The Orlando Magic is an Orlando, Florida-based professional basketball franchise. The Magic are a member of the Eastern Conference Southeast Division of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Nick Anderson, Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady, Dwight Howard, Jameel Nelson, and Nikola Vuevi have all played for the team since it was founded in 1989 as an expansion franchise. The team has appeared in the NBA playoffs 16 times in 32 seasons as of 2021, and has twice reached the NBA Finals, in 1995 and 2009. After the Miami Heat, Orlando has been the most successful of the four expansion clubs introduced into the league in 1988 and 1989 in terms of winning percentage and playoff performance.
During a meeting in Texas in September 1985, Orlando businessman Jim L. Hewitt addressed Philadelphia 76ers general manager Pat Williams about introducing an NBA team to Orlando. After leaving the 76ers, Williams became the front man of the investment group, intrigued by the prospect of an Orlando-based NBA team. The two staged a press conference on June 19, 1986, to declare their intention to pursue an NBA club.
Following an estimated $32.5 million expansion fee, the Magic became the first major-league professional sports franchise in the Orlando area as decided in the eastern conference. Along with the Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, and Minnesota Timberwolves, they were one of the four new expansion franchises designated by the NBA in 1987. On June 15, 1989, the Magic hired Matt Guokas as the team’s first coach, and he assisted the Magic in selecting 12 players in the NBA Expansion Draft night. On June 27, 1989, the Magic selected Nick Anderson with the 11th choice in the first round, making him the franchise’s first draught pick.
The Magic’s defensive rating slipped to 115.6 over that 12-game span, standing right below the Timberwolves and Hawks in the NBA. Prior to that, the Magic had the league’s seventh best defensive rating of 107.1 after 53 games, trailing just the league’s top. That’s what you call a major identity shift in the middle of the season.
Orlando Magic 2021 NBA Draft Picks
Let’s take a look at the Orlando Magic draft picks. The team certainly had some lottery luck this year, with two first round picks and one second round pick. In the 2021 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic drafted Gonzaga G Jalen Suggs with the fifth overall pick. With the No. 8 pick, the Magic selected Michigan C Franz Wagner.
Jalen Suggs – In his first ever season with Gonzaga, Suggs averaged 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game. He’s a guard who can perform both on and off the ball, taking command and driving to the hoop when the situation calls for it. He’s also a competent three-point shooter, but whenever he gets to the NBA, he’ll have lots of room to grow. After the players they ended up losing last season, the Magic are in desperate need of some new talent, and Suggs will be a welcome relief who can provide points from either starting lineup or off the bench, based on how they use him.
Franz Wagner — Wagner attended Michigan for two seasons, improving his overall stats in his junior year. Last season, he averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, and he’ll help Orlando’s offence, which is in desperate need of it. The 6’9″ German is widely considered and he could bring plenty of skill to both sides of the floor with some growth.
How Will It Work?
The Magic need to know what their ultimate product will be by the end of the 2022 season. They must be able to see how jigsaw pieces fit together and have faith that the structure instated by first-year coach Jamahl Mosley, as well as the players they pick to develop with. This season, the Orlando Magic are a clean canvas, with no guarantees. They’ll have to figure out what that final result looks like as they prepare for the 2022 season. Orlando may have one of the worst records in the league this season, although by the end of the regular season, they should have a good understanding of the team they are about to become or the squad they are trying to construct. The club’s uncertainty, and the reason the Magic are virtually universally anticipated to finish last in the Eastern Conference standings, stems from the fact that no one knows what this team would look like.
Their greatest and brightest prospects are all still in the early stages of their careers or are returning from prolonged layoffs due to injury.
Orlando Magic 2021 NBA Draft
- First round pick no.5: Jalen Suggs from Gonzaga.
- First round draft pick no. 8: Franz Wagner from Michigan.
- second round draft pick no.33: Jason Preston from Ohio.
Moving Forward as a Team
Orlando Magic’s greatest and brightest prospects are all still in the early stages of their careers or are returning from prolonged layoffs due to injury.
Jalen Suggs seemed a sure bet to win the NBA Rookie of the Year award and was an early betting favourite. The Magic will have a lot of chances to give the youngster some playing time.
However, he is a rookie, and all rookies, no matter how brilliant, must acclimatise to the league. Even the best young players seldom get into the league and turn their teams into playoff contenders.
Any of the team’s other young talent could be regarded to be in the same boat. They want to know what the best roles are for Cole Anthony, R.J. Hampton, Chuma Okeke, Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter, and Mohamed Bamba at the end of the season. Especially since Carter and Bamba are slated to become restricted free agents this summer.
Furthermore, both Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz are making their comebacks from significant knee injuries.
They have no idea what to expect from the Magic in the future. However, both have cemented their spots as starters on the Magic’s playoff-ready squad. Orlando is hoping to restore them to their former glory. The outlook for Orlando Magic is strong – with great drafts and none of their star players looking to be traded away before the trade deadline arrives.
Current Orlando Magic Players under Contract
- Gary Harris
- Jonathan Isaac
- Markelle Fultz
- Terrence Ross
- Mo Bamba
- Wendell Carter Jr.
- Jalen Suggs
- Timofey Mozgov
- Franz Wagner
- Robin Lopez
- Cole Anthony
- M. Carter-Williams
- Chuma Okeke
- E’Twaun Moore
- R.J. Hampton
- Moritz Wagner
- Ignas Brazdeikis
- Mychal Mulder
Current Orlando Magic Free Agents
- Ignas Brazdeikis
- James Ennis
- Otto Porter Jr.
- Chasson Randle
- Sindarius Thornwell
- Moritz Wagner
Previous Orlando Magic Draft Selections Since 2000
Year Round Pick Player Pos Age Pre-Draft Team
2021 1 5 Jalen Suggs SG 20 Gonzaga
2021 1 8 Franz Wagner SF 19 Michigan
2021 2 33 Jason Preston G 21 Ohio
2020 1 15 Cole Anthony PG 20 North Carolina
2019 1 16 Chuma Okeke PF 20 Auburn
2019 2 46 Talen Tucker SF 18 Iowa State
2018 1 6 Mohamed Bamba C 20 Texas
2018 2 35 Melvin Frazier Jr. SF 21 Tulane
2018 2 41 Jarred Vanderbilt PF 19 Kentucky
2017 1 6 Jonathan Isaac SF 19 Central Florida
2017 1 25 Anzejs Pasecniks C 21 Gran Canaria
2017 2 33 Wesley Iwundu F 22 Kansas State
2016 2 47 Jake Layman SF 22 Maryland
2015 1 5 Mario Hezonja SG 20 FC Barcelona
2015 2 51 Tyler Harvey G 21 Eastern Washington
2014 1 4 Aaron Gordon F 18 Arizona
2014 1 12 Dario Saric SF 20 KK Cibona
2013 1 2 Victor Oladipo G 21 Indiana
2013 2 51 Romero Osby PF 23 Oklahoma
2012 2 49 Kyle O’Quinn F 22 Norfolk State
2011 2 53 DeAndre Liggins G 23 Kentucky
2010 1 29 Daniel Orton PF 19 Kentucky
2010 2 59 Stanley Robinson F 21 Connecticut
2008 1 22 Courtney Lee SG 22 Western Kentucky
2007 2 44 Reyshawn Terry PF 23 North Carolina
2006 1 11 J.J. Redick G 22 Duke
2006 2 41 James Augustine FC 22 Illinois
2006 2 44 Lior Eliyahu PF 20 Hapoel Galil Gilboa
2005 1 11 Fran Vazquez FC 22 Unicaja
2005 2 38 Travis Diener PG 23 Marquette
2004 1 1 Dwight Howard C 18 Southwest Atlanta
2004 2 30 Anderson Varejao C 21 Barca
2004 2 36 Antonio Burks G 24 Memphis
2003 1 15 Reece Gaines G 22 Louisville
2003 2 42 Zaza Pachulia C 19 Alpella B.K.
2002 1 18 Curtis Borchardt C 21 Stanford
2001 1 15 Steven Hunter F-C 19 DePaul
2001 1 22 Jeryl Sasser SG 22 Southern Methodist
2001 2 31 Omar Cook PG 19 St. John’s
2000 1 5 Mike Miller GF 20 Florida
2000 1 10 Keyon Dooling G 20 Missouri
2000 1 13 Courtney AlexanderSG 23 Fresno State
Orlando Magic Players FAQ
Who is the Best Player on Orlando Magic?
The best Magic player of all time has been named Nick Anderson. The Orlando Magic’s first draft pick in franchise history is also the team’s best player.
Who is the Highest-Paid Player on the Orlando Magic?
Markelle Fultz is the highest paid player in the NBA market with a salary of $16,500,000.
What Draft Picks did Orlando Magic Have in 2021?
For the first time in the franchise history, the Magic for two top ten picks – and they weren’t wasted! Suggs was a shoo-in to be in the top four of an excellent draft class and they got him with pick number five, so he should bring some star quality to the Amway Center. They also had pick number 8, selecting Franz Wagner from Michigan and second round draft pick no.33, selecting Jason Preston. They were incredibly fortunate to get two top ten picks – as teams such as Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat got no first-round picks.
Who did the Magic Draft in 2005?
The Magic had 11th pick – and drafted Frann Vazquez and pick 38 in the second round, selecting Travis Diener. That year they also traded the rights to Martynas Andriuskevicius to the Cavs for a second-round draft pick and cash considerations.