Orlando Magic expect everyone to be a leader in 2023

Cole Anthony has been the heart and soul for the Orlando Magic through the early stages of this rebuild. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Cole Anthony has been the heart and soul for the Orlando Magic through the early stages of this rebuild. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic are a young team. Perhaps a bit too young.

The team had one of the youngest rosters in the league last year. And they did not get much older, beyond everyone advancing a year further in time.

Gary Harris and Terrence Ross are the “old guys” in the group at 28 and 31 years old.

This is a team that is looking to accomplish a lot but may not quite have the experience to do so. They have a lot to learn if they are going to take some major steps.

This is a team that will succeed because they do not know what they do not know. They are going to figure out a lot of things on the fly.

Everyone is going to have to rely on each other to learn and grow this year.

The Orlando Magic are a young team this season once again and will not have experience to lean on. That means everyone is going to have to step up and provide layers of leadership to succeeed.

Those are big ingredients to what the Magic want to accomplish this season. They want to spend this season growing and learning how to win as much as anything. They are not putting expectations or a firm goal on this season. Orlando as an organization and franchise still just wants to gather information on their team and how to build.

That has not dampened any excitement for this team and what they can accomplish. It is hard to hide the excitement everyone around this team has for this group’s future and this coming season.

But it is still going to take a lot of work.

The biggest work for the team will be in holding each other accountable. Without clear veteran leadership and players who have “been there,” the Magic are going to have to rally around each other to figure this piece out.

Leadership for the Magic is going to be a bit by committee. Even coach Jamahl Mosley admits that. And part of what is exciting about this team is how the young players are truly taking ownership of the project.

As Mosley put it on the recent episode of the Orlando Magic Pod Squad, everyone is going to have their own style of leadership but it will be up to each member of the team to hold each other accountable and understand the standard the Magic are trying to play toward.

That is at the center of what Mosley is trying to convey at this early stage of the season before training camp begins. He is directing his team to “level up” and focus on the details of every day and limiting mistakes as they learn and grow.

Accountability is going to be a big thing for the team in that case. Mosley wants his team to learn quickly and adjust from mistakes. That is central to the team’s improvement.

How everyone rallies around it though will remain the big mystery. And that is where the Magic have some potential strength.

If there is something working in the team’s favor right now it is that familiarity. The team brings back virtually the whole roster from last year. They all know how to work together and what is expected of them.

That should give them some leg up in training camp to grasp Mosley’s system quickly. They want to hit the ground running and move past early errors quickly.

But the team still lacks experience. So there are going to be different players doing different things.

Cole Anthony brings the energy and is the heart of the team. It is hard not to rally around him and the support he gives everyone from the sideline and on the court. He is the team’s biggest cheerleader.

Markelle Fultz will likely slot in as the point guard. He will be a leader on the floor as an organizer and director of traffic. Everyone on the team knows what an incredible worker he is after he came back from injury. That is how he leads by example.

Jamahl Mosley even highlights Jonathan Isaac and his work ethic as a way players can lead by example. By putting in the work and showing they put in the work that lifts everyone up.

Wendell Carter is likely the vocal leader of the bunch. He may not speak a lot, but he brings seriousness when he does speak. His words carry weight.

Carter already had a moment last season too where his leadership was apparent, coming into the locker room unprompted to challenge the team to have a strong third quarter and maintain a halftime lead against the Chicago Bulls.

Carter may well be the de facto captain of this team.

It is had to remember that Carter is still only 23 years old. He feels much older. But he still has a lot of growing to do himself as a player and a leader.

Everyone has a role to play for this team. They all have a lot to learn and they all have a lot to share to help lift each other up. That is why is also good that the team is so close and seems to genuinely care for and want to push each other to succeed.

That will go a long way.

But Mosley too will have to fill in some of those gaps as a leader. He is setting the tone for what he wants this team to accomplish. His teaching will be vital for setting the guardrails and direction for the team. But he wants his players to hold themselves to the standards he has set.

More importantly for their development, he is trusting the players to be the leaders themselves and to hold themselves to the standards he sets.

That empowerment may help this team develop as much as anything else. They will succeed or fail because of the way they play and the responsibility they hold for their team.

Everyone will have a part to play to reach that goal. Everyone is going to have to contribute something to hold the team to its goals and the way they need to get there.

Next. Orlando Magic make statement about past with new jerseys. dark

Everyone on this team is going to have to contribute to leadership for this team.