Terrence Ross excited about Orlando Magic’s future, uncertain if he’ll stay

The Orlando Magic's inconsistent offense cost them again as the Los Angeles Lakers took advantage to win easily. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
The Orlando Magic's inconsistent offense cost them again as the Los Angeles Lakers took advantage to win easily. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Terrence Ross’ future with the Orlando Magic is still up in the air.

Earlier this offseason, Ross acknowledged publicly that he spoke to the Magic’s front office about his future and expressed his desire to be moved to a winning situation. He stated on his podcast that if he were younger, he would love to grow with this young team. But at his age, he sees his opportunities to play for winning teams starting to run out.

That is a fair thing to acknowledge. And the Magic have generally done right by their veteran players.

Despite having one foot apparently out the door, Ross has remained nothing but effusive in his praise of his teammates and their future. Ross truly seems like he believes in what the team is building and just understands he is not on the same timeline as them.

Terrence Ross is still with the Orlando Magic and while he is here, he is sharing in the excitement for what the team is building and their prospects even as his future continues to hang in the balance.

That remains one of the biggest endorsements for what the Magic are building and what they are trying to do. As is Gary Harris, a veteran wing himself, opting to re-sign with the team on a two-year deal. There are plenty of people who are bought into what this team is building without any proof that it will all come together.

The excitement around the young talent on this roster along with adding the top pick Paolo Banchero is palpable. Everyone is eager to see what the team will do.

That includes players on the roster and a veteran like Ross.

Ross has continued doing his work inside the Amway Center and has been around the team. He was notably one of the few players who did not make the trip out to Vegas. But he got his time with Banchero in before Summer League practice started and came away impressed, especially with his playmaking that was on display in Las Vegas.

There is a lot of optimism and excitement for the season. And even players on the roster know things could come together quickly if the team gets some good breaks.

He spoke about that optimism on the latest episode of the T.Ross Podcast:

"“I’m literally shooting in the middle of my workout, not even talking to the coaches or anything, and just in my head thinking,” Ross said on his podcast. “And halfway through, I’m like, ‘We could go to the [expletive] playoffs this year. Who was in those play-in spots? Charlotte, Brooklyn, who else? Atlanta? We beat Charlotte. We can for sure get Atlanta.“We have a lot to play for this year. That kind of got me hype. And then to see all the youth we have and they are ready to go out the gate. It is going to make me optimistic about what we an achieve this seaosn and moving forward. Granted, I’m still with the team. I don’t know how that’s going.”"

The Magic do have a wide gap to bridge to get to where those play-in teams are. The Charlotte Hornets got the final Play-In spot with 43 wins. Orlando would need to double its win total.

With some good health and player development, it is not so hard to see the team taking a bit of a leap forward. And it is not impossible to see a team make that large of a leap.

The Hornets are in a bit of flux but the Magic know better than anyone how difficult Steve Clifford teams are to face. Brooklyn is in flux too depend on what the team does with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The Hawks certainly got better adding Dejounte Murray.

Climbing in the Eastern Conference is not going to be so easy.

But Orlando is at the stage where the team is focused on its own development and growth. The team is not worried about catching the rest of the league. The team just needs to be the best version of itself and see where the chips fall.

As Jamahl Mosley repeatedly says, the season is about leveling up and figuring out how to win.

But the team has real talent to build around and develop. That is what has everyone excited. And the players are clearly feeling it too.

Everyone just has to wait for September and October to see how it all comes together. It is still about the work.

Of course, Ross’ own future is still in flux.

With the summer running out, it is still uncertain whether the Magic will move Ross or keep him for the season. The team kept a high price on him from the trade deadline through the offseason. That has not yet been met. The Magic

Ross said on the podcast that he is in the dark about his status as much as anyone.

For now, Ross is still doing his offseason work — mostly inside the Amway Center’s practice facility — and still preparing for the season. He is a professional that way and the Magic are still going to need him to fill in some shooting off the bench.

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The main thing though is that the palpable excitement the fan base feels about what Banchero adds to the roster and the team’s overall improvement is being felt internally too. Only time will tell.