5 questions for the third quarter of the Orlando Magic's 2024 season
Who will be left out of the Orlando Magic rotation?
Here is the one-million-dollar question and one of the main contributing factors to Orlando Magic fans' confusion right now.
Due to injuries, showcasing players for trades and lots of things shifting around, 15 players on the Magic are currently averaging more than 12 minutes per game.
Many of these players have played in fewer than half of the team's games, so continuity among lineups has been an issue. Only three lineups have played more than 100 minutes so far this season. The Magic's opening night starting lineup of Markelle Fultz, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Paolo Banchero and Wendell Carter have played just 97 minutes in five games together this season.
There is a bit of a log jam at the center position with Wendell Carter returning from injury and Goga Bitadze and Moe Wagner playing good basketball in his absence.
The forward bench unit is also decently crowded with Joe Ingles, Caleb Houstan and Jonathan Isaac playing good basketball. Although he is technically a guard, Gary Harris also fits in here. When healthy, he will play and eat into minutes at that position.
The point guard position is still a big mystery that deserves its own slide and conversation. But with Markelle Fultz ramping back up, Anthony Black’s minutes have been cut into. It looks like Cole Anthony remains locked in as the sixth man, which is a perfect spot for him.
We know the Magic cannot carry this deep of a rotation the whole season, and barring more injuries, players will be getting some DNPs very shortly. It is already happening to Moe Wagner, although he returned to the rotation with Wendell Carter back in the starting lineup.
It is important to note the Magic currently have the fourth-highest-scoring bench in the league. Trimming the rotation is not a matter of fixing it but rather about picking between multiple great options.
So to answer the question, I do believe a player or two may be moved before the deadline, maybe Carter to clear up the center spot? Houston and Okeke will eventually be relegated back to the end of the bench when all the guys are healthy.
The point guard spot should sort itself out, with Fultz or Black eventually grabbing the reigns.