The Orlando Magic haven't gotten out of the first round since 2010 and have only made the playoffs twice in nine seasons, but they're now in the infancy of yet another rebuild.
The team traded Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier at last season's deadline and did so at a discount. None of the players traded to Orlando are viewed as potential All-Stars, and they don't get a future first-round pick from those trades until 2023.
Franz Wagner, the eighth pick in this year's draft, is going to be the most notable asset from the trade bonanza for at least two seasons.
The Magic hope Wagner and No. 5 pick Jalen Suggs can show signs of promise in what will likely be a dismal year of basketball in Orlando.
2021-22 Orlando Magic Season Details
Season Opener: at San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 20 at 8:30 p.m. ET
Championship Odds: +25000 (via FanDuel)
Full Schedule: NBA.com
Toronto Raptors (First matchup: Oct. 29 at ScotiaBank Arena)
Everyone thought this was a four-player draft: Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs. While Suggs was a near-consensus No. 4 in that scenario, he was also a consensus No. 4.
Except to the Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors surprised many—though not everyone, if you'd been paying attention to pre-draft rumors—by eschewing the consensus and selecting Scottie Barnes with the fourth pick. Part of the reason the Raptors passed was due to Suggs having a wildly disappointing workout.
Now is the 20-year-old's chance to prove them wrong.
Whereas Barnes will likely be brought along slowly as a rookie, Suggs is going to get thrown in at the deep end for a bad team. Being passed over at No. 4 should give him plenty of motivation to light up the Raptors.
The Magic are going to be one of the four teams with the best odds of winning the 2022 lottery. Will they be the worst of the bunch? Possibly. But there's no logical simulation in which they are anything other than one of the worst teams in the sport.
The fanbase should have its fingers crossed that Suggs is a star because he's the only player on the roster with that level of potential. While there are a handful of promising young players on the roster, none are irreplaceable or worth building your franchise around.
The next three years are going to be very painful and require a lot of lottery luck for the Magic to find their next cornerstone.
Maybe just enjoy the Orlando weather during this season, Magic fans.
Record Prediction: 20-62
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