It is easy to get excited for the shiny new toy.
Orlando Magic fans are still buzzing a day later after the team won the first overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft — dancing between thoughts of Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero or Chet Holmgren as they will for the next month.
The national media is starting to try to figure out what this Magic roster needs and exactly what the pecking order is for this young team. There is still a month for everyone to catch up. And it is not like the Magic are going to spill any secrets anyway.
This look to the future though will make everyone forget about the present. The Magic are not some team so far from play-in contention or devoid of young talent to build around. They were a team that had two top-10 picks in a celebrated draft class.
And they have some young players who appear ready to step into the spotlight. Certainly, their brightest spot from an otherwise bleak season got the long-awaited recognition.
There is a Space Ranger getting ready to land on the bed. But Woody is not ready to get put away quite yet.
The NBA announced Franz Wagner was named to the All-Rookie first team, an expected reward for one of the top rookies in an incredibly strong rookie class.
Franz Wagner was a runaway selection for the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team as the Orlando Magic got recognition for their present as much as their future.
Wagner garnered 84 of 100 first-team votes and added an additional 15 votes for the second team. He finished fourth in total points for the All-Rookie First Team, joining unanimous selections and Rookie of the Year finalists Scottie Barnes, Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley along with Jalen Green to round out the first team.
Magic rookie Jalen Suggs did not make either the first or second team, garnering only six second-team votes.
Wagner is the 10th player in Magic history to make the All-Rookie team and the first since Elfrid Payton in 2015. He became the ninth rookie in NBA history and the first since 1993 to average at least 15.0 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game.
He played and started in all 79 games he played, only missing playing and starting in all 82 games because of a sprained ankle late in the season (and then re-sprained as he tried to come back after a few games out).
Wagner finished the season scoring 15.2 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game and 2.9 assists per game with shooting splits of 46.8/35.4/86.3. Even though Wagner was one of the best scorers on the team and finished with the second-most field goal attempts per game, he left the season with Magic fans asking for more from him.
Certainly, they left the season eager to see where Wagner takes his game next. There are big things expected of Wagner as he grows into his sophomore season.
As the Magic prepare to add to their team with this upcoming NBA Draft, they know they have a core piece locked in at forward with Wagner. He made that clear with such a stellar rookie year — one where we named him the full season MVP.
That is how good Wagner is.
So a day after the Magic’s future got a huge boost. Their present reminded everyone they have more to build with than just a draft pick in one month.