It is time to throw away the American inferiority complex with its place in the sport, where many blindly claim that technique should come above all in choosing and developing the best prospects and that the U.S. is not an international power because it cares too much about athleticism.
Far-Fetched Friday: The Orlando Magic will Have an All-Star Next Season
By: Ryan Stein
Predicting a team to have an all-star shouldn't be an overly bold take. Most squads have at least one or more players that either are surefire all-stars or are rising stars. Unfortunately for the Magic, they don't really have any obvious choices for either of those types of players. They also don't have a great track record when it comes to having all-stars. Over the past 10 seasons, they've only had one all-star player, Nikola Vucevic, who was an all-star twice while a member of the Magic. His departure from the team has left a hole at the top of the totem pole that still hasn't really been filled in Orlando. The Magic's lack of all-star representation will not be an issue next year, however, as one of their incumbent players will break through and achieve the career milestone.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we look at a basketball team that could do with a bit more Magic.
Which player will break out and become an all-star for the Magic next year? There are a couple options that could realistically occur: Wendell Carter Jr and Franz Wagner. Wagner had a nice rookie season, averaging splits of 15/4.5/3 (points, rebounds, assists) on solid shooting efficiency. He showed potential of a budding offensive game, including a 38-point game against the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks. As for forwards he could possibly surpass in the East to acquire an all-star selection, the most likely option is probably Khris Middleton. By the all-star break, Middleton had put up impressive splits of 20.3/5.3/5.4. That will require a significant leap from Wagner to surpass but is by no means undoable. Carter's journey to an all-star bid may be a little easier, even if he doesn't quite have as much potential as Wagner. Having put up splits of 15/10.5/2.8, Carter isn't too far off from the second all-star in the East, Jarrett Allen. Allen averaged 16.1/10.8/1.6 by the all-star break, and while he's a better defender than Carter, it's not impossible to imagine Carter bumping up his numbers above Allen's. His second full season with the Magic may just allow the big man to improve just enough to gain an all-star appearance that has largely eluded the Orlando Magic franchise in the recent years.
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