Magic: Which Former Top-10 Pick Will Be Orlando’s Center Long-Term?

Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. goes up for a dunk vs. the Pelicans. - AP

Mohamed Bamba and Wendell Carter Jr are each eligible for a rookie-scale extension but the organization is unlikely to make long-term commitments to both centers.

Carter was rumored to be in line for a $70 million extension, though rumblings of that deal have died down since it was reported in August.

The former 2018 No. 7 overall pick came to Orlando in the Nikola Vucevic trade, along with Otto Porter and a pair of first-round picks. However, as Josh Robbins of The Athletic writes, Carter’s inclusion was a secondary consideration from Orlando’s perspective. Still, there are some around the league who believe the center has value.

“Wendell is strong,” a rival scout told Robbins. “(He) was a good piece in the Vucevic business. He’s a brain player. He has a high IQ.

Bamba was the No. 6 pick in the 2018 draft and his career has never really taken off. Part of that was injuries early on, though Bamba previously explained that his time on the NBA sideline gave him some new perspective (via my interview at Hoops Rumors). Still, the 23-year-old has to take larger strides if he is going to live up to his draft status, something he could very well do; it just might not be in Orlando.

Aside from the two former top-10 picks, Orlando has a collection of veterans at the position with former Wizards Robin Lopez and Moritz Wagner residing in the frontcourt. Neither is likely to be the long-term center for Orlando, though both will chip away at the minutes WCJ and Bamba get this season.

The Magic will be conducting some serious evaluation of their long-term plan over the next year. The future of the center spot is chief among them.


Latest on Jonathan Isaac

The Magic are likely to be cautious with Jonathan Isaac even if he is cleared to play on opening night.

Isaac continues to work his way back from a torn ACL and wouldn’t commit to a exact timeline when asked recently.

“We’ll see. That’s all I can say about that is: we’ll see,”Isaac responded when asked if he’ll be ready for Orlando’s season opener (via Chris Hays of The Orlando Sentinel).

“I’m on the court. I’m weaning out of the brace. I’m jumping. I’m finishing around the basket and such. I’m easing my way. … I’m getting there.”


Read More: 48 Facts From Michael Jordan’s Time With Wizards

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About the Author

Chris Crouse
As a co-owner of FortyEightMinutes.com, Chris Crouse wears many hats, including editor and marketing director. He previously covered sports business at CNBC and he has covered the NBA for various publications, including SLAM Magazine and Hoops Rumors, in addition to working on the business side of media.

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