The 2021-22 NBA season will attempt to be as close to a normal NBA season as possible after two years playing through a pandemic. The COVID situation in the United States has not improved as much as expected, but the league expects to get a full 82 games in while pushing for its players, coaches and staff to get vaccinated.
DKNation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2021-22 campaign. Here we take a look at the Orlando Magic, who pivoted at last season’s trade deadline by dealing key veterans for draft assets in what the franchise hopes is a simple retooling to ensure long-term success.
Orlando Magic 2021-22 Outlook
Key additions: Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner
In what was the surprise of the 2021 NBA draft, the Magic got Suggs after the Toronto Raptors passed on him with the No. 4 pick. The Gonzaga product looks to be a solid two-way starter from the jump and could be an All-Star shortly. Wagner is another lottery pick who adds versatility and ball-handling to a group heavy on frontcourt players.
Key departures: None
The Magic got most of their offloading done at last season’s trade deadline, sending Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic out for young players and draft picks in return. This means a developing roster gets younger and can grow together, but the expectations are somewhat higher for this unit.
The Magic have a first-year head coach in Jamahl Mosley, but the expectation is to compete for a playoff spot in the East. The team has high hopes for Mo Bamba, Jonathan Isaac, Gary Harris and Markelle Fultz this season. Orlando expects immediate contributions from Suggs and Wagner as well. It’s a young but talented group capable of competing for one of the play-in tournament spots if things go well.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: Jalen Suggs
There’s some competition for minutes at the guard spots with Fultz and Cole Anthony, but the Magic didn’t take Suggs with the No. 5 pick to have him lead the bench unit for his rookie season. His biggest asset is his defensive presence, which should greatly improve Orlando’s chances at competing for a playoff spot this season. His shooting will eventually need to get better, but Suggs can impact the game with his passing right away. The Magic have enough scorers for the rookie to rack up plenty of assists from Day 1.