When the 2022/23 season tips off next month, the Magic may be looking for instant contributions from first-year starting power forward Paolo Banchero, the top pick in the 2022 draft out of Duke, while his fellow rookie small forward Caleb Houstan, the No. 32 pick this season out of Michigan, will have more modest expectations as a rookie, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel.
Price notes that Banchero thrived in Summer League play, and, thanks to his well-rounded offensive game, is currently the preseason Rookie of the Year favorite. Houstan, meanwhile, could become a 3-and-D swingman eventually. The 6’8″ swingman could see some minutes for Orlando in the early going, especially with veteran shooting guard Gary Harris sidelined for the start of the year, but Price expects Houstan to also log some time with the Lakeland Magic, the club’s NBAGL affiliate.
There’s more out of Orlando:
- With the Magic’s training camp around the corner, Khobi Price and Rich Pope of The Orlando Sentinel (video link) break down which players have the most to gain from the preseason. Price thinks that the team’s backcourt, including key players R.J. Hampton, Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs, could benefit from a competitive camp experience.
- Magic second-year small forward Franz Wagner enjoyed a memorable EuroBasket 2022 adventure playing for his native Germany this summer, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel. The team fell to Spain in the semifinals, but ultimately managed to secure a bronze medal by beating Poland. Wagner averaged 15.2 PPG, 4 RPG and 1.7 APG, while connecting on 46.3% of his triples. “We played a lot of tight games,” Wagner said. “A lot of important games and games where every possession matters. That mindset should help me this next year and hopefully, I can help the team with that.. I want to continue to improve as a player. Playmaking, shooting — honestly, whatever the team needs. I just to be an impactful player on the team.”