Orlando Magic Preview and Predictions for 2022-23 Season

Diego J. Ortiz, Sports Reporter

We are officially in October, which means a new NBA season is on the horizon! The Orlando Magic appear to be ready for battle this year, with No. 1 draft pick Paolo Banchero, the biggest and most hyped acquisition. Banchero had a good run in Duke University, averaging 17.2 PPG while also grabbing 7.8 RPG. Will Banchero lead the Magic back to the playoffs? One thing is for sure, the Magic have a young core that will be around for years to come. After a 2021-2022 season of 22-60, this year is a fresh start.


The Magic have a lot of young talent to build with. Players such as Cole Anthony, 22,  Jalen Suggs, 21, and Franz Wagner, 21, come to mind when thinking of last year’s young core. It is believed that a breakout season for these players is in order for the Magic. Also this year, we get to see Bol Bol’s debut, who was acquired by trade last season. His teammate Terrence Ross said, “He’s a freak, I don’t really know how to describe him”. 


High praise from the veteran Terrence Ross who is entering his 7th season with the Magic. Veterans are important in a young team like the Magic so they can mentor the young guys who are learning the ropes. Rookies like Banchero and Houstan are definitely in good hands since the team has quite a few experienced players they can learn from. Coaching will also be a big influence on how they develop. 


Coach Jamahl Mosley is entering his second year as the head coach for the team. Fans hope to see major improvements as he is already well-established and knows most of the players. His first year was full of ups and downs. Mosley seems confident that Year 2 will be a huge improvement. In an October interview with Sports Illustrated, Mosley said: “I think the biggest thing that these guys are gonna continue to understand is what was demanded last year and now more so it’s just at a different scale.” Mosley continues, “That level of detail turns up the attention to what we’re asking continues to grow and get and they understand exactly what that is… We did some very good things throughout last year, and what we built throughout the summer.”


Mosley also asked, “So can we stick with that process and understand that they’re getting better on a daily basis?” The coach understands that winning is important, but that it will take time and patience. In a September interview with Sports Illustrated, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman said, “It’s always fun to note that Mosley was a rookie last year too. He grew tremendously as someone who understands how to manage not just games but agendas, philosophies and we’ve worked really hard in employing a player development program.”


Coach Mosley has also begun to experiment with “positionless basketball”, a new trend in modern basketball that simply means that all players can play at any place on the court. Most recently in a practice, the coach tried out a lineup including: Paolo Banchero, Bol Bol, and Wendell Carter Jr., who are all notably big men. A modern system might just be what this young Magic team needs to succeed. 


Another concern this season is injuries. Players like Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac have been plagued with them since the beginning of their young careers. Their injuries have given younger players the opportunity to shine, such as last year’s rookies, Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner. Although Suggs was injured for most of the season, Wagner surprised all averaging 15.2 PPG in 79 games played.  It will be interesting to see how the starting lineup will look when the team is fully healthy.


Diego’s Prediction For Starting Line Up: 


PG – Jalen Suggs

  • RJ Hampton as a possible replacement for Suggs for starting lineup after his recent injuries 

SG – Cole Anthony

SF – Franz Wagner

PF – Paolo Banchero

C – Wendell Carter Jr.


Some players within the organization are confident that the team can make it far. Magic player Markelle Fultz tweeted in August that the team can be 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. No doubt this is a bold prediction. On Media Day in September, Fultz added: “You gotta believe, you gotta manifest in order to get to anywhere you want to go in life. So just putting it out there in the world for when that day happens, you all won’t be too shocked. I won’t be shocked at all. I believe in this team.”


Valencia student Casey Godwin, 22, Communications Major, believes that the Magic will win 35 games this season. Another student, Pat Nguyen, 21, has the hopeful prediction of 50 games won. Clearly different opinions, but at least most can agree that they have a better team now. 


How many games will the Magic win in the 2022 – 2023 season? Let us know.