How the Orlando Magic can attack the last three months of the season
Get Wendell Carter back into the starting lineup for good
Another player being floated around for potential trades is Wendell Carter.
He has been on and off the floor due to injury (appearing in only 18 games this year). But since the beginning of the calendar year, the 24-year-old has proven that the starting five spot is all his (sorry, Goga Bitadze). He is averaging 15.3 points per game, 6.2 rebounds per game and 1.3 assists per game on better than 61 percent shooting and better than 56 percent from three.
He has proven himself during the last few weeks that time was his biggest beneficiary and has returned to the player Orlando aimed to plug and play when they acquired him from the Chicago Bulls in 2021. He is also a key component in taking a step back in their team's approach, modeling that of the top teams in the conference.
With the team's offensive identity tied inside the arc, Carter's length in the paint is a great advantage. Different from Bitadze, Carter can create his own offensive game. With his back to the basket, Carter has power and footwork finesse that allows Orlando to go to him as another sole offensive option, rather than just as a roller and an inside-the-pain option on drives.
His spacing is also a big threat for the team in a world where the best bigs in basketball can shoot the three-ball. Carter is not a super high-volume shooter but draws his defender out to the perimeter, spacing the floor for the Paolo Banchero/Franz Wagner wing duo to operate.