Terrence Ross gives his scouting report on Orlando Magic’s early pick-up runs

Terrence Ross gave Orlando Magic fans a peek at what the team's pick-up runs look like. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Terrence Ross gave Orlando Magic fans a peek at what the team's pick-up runs look like. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Most of the excitement surrounding the Orlando Magic these days has to do with the team’s new practice facility.

The AdventHealth Training Facility is already the envy of the league. And the fun part of social media of late has been watching Magic players get their initial tour of the building. The players are already buzzing about it.

But the team is not moved in quite yet — they are slated to conduct Media Day on Sept. 26 in the facility and begin training camp the next day in the new gym. And the calendar moves on.

Labor Day is usually a big day on the NBA calendar. That is usually when players begin to make it back to their home markets to start preparing for training camp.

This return usually includes players doing informal pick-up runs and then some voluntary workouts with the coaches as training camp approaches. All of this is voluntary of course, and so attendance can vary.

The Orlando Magic have started to come together as pick-up runs at the Amway Center have begun ahead of training camp with many players already working together.

Knowing this Magic team, however, a lot of the players are taking advantage of the time. And along with many of the Exhibit 10 players and training camp invitees, the team is well underway to getting some action in and figuring out what they have on the court and how to work together.

Most, if not all, of this happens in secret. There are no live streams of the team’s pick-up runs and we are not going to see any of it until the Magic hit the court for their first preseason game on Oct. 3. It also comes with the usual bluster and disorganization that characterizes your pick-up games.

But we do know the Magic are getting together to play and learn each other. Thanks to Terrence Ross on the latest episode of The T.Ross Podcast, we got a little scouting report of the Magic’s runs and what might be in store when the season begins:

The big highlights — aside from Terrence Ross saying he torched everyone (a welcome sign after his difficulties shooting last year) and Ross trying to get Exhibit 10 signee Zavier Simpson to teach him the running hook shot he has made famous — are that most of the roster is in Orlando.

Franz and Moe Wagner are among the most notable absences with EuroBasket taking place. Markelle Fultz, Wendell Carter and Jonathan Isaac were also not playing quite yet (it is still the offseason, remember).

Among the participants is Paolo Banchero.

Ross said he shows glimpses of everything from playmaking and scoring to his defense. Ross called him a jack of all trades and said it was refreshing to see. That part is certainly exciting as Banchero gets his first taste of the NBA.

The biggest standout though was Bol Bol. As Ross put it:

"“Let me tell you this dude does freakish things,” Ross said on the podcast. “He makes our tallest players look like they are 6-foot-2. You know how you do the over-the-top dribble, he does that to Mo Bamba. Bamba is 7-foot. . . . It’s the most unreal thing. He was working out with him, Mo and Paolo and they were doing finishes at the rim. For Bol, it’s unreal. He has bounce and can shoot. Just imagine me at 7-foot. Everything is going to be finesse, it’s wild.”"

Ross added Bol was talking trash to whoever was defending him — somehow Devin Cannady or R.J. Hampton was guarding him but Bol was still hitting step-backs on them. At least, according to Ross.

Bol remains one of the more interesting and mysterious players on the Magic’s roster. His potential  — and popularity — are abundant. The idea of a 7-footer with his ball-handling skills and shooting skills with his shot-blocking is intriguing. But injuries have slowed him down since his college days at Oregon.

He barely played last year with the Denver Nuggets before they traded him first to the Detroit Pistons (that was rescinded because of a failed physical) and then to the Boston Celtics before he landed in Orlando. The Magic signed him to a fresh two-year deal this offseason.

So that part of Ross’ report from Magic pick-up runs is intriguing, to say the least.

Next. When Orlando wins a trophy. dark

Overall, the important takeaway is that the Magic are already starting to assemble and starting to get some work in on the court as training camp gets closer and closer.