Hall of Famer Tracy McGrady impressed with young Magic core – Orlando Sentinel
Tracy McGrady is a busy man these days.
The Naismith Basketball and Orlando Magic Hall of Famer are less than two weeks away from their Ones Basketball League, a one-on-one basketball league, hosting the first of seven regional tournaments April 30-May 1 in Houston.
But when he got to watch the Magic, he was impressed with what he saw despite Orlando finishing the 2021-22 season with the league’s second-worst record (22-60).
“We have some great young pieces,” McGrady told the Orlando Sentinel. “For us man, it’s just about being healthy. And when we’re healthy, can they form great chemistry and bring it to court?
Player health and availability has been an important aspect of the Magic’s season, with no team more affected by injury-related absences and health and safety protocol than Orlando.
The Magic had the most games missed by injured players and health protocols (449), 48 more than the next closest team (Los Angeles Clippers at 401), according to mangameslost.com, an injury analysis website.
Jonathan Isaac missed his second consecutive season while recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee which he suffered in August 2020. Isaac underwent surgery after suffering a “minor injury to his right hamstring on the same day he was ruled out for the 2021-22 season. .
Markelle Fultz was on a minutes restriction in all 18 games he played after returning from a torn left ACL in late February. Jalen Suggs, the fifth pick in last year’s draft, has missed more than 30 games with thumb and ankle injuries.
But injury woes didn’t stop McGrady from being impressed with what he got to watch.
“Mo Bamba looks pretty good in fits and starts,” McGrady said. « Markel [helps] us a lot.
“[Cole] Anthony is pretty good. Suggs is a contender. Francis [Wagner], I like his game. He has a big advantage. They are young players, we will see where they are in two or three years. Hopefully they’re still with the Magic. Talented brothers.
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McGrady gravitated towards Anthony’s personality.
“He’s fun,” McGrady said. “He knows when to turn it on, but he also knows when to turn it off to be as competitive and serious. I can appreciate that.
McGrady sees a lot of potential in the Magic’s young squad, which should add another top prospect to this year’s draft.
Orlando has a 52.1% chance of getting a top-four pick in the June 23 draft, including 14% for the No. 1 pick; 13.4% for No. 2; 12.7% for No. 3; 12% for No. 4. The Magic’s first draft pick won’t fall outside the top six in the May 17 draft lottery.
But potential doesn’t always translate to success, with McGrady mentioning how talent merges as a factor in what they’ll accomplish together.
“You never know with young teams – it’s all about health and chemistry,” McGrady said. “If they can form some kind of chemistry where they can check their egos at the door, they hang out off the pitch and really get to know each other, and if that can translate on the pitch, they can give themselves a chance to win. more games and maybe getting into the play-in. They are young so they have to learn quickly.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Prize to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.
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