3 bold predictions for the 2022-23 NBA season

It was the fourth time the Orlando Magic have clinched gold in the draft and claimed that elusive No. 1 pick. Their previous three selections were all big men, and that hasn’t changed this year as they have surprised NBA fans by selecting Duke’s Paolo Banchero. His style of play fits perfectly with other key pieces on the roster, such as Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr. and Cole Anthony.

The hype coming in this year isn’t just about Banchero as Wagner was fantastic in the FIBA ​​EuroBasket 2022 as well. important roles. Returning Jonathan Isaac will return with a vengeance as he missed more than two years with an ACL injury. A championship or deep playoff run is far from their sight, but this year will be a gigantic step in their development process.

Franz Wagner’s breakout season

Originally, the pick Orlando used to select Franz Wagner was supposed to be with the Chicago Bulls. The Magic stole that pick and picked arguably one of the best rookies in last year’s deep draft class. His one-man punch and shot creation of Wagner is what caught people’s attention as he started 79 games and averaged 15.2 points with an eFG% of 51.7%.

Franz Wagner’s methodical and mature approach was superb as rookies usually take a year or two to get used to the pace and style of the NBA. The new challenge for the talented forward is to expand his repertoire this coming season as defenses will focus more on him. One facet he will likely jump into is his game, especially with the height and selflessness he possesses.

Jonathan Isaac collapses, Magic trades

When Orlando had the frontcourt of Jonathan Isaac, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic, it looked like Isaac was the one who was untouchable because of his defensive edge. Injuries have hampered the trajectory of his career, so it seems likely that his arsenal will still be similar to what it was a few years ago.

Banchero, Wagner and even Wendell Carter Jr.’s offense is probably more polished and complete than Isaac’s. Even if Isaac is inserted for about 12-15 minutes a night, it’s not necessarily bad for the Magic because the other young guys will have more opportunities on the field. With three more seasons worth $17 million apiece, Isaac’s contract will be tough to move, prompting him to play him first in Orlando and see where that takes him.

Paolo Banchero eclipses 20 PPG this season

NBA pundits thought the Magic were leaning towards Jabari Smith Jr. or Chet Holmgren in the draft last June, but they decided to sign Paolo Banchero. The NCAA Tournament may have been the main reason his stock reached No. 1, and his first season in the NBA will be no different. The opportunity will be there for the chunky striker, and he has the massive confidence to back it up.

Banchero and Franz Wagner’s partnership has the potential to be a deadly combination within the next two years. The Orlando front office has done a commendable job achieving its goals of maximizing Wagner’s pick and eventually unlocking the potential of others like Cole Anthony and Wendell Carter Jr. Additionally, Paolo Banchero will have to learn to be more effective in as off-ball. mover because Orlando has many guys who can create for him. If everything falls into place, 20 PPG will be easy for Banchero.

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