The Orlando Magic have 11 players younger than 26 years old and are building one of the best young cores in the NBA.
Reigning Rookie of the Year Paolo Banchero looks to blossom into a star in year two, and Franz Wagner just keeps getting better. The Magic added two lottery picks this summer, including Anthony Black.
The question everyone is asking is: Can Orlando get back into contention in 2024?
The Magic cannot develop everyone. They need to choose who to focus on and what players they should look to move on from. The rookie lottery selections need playing time if they are going to reach their ceilings, but Orlando was light on minutes last season.
Choosing the right talent is key if the Magic want to return to contention in short order.
Who should the franchise give up on? Throwing out the rookies, what should the Magic do with the other nine young talents on their roster? Here is a look at each, and how they should be viewed moving forward.
The Orlando Magic are a team stocked full of young players. They cannot develop everyone and this season will be about figuring out who stays and who goes as much as anything.
Develop: Paolo Banchero
The number one overall pick in 2022 averaged 20.0 points per game on his way to winning Rookie of the Year. Banchero has the look of a star, and the best is still yet to come from the 20-year-old.
His offensive game is impressive, especially for a 20-year-old who just finished his rookie year. Fans saw growth in year one, including in his shooting. Expect more in year two and beyond.
He is one of the franchise’s cornerstones, and the Magic are hoping he can become the best player on a contending team. Banchero has a long way to go before reaching superstar status, but early signs have been positive.
With Paolo Banchero locked in, who else should the Orlando Magic look to develop?