5 Orlando Magic games we are already looking forward to

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Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, Wendell Carter
Nikola Vucevic made his first return to the Amway Center to face the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

5 Orlando Magic games we are already looking forward to

Chicago Bulls

The Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls are going to be tied together for a little while.

The teams were involved in a major trade about a year ago that changed both franchises. The Bulls got an All-Star in Nikola Vucevic, who is reportedly due for an extension soon. The Magic got Wendell Carter and a pick that turned into Franz Wagner.

In a lot of ways, both teams accomplished their goals. The Bulls did enough to keep Zach LaVine this offseason and solidify their playoff potential. And it gave them the runway to sign DeMar DeRozan (reportedly because of his friendship with Nikola Vucevic) and push their chips in to try to do more.

Injuries were probably the big thing that derailed them last season — to Zach LaVine by the end of the season, but mid-season injuries to Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball really sent things off the rail.

The matchup this season will carry some extra weight. It will not just be about the matchup of Carter against Vucevic.

The Magic hold the Bulls’ pick this offseason. So Orlando will be cheering hard for Chicago losses (although not too many because the pick is top four protected). It is in the Magic’s best interests to win their games against the Bulls and everyone will be keeping an eye on what Chicago does.

Especially because the 2023 NBA Draft is shaping up to be a good one.

Beyond that, the Bulls ended up last year as the 6-seed. They should be better if they can stay healthy. But right now, they are a team squarely in the Magic’s way and a team the Magic will have to climb above to get where they want to go.

That may not happen this season. But it is something to keep in mind.

Next. Orlando Magic get passing grades for offseason. dark

The connections between these teams is pretty clear and something that will add some intrigue to this season.