1 question for every Orlando Magic player entering training camp

Cole Anthony is among the many Orlando Magic players who will see a role change and face questions as camp begins. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
Cole Anthony is among the many Orlando Magic players who will see a role change and face questions as camp begins. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /
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Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic
Markelle Fultz took control of the game with a season-ending double-double for the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /

1 Question for each Orlando Magic player

Ready to Bounce Back

The Orlando Magic are a young team and most of their players have not even played enough to need to bounce back. Still, they have plenty of players who will see their roles shift or who need to bounce back from injuries and reclaim their potential.

As the Magic sort through their roster, a pecking order will develop and the team will have a better sense of which players will help and how they will help this team.

The players in this group have a lot to prove this year as they seek their fit with the roster.

Markelle Fultz — What does a healthy Markelle Fultz look like?

This question unfortunately will have to be put on pause thanks to the announcement Markelle Fultz broke his left big toe. He is in a walking boot but will not require surgery. It is not clear when he will return to the court.

That is a huge loss for the Orlando Magic. Fultz is a steady presence at point guard. He can set the table for everyone and is a crafty scorer. He gives the team a little improvisational nature that can throw defenses off.

What is most disappointing about this scenario is that Fultz was coming off his first healthy full offseason. Fultz was injured in his years in Philadelphia, was rehabbing and recovering entering his breakthrough 2020 season and then had a shortened offseason because of the COVID bubble. He then tore his ACL just six games into that season.

Nobody has seen what Fultz looks like when he has a full summer to get himself in shape. That was the exciting part for this season.

Unfortunately, that has been put on pause. And that part is frustrating for the team.

Jalen Suggs — Can he right his shot?

Jalen Suggs was one of the best defensive rookies in the league last year. He was legitimately a good defender. That alone ensures a place in the league somewhere.

There were plenty of other things that kept him in the league and made his rookie year better than it might initially appear. But it was hard to get past his shooting. It was admittedly very bad.

Suggs finished his rookie season averaging 11.8 points per game but shooting only 36.1 percent from the floor and 21.4 percent from beyond the arc. It is hard to sugarcoat those stats and every bright spot seemed to come with a setback pretty quickly.

To be sure, Suggs’ future depends on his ability to be at least a nominal shooter. He needs to be some kind of threat with the ball.

That was Suggs’ focus throughout his offseason. He said he worked with the Magic’s coaching staff to analyze and break down his mechanics with his shot. More importantly, he spent his offseason regaining confidence in all aspects of his shooting especially.

The proof of that work will come out on-court. And whether he is able to make an impact with his shot could determine a lot of what his career may yet be.

Jonathan Isaac — When will he play?

The question of whether Jonathan Isaac will play again has moved from if to when.

That should be seen as a positive regardless of anything else. Although that answer is not likely to satisfy fans — or even the incredibly patient Isaac — as the team has not seen Isaac play since tearing his ACL in August 2020.

That is a long time to be out. And the Orlando Magic would tell you that this is why they are being so cautious with his ramp-up to play.

But to hear Isaac tell it, he seems to feel he is pretty close. He repeated at Media Day what he said late in the offseason that he sees “light at the end of the tunnel.” Following Tuesday’s opening day of training camp he did drills with coaches and staff where they bumped him in the post before he went up for dunks (that is plural).

Isaac said during Media Day that he is fully recovered from his injury. If he had the all-clear to play, he feels comfortable and ready to play. That is about as good of an endorsement as anyone could give for him.

Yet, there is still the wait.

Both Jonathan Isaac and president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman hinted that where Isaac is at in the recovery process is putting all the various pieces of the puzzle together. It is all leading up to him finally playing some full contact, no restriction play. That will be his final step.

What should be clear now is that this is not a matter of if but when. It is figuring out the when the matters most now. And everyone hopes that it is soon.