand, has been a question mark all season long. He has missed time due to health and safety protocols, but has also had numerous DNP-CDs and little nagging injuries.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

When he has gotten minutes this year, he has been as inconsistent as his playing time. However, with Nikola Vucevic now in Chicago, Mohamed Bamba should have the opportunity to be on the floor more.

Wendell Carter Jr. has had flashes in Chicago, but there were questions about his fit there.

He does a little bit of everything well, which bolstered his draft stock in 2018, but his improvement has not been what people expected.

As a newcomer to Orlando, the team will have to see how the change of scenery benefits him or does not. He was taken just one spot behind Bamba in the 2018 draft at number seven.

Now the two centers will likely be splitting time to prove themselves.

R.J. Hampton has only seen more than 10 minutes in nine games this year, so he is a bit of an unknown. But coming out of high school in 2019, he opted out of playing college ball and played for the New Zealand Breakers in the NBL.

In his 19 games there, he averaged 10.5 points, 2.7 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game in just about 20 minutes. Hampton was struggling to get playing time in the Denver Nuggets’ rotation and this presents the talented rookie a huge opportunity to play.

At his peak, Gary Harris shot 42-percent from three and averaged 17.5 points per game for a 46-36 Denver Nuggets team. It is unclear when he will play for the Magic. But he has missed the last 23 of 24 games with a hamstring injury.

Okeke, Bamba, Carter and Hampton all being healthy as of now should see plenty of game time during the last 28 games of the season and have an opportunity to prove themselves.

The question is, how much of this can develop and propel a team to the championship level?