What’s left in the Orlando Magic’s 2023 offseason
Aug. 25-Sept. 10: FIBA World Cup
The biggest event for the rest of the offseason is the FIBA World Cup taking place in late August and early September in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. Yes, get ready for some early morning basketball for those of us living on the East Coast.
The Orlando Magic are going to have a very large contingent of players participating in this big international tournament.
Paolo Banchero made his much-contested decision to play for Team USA and will suit up the U.S. in the tournament. He is expected to come off the bench at least based off last year’s stats. But that could change if he has taken significant steps forward this offseason.
He will report to Las Vegas in early August for U.S.A. training camp that will culminate with a friendly against Puerto Rico in Las Vegas on August 7. The team will then head to Spain for a pair of games before going to the United Arab Emirates for the much-hyped matchup with Germany before the team settles in the Philippines. (h/t to our friends from The Sixth Man Show for the awesome and handy graphics below).
Despite sending a roster short on international experience, the U.S. should still be considered the favorite to win the tournament. Even with Greece in their group, they are favored to advance out of their group. And they will camp in Manilla for the entire tournament. They open World Cup play Aug. 26 against New Zealand and play Greece and Jordan.
If there is a team that could spoil the proceedings for the U.S. it might be Germany, fresh off a bronze medal in Eurobasket last year. We got introduced to FIBA Franz Wagner last year in what was a breakout performance for the rising NBA sophomore.
Wagner will again be a featured player for one of the contenders for the World Cup title. He will be joined this time by his brother Moe Wagner, provided Moe does not injure his ankle in training camp this time around too.
Germany plays its first exhibition game on Aug. 5 against Sweden and will have that big warmup game against the U.S. in the United Arab Emirates.
Germany should be good to advance out of the group stage too — the top two teams in each group advance to the knockout round. Circle that game on Aug. 27 against Australia.
That may well be a lot of our introductions to new Magic acquisition Joe Ingles.
Ingles is expected to play for Australia this summer once again. He has a sterling international record, averaging 11.2 points per game at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo (they took place in 2021) and 10.5 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Finally, Goga Bitadze is set to suit up for Georgia as they make their FIBA World Cup debut. Georgia does have a shot of advancing, but Slovenia and Venezuela are likely the favorites to make it out of their group.
That is a lot of players for the Magic who will be playing some high-level basketball entering the season. Orlando may have to rely on some familiarity to let them get up to speed as they recover some.
But, by the same token, a lot of players on the Magic — including two starters — will be playing high-level basketball and should be firing on all cylinders when they return home. Hopefully, too there will be a few medals brought home with them.
Certainly, all these players will be made better for the experience — provided they avoid injuries.