The Magic's Fit
Maybe this is me being too much of a homer. But both Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero have legitimate cases to make the All-Star team as things stand.
Their numbers check out. The team is near the top of the standings. It is just a matter of how much the coaches want to reward them, whether they will give two spots to the Magic and whether the Magic can keep this pace up.
The Orlando Magic will almost assuredly get at least one representative on the All-Star team, provided they are still in the top six in the Eastern Conference when the coaches make their selections in late January. That is the position the Magic have put themselves in for the standings.
The question will be who among Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero.
Right now, Wagner might have the edge, but that is only because of his three 30-point games this past week -- something that could easily get him Eastern Conference Player of the Week this week.
Paolo Banchero's overall numbers do not scream All-Star quite yet. But he is definitely in the fight. Winning the Eastern Conference Player of the Week gives him a bit of a boost in the conversation among the Eastern Conference's elite. Undoubtedly, some will say his overall scoring average is down even though his efficency and everything else is up.
Banchero has been looking a lot better lately. Since Nov. 1, Banchero is averaging 21.3 points per game on 50.0/48.1/70.5 shooting splits with 7.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. Those are All-Star numbers. If he keeps that production up and the Magic stay near the top of the standings, he is easily in the All-Star conversation.
The only problem is the two Magic stars might cannibalize each other's chances unless the coaches really want to reward this young team with two first-time bids to Indianapolis.
Deciding between Wagner and Banchero right now just might be the flavor of the week. But as both continue to improve and this team continues to rise, both are clearly future All-Stars.