1 Orlando Magic candidate for each NBA award
Rookie of The Year: Anthony Black
The Orlando Magic selected Anthony Black with the No. 6 pick in June. He is now added to an already crowded guard room. With a 6-foot-7.5 wingspan, the Magic valued his defensive versatility and upside.
Black’s willingness to pass while also excelling in transition should make him an excellent fit for what Orlando wants to do.
While there are some concerns with his 3-point shot, the Magic can provide plenty of spacing options with Franz Wagner and second-lottery selection Jett Howard. Black’s high IQ and quick processing skills far outweigh one of his few weaknesses. That was on full display in his first significant minutes of the season in Thursday’s win over the Utah Jazz, where he scored nine points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting.
There is a big logjam in the guard room right now, with Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony and Gary Harris trying to separate themselves from the pack to earn more minutes. He has had to wait his turn to get minutes and take advantage of them when they come. Injuries appear to have opened the door for him now.
Black is a +6000 to win Rookie of the Year. He is tied for the seventh-best odds to win Rookie of the Year this season alongside Detroit Pistons wing Ausar Thompson and Utah Jazz guard Keyonte George.
Some factors will most likely hinder his chances for the award, like the aforementioned deep guard rotation. That does not mean he will not have a chance to prove himself or carve out a role within the Magic’s process, but he likely will not become the team’s franchise cornerstone like Paolo Banchero did last Year.