Preview 2022/23 | The first year of Banchero’s reign in Orlando


With EuroBasket just over, Basket USA is kicking off its traditional show, franchise by franchise, for the upcoming NBA season. Like every year, this takes the form of a countdown, from the worst record in the league to our favorite for the Champion title.

After thundering to unlock the ball, now place it in the enchantment area. The Orlando franchise was lucky in June, and could speak first in the draft. The arrival of Paolo Panchero is good news that makes sense, but for now, Jamal Mosley’s side will still struggle to break out of the league’s slums. However, Magic’s 2022/2023 season promises to be fun and logically be better than the previous year, which ended with 22 wins and 60 losses.

Internal reinforcements

Because in addition to having the first-choice draft, one of the only two boosters (with other rookie Caleb Houston) compared to last season, Orlando should score the return of Jonathan Isaacs, who hasn’t played since his “bubble” injury, during the summer of 2020. Besides, Markel Fultz, who we saw quickly in March and April, will also be in better shape this season. So it is internal reinforcements, as well as Paolo Panchero, that will help the beauty of Mosley.

The coach should also be more comfortable in his second season on the bench. But his task is not simple: his team is very, very small, with only a few players who own the bottle. Gary Harris (who will miss the start of the season due to injury) and Terrence Ross are the only players to have made it past five seasons in the NBA. Isaac and Foltz certainly made it to the league in 2017, but only had 136 and 131 games on the clock…

Therefore, the group has to be built, especially in attack because in the last season, the magic took all the trouble in the world to score points, showing the worst efficiency in the league on this side of the field.

Hoping injuries spare his team, Jamal Mosley will have the task of creating a cohesive and balanced team. Despite the enthusiasm of the youth, there will be fractures, mistakes and missed matches, that is clear. But surpassing last season’s total wins, with a clearly visible playing identity and a few hits against top players on the way, would indeed be Floridian’s first success.

summer moves

Access : Paolo Banchero (draft), Caleb Houston (draft)
departing : Robin Lopez (Knights)

Player you’re watching: Paulo Banchero

How do you choose another name? The first draft pick is almost always, or nearly always, the most scrutinized player on his team. Already a favorite for the Rookie of the Year title, Paulo Banchero has also shown himself to his advantage in the Summer League, with an average of 20 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds, even if he played only two small meetings in Las Vegas.

Tall winger (2m08), the former Duke is strong and has a clear talent for dominating the match in Orlando. On top of that, with a decent outside shot for a young player and an exciting view of the game (he made some great passes in the Summer League), he wasn’t doomed to break through and play close to the circle.

If he was obviously going to be targeted by defenses and jostled by players who were more physically mature than him, he would have the physical appearance to fight back and fight. This first year will be a year of discovery and learning for Paulo Panchero, who will undoubtedly soon have the keys to the truck in Orlando.

Average age: 23.6 years

Salaries: $141.9 million (23)

The perfect scenario

Like Evan Mobley or Scotty Barnes last season, Paulo Banchero is already ready to take on the best players in the world and endure the rigors of the NBA schedule. With his talent, and because the team puts itself at his service, he brings with him a homogeneous group. Jalen Suggs, who also missed for much of his first year, Markel Fultz and Jonathan Isaac bring in a lot and change the face of the team seen in 2021/22. Not to forget Franz Wagner who gained depth and confidence with EuroBasket, or Wendell Carter Jr. which confirms its progress.

Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming in attack and defense isn’t always perfect, but this group is having a blast and Jamal Mosley finds a suitable formula, aided by the fact that his players avoid the dispensary. Young people learn from Gary Harris and Terrence Ross, who make them talk about their experiences, and quickly, twenty and then thirty victories are reached. With occasional notable successes against big cars.

There are certainly no magic qualifiers, but the attractive, energetic face of the team was a pleasure to see, like the Cavaliers in 2021/2022. We then look forward to the 2023/2024 season, especially if some off-season weight boosts are well negotiated.

worst case scenario

Doubts were high before the start of the season and turned into observations on the pitch. After more than two years of not playing, Jonathan Isaac can’t find his feelings for him. Markelle Fultz and Jalen Suggs are very erratic, when they do not re-infect for several weeks.

Not ideal for trapping the still-thin, and doing what he can, Paulo Panchero, in the face of the bodily monsters that bother him. Inevitably, the first draft pick sometimes tries to do too much to compensate, and in the end, so clumsy and unfair, he disappoints his first steps in the league. Reconstruction is still lagging, while Gary Harris and Terence Ross are losing patience and want to leave the ship by February.

Between group limits, a chronic 3-point embarrassment and injuries that deprive him of his entire workforce, Jamal Mosley has no solution in stock and Magic finds himself in a string of defeats, some of them very heavy. Even the coach is under threat since the team continued to walk in the water, two years after hitting the bench. From the heart of winter, we understand that leaders are already thinking about the 2023 draft and the following season, because the 2022/23 draft is quickly forgotten.

Western Conference
15 – Thunder 14 – … 13 – … 12 – … 11 – …
10 – … 9 – … 8 – … 7 – … 6 – …
5 – … 4 – … 3 – … 2 – … 1 – …
Eastern Conference
15th – Charm 14 – … 13 – … 12 – … 11 – …
10 – … 9 – … 8 – … 7 – … 6 – …
5 – … 4 – … 3 – … 2 – … 1 – …

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