Orlando Magic 2023 Offseason Needs: Forward depth could be the missing piece

Apr 9, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Danny Green (14) shoots in the third quarter against the Charlotte Hornets at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward Danny Green (14) shoots in the third quarter against the Charlotte Hornets at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Torrey Craig, Phoenix Suns
Nov 11, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig (0) shoots the ball against Orlando Magic center Bol Bol (10) during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /

2023 Orlando Magic Offseason Needs: Forward depth

Torrey Craig, Phoenix Suns

Torrey Craig is another perfect fit for the Orlando Magic this offseason.

He is another 3-and-D player that plays their role. Although he has already probably reached his full potential at 32 years old, his game is a lot more polished than Troy Brown.

Torrey Craig is a lot of what Troy Brown brings offensively but at a more consistent rate. He averaged 7.4 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game and 1.5 assists per game on 45.6/39.5/71.1 shooting splits in 24.7 minutes per game.

Craig was top 50 in 3-point percentage, he shot 45 percent from the corner and 40 percent on catch-and-shoot threes. He was also known to get hot during the season. He had 28 games in the regular season with multiple threes and 10 games with three or more threes made.

Craig had 24 double-digit games during the regular season including a 20-point performance. Craig also loved to show up in the big moments and was a big help to the Suns in the playoffs this year.

He averaged 6.5 points per game and 2.3 rebounds on 57.8/44.0/88.9 shooting splits in 16.6 minutes per game in the playoffs. He was extremely efficient but his counting numbers were not as good because he only played a little more than nine minutes per game in the second round due to matchups.

In the first round, he averaged 12.4 points per game and 3.6 rebounds on 64.7/55.6/88.9 shooting splits including three games with 15 points or more, a season-high of 22, and a game with five threes made.

This is the type of play a young team is going to need if they begin making a playoff or play-in push.

Craig’s shooting is great but his defense is where his value really comes from.

Craig had a 113 defensive rating and has a career 112 rating when on the floor. Craig is an excellent defender and is another player that guards the other team’s leading scorers. The Suns relied on Craig to guard the other team’s best perimeter scorer and he did just that.

He held Donovan Mitchell and Khawi Leonard to 1-for-6 shooting, Steph Curry to 2-for-7, Ja Morant to 4-for-10, Julius Randle to 5-for-12, Klay Thompson to 2-for-12 and C.J McCollum to 8-for-19 shooting. These are all current or former all-stars that he is giving trouble to.

It is also clear the range of players Craig can defend. That has been his value throughout his career.

Craig was also a phenomenal shot blocker for a forward. He was 15th in blocks for all forwards and he was top 50 in blocks per game. He had 14 games with multiple blocks including 5 games with 3 or more. He also added 11 games with multiple steals.

Craig is also another player who brings some rebounding to the team. He had 35 games with at least six rebounds, six games with double-digit rebounds, four double-doubles, three games of 12 or more rebounds with a season-high of 14.

Getting this kind of rebounding from the forward position would be huge for the Magic. He can help the big men rebound and allow the younger players to get out in transition where the Magic’s offense is the best. Craig can play small forward or power forward and be a rebounding help.

Craig has the rebounding, shooting, defense and shot blocking the Magic really need. He can guard multiple positions and he is a seasoned vet. He has been on five playoff teams and two conference finalists. He has even been to and played significant minutes in the NBA Finals.

Craig can be a leader and be another player to bring a winning attitude to the locker room. He can show the Magic’s young aspiring forwards the work necessary to be a playoff team. He has put in the work as well as seen players like Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Nikola Jokic put in work to lead a team.

He can pass those good habits to players Like Paolo Banchero, and Franz Wagner. A veteran that can still give quality minutes and be as consistent off the bench as he is would make a huge difference for the Magic. This is another fantastic fit the Magic should pursue.