5 things we learned from Orlando Magic Summer League
No answers for the two-way slots
The Orlando Magic’s final record at Summer League ultimately does not matter. It is not important whether they won or lost in Summer League.
Ultimately, their rookies played well and looked good enough to have confidence heading into training camp. That should be all they care about.
Yet. . .
This is a competitive business filled with very competitive people. And they want to win. That still stands out.
And the Orlando Magic finishing in last — the Golden State Warriors were the only other team to finish winless in Las Vegas, so do not equate Summer League record with regular season results — is not a place anybody wants to be.
It did not take long watching the Summer League to notice the consistent pattern: The team’s starters, typically led by Anthony Black, Jett Howard, Caleb Houstan and veteran forward D.J. Wilson were competitive and took an early lead. Then the bench came in and gave the team absolutely nothing, burying the team in a hole.
It was not too surprising to see that pattern continued even when the Magic’s roster players were shut down for the week.
This is all to say, the Magic’s Summer League roster was lacking the kind of talent that makes an impact and resonates. It is hard to say that anybody on this roster stood out and certainly that anybody earned the team’s final two-way spots.
At the very least, the Magic needed to have some hint of how they might fill these — and there are at least still a few holes they should be looking to fill, especially looking for some power forward depth where the team will rely on Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, Jonathan Isaac and Chuma Okeke to fill the minutes and Banchero and Wagner will likely play a good chunk together.
The Magic not only did not address their forward needs effectively when they put the roster together, but nobody stood out.
There were pieces of skills that make sense and might be worth further developing.
Robert Baker was a solid rebounder and inside presence, averaging 8.2 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game.
But he struggled to finish around the basket or be a physical presence for much of his minutes. The Magic gave him a long look and the Lakeland Magic veteran feels like sure invite to training camp.
Dexter Dennis is not a big forward, but he displayed his athleticism and defensive potential to guard up and down positions throughout the week.
His stats were not impressive — 9.0 points per game, 42.4 percent shooting and 35.7 percent from deep. But it did not take long watching the game to see him trying to bring his effort to the front. He seems a good bet to get a training camp invite and an Exhibit 10 contract.
Other than that?
Au’Diese Toney was good defensively but struggled to shoot. Summer League coach Dylan Murphy highlighted Elijah Hughes for his play. But did he really stand out?
Tyger Campbell played really well, but his size will make it hard for him to stick in the NBA and the Magic are set at point guard — more than set.
So who really stood out that deserves a two-way contract and can fill in for the Magic when they need it? It probably was not anyone on this roster.