5 worst starters of the Orlando Magic’s rebuild era
Wes Iwundu (2018-20)
46 starts, 4.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.0 APG
Being a second-round pick is normally thought of with some negative connotation. There are not a ton of expectations. But being the third pick in the second round still normally brings the expectations of contributing eventually.
In 2017 that is what the Orlando Magic were hoping when they drafted a 13.0 points per game and 6.5 rebound per game small forward from Kansas State.
The Magic were coming off another losing season, but Evan Fournier was emerging as an elite scorer and the team was reshuffling its frontcourt after the failed Serge Ibaka experiment. The Magic decided to sign promising young talent Johnathon Simmons from the San Antonio Spurs, and they drafted defensive stud Jonathan Isaac in the first round and Wes Iwundu in the second.
The Magic had a lot of young talent and were hoping to move back toward playoff contention. They had some scorers and thought they hit on two defensive studs in the draft. Unfortunately, Iwundu was never that and never got it going offensively.
Iwundu always had a below-average defensive rating, and in his best season with the Magic, he averaged 5.8 points per game. His shooting splits in Orlando were 41.8/31.9/78.9. Iwundu was a jack of all trades. Average at everything, but excelled at nothing.
He was not a playmaker, he was an undersized small forward so he was not a great rebounder, and he was a below-average shooter and below-average at the rim. He never really came into his own and never showed the promise he showed at Kansas St.
In 182 games he had 20 games with double digits, and he never had a month where he averaged more than 8.0 points per game. His stats also dropped in the two playoff series he was a part of. Hard to imagine him being even worse on a bigger stage.
In the playoffs, he averaged 4.5 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game.
He was also drafted in front of Dillon Brooks, Isaiah Hartenstien and Thomas Bryant. All league veterans who recently got new contracts while Iwundu is out of the league.
After Iwundu’s rookie contract was up the Magic decided that he was not going to reach his potential and they decided to not resign him.
Iwundu did not have as many expectations as Channing Frye did but was certainly worse and was given tons of opportunity.