NBA Writer makes bold prediction for Magic's 2024-25 season 

The Orlando Magic have a very bright future and one writer thinks they will break through sooner rather than later.
Orlando Magic v Toronto Raptors
Orlando Magic v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The NBA has been changing. Household names, who were the faces of the league for years, like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant, are aging, and everyone is dreading the day they retire. At the same time, however, there is a new generation of stars waiting to take over the spotlight. 

Young teams continuously surprise the league and worm their way into the playoff picture. Two seasons ago, the Memphis Grizzlies made themselves known as one of the young teams ready to compete for the top of the league—even though they had to take a gap year last season. In their place, it was the Oklahoma City Thunder coming for the top of the Western Conference.

Now the question is: Who will be next? Orlando, Houston, and San Antonio all have incredibly fascinating young cores and a chance to follow in the Thunder's footsteps. The Ringer's Michael Pina thinks it will be the Magic

Could the Magic finish as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference next season? 

The Orlando Magic have plenty in common with the Grizzlies and Thunder. They have a young superstar in the making, though not yet at the same level as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Ja Morant, a gritty defensive identity, and tons of homegrown talent. 

Magic fans have long been optimistic about the team's progress, especially after Paolo Banchero's All-Star season. Much like most Magic fans, Pina expects more to come from Banchero very soon. 

"Primed for a significant third-year leap that could end with him as one of the league's 15 best players, Banchero is a 6-foot-19, 250-pound brutish wrecking ball with handle and touch, who averaged 22.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 5.4 assists in his second season," he writes

Banchero will be a big part of any success the Magic will find in the future. They will go as far as he will take them, especially offensively. Right now, defense is the Magic's strong suit, however. Pina had a bold prediction for Orlando's potential on that end of the floor, claiming they could finish next season as the best defense in the league. There is plenty of competition for that honor, but the Magic have a real case.

Offensively, the team still has a lot of room to grow and work to do before they will be true contenders for the Eastern Conference crown. And yet, Pina made a bold prediction for the Magic's 2024-25 season. 

"The Magic are built to contend a few years from now, but they can also be a top-three seed this season," he writes

Orlando was already close last season, finishing fifth in the East. It would take a significant jump offensively, especially if the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Indiana Pacers are healthy, but is certainly not impossible. Even if the Magic do not manage to secure a top-three seed this upcoming season, it is still nice to see the national media give them some respect. 

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