Orlando Magic: What are reasonable expectations for 2021-22?

NBA Orlando Magic Cole Anthony (Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Orlando Magic Cole Anthony (Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Orlando Magic enter year one of a complete rebuild. 

For many reasons, the Orlando Magic have been one of the teams that we simply hadn’t hear a ton from during the offseason. In their first year of a complete rebuild – after trading Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, and Aaron Gordon at last year’s NBA Trade Deadline – there is a level of intrigue surrounding this team heading into the 2021-22 season.

Perhaps not on the same level as some of the other contenders in the league, but at least from a rebuilding standpoint. Orlando hasn’t attempted a long rebuild in quite a while and it’ll be interesting to see how this team tackles that tall task in year one.

Already with a few potential pieces in place, what should expect from the Magic heading into the new season? It’s difficult to pinpoint but before we even attempt to do so, we have to take a wide-scope screenshot of this team’s current roster.

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The Orlando Magic roster

Before we begin, let’s throw out a few players on the roster that are more stopgaps than potential long-term pieces. Terrence Ross, E’Twaun Moore, Robin Lopez, James Ennis, and Michael Carter-Williams are all players on the roster that fit into that category.

Of the remaining players, there are some potential foundational pieces. Jalen Suggs, Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr., Markelle Fultz, R.J. Hampton, Gary Harris, and Franz Wagner could all fall into that section. There are other young talented players on the roster, such as Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba. But those players have trended in the wrong direction over the last couple of seasons.

All in all, this is not, per se, a bad roster. This is just one that needs developing and time to gel together.

There are bright spots on this roster and also rough spots. After all, would you expect anything different from a team that is, technically, in year one of a rebuild?

What are reasonable expectations for the Orlando Magic?

Considering the roster and competition in the Eastern Conference, it’s really difficult to envision a scenario in which the Magic are fighting for a playoff spot. They have the chance to be talented and will flash at times this season, but they will also have their growing pains.

Orlando will probably finish with one of the worst records in the league this season but there’s hope in the not-so-distant future for this franchise. Even more so if Suggs is the real deal.

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The Magic will struggle this season. It’s expected. But this is a season in which fans should be patient with the franchise.