Orlando Magic Playbook: Wendell Carter has shown immediate promise

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Wendell Carter, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors
Wendell Carter and the Orlando Magic are still trying to find their way and play with the same energy. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The trade that sent Nikola Vucevic to the Chicago Bulls was a seminal moment in the history of the Orlando Magic franchise.

Vuevic represented more than just the lone All-Star, the offensive savant who carried an, as many projected, woeful offensive group. He was and is one of the most decorated players to wear a Magic uniform.

For president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and his staff to make the gutsy decision to trade him meant they believed they were receiving legitimate talent in return, along with plenty of future assets to build around.

Wendell Carter’s surprising play to start his time with the Orlando Magic has softened the blow of losing All-Star Nikola Vucevic and has set the team up with a potential center and defensive anchor.

Wendell Carter showed enough intrigue in his early Bulls tenure — for those who were watching. But his injury troubles and inconsistent minutes in Chicago’s frontcourt-heavy roster made the fit less than ideal.

Regardless, Carter showed promise due to his pure athleticism and lengthy wingspan, which made him one of the best young defensive big men in the league. Weltman is known for targeting players of this ilk, those with the physical gifts to back up their raw talent.

But it is safe to gather that even the Magic did not expect this level of production from Carter immediately. The 22-year-old has been so proficient, that it is worth taking a look at the film to understand what has made his play in Orlando so superb.