5 Players the Orlando Magic should develop, 4 they shouldn’t
Develop: Cole Anthony
The Orlando Magic have a logjam in the backcourt. They had three recent top-15 draft choices to split minutes between last season. And the team just drafted Anthony Black with the sixth overall pick in 2023.
Black is 6-foot-7 wing and gives the Magic some flexibility. But they need minutes for Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero, Wendell Carter and their other young talent too. The Magic have a difficult choice to make.
The 23-year-old shot 45.4 percent from the field, 36.4 percent on his threes and 89.4 percent from the foul line, which were all career highs. He cut his turnovers to 1.5 per game and became a strong sixth man.
The 6-foot-2 guard remains behind Markelle Fultz on Orlando’s depth chart, and it will be interesting to see how the team uses Anthony Black in the mix with the other guards — Jalen Suggs also still exists and could soak up some guard minutes.
Anthony could transform into more of a scoring option as the rookie runs the second unit. Expect the 23-year-old to take another step forward. But how will it shine through as his role evolves?
Anthony must prove his shooting gains were no fluke and his offensive contributions have to outweigh his defensive deficiencies. It is a massive fourth NBA season ahead. Anthony becomes a restricted free agent in 2024, and he must prove that he is worthy of a significant contract.