Ranking the Magic's Young Players: OPP Edition

Josh Robbins just wrote a good piece over at the Athletic discussing and ranking our current 23-and-under players. If you're not a subscriber there, I'll put the list here:

8. Donta Hall
7. R.J. Hampton
6. Mo Bamba
5. Cole Anthony
4. Wendell Carter Jr.
3. Chuma Okeke
2. Markelle Fultz
1. Jonathan Isaac

Robbins's criteria were, "How has the player performed so far? What is his ceiling? And how likely is the player to reach his ceiling?" In that light, I thought it might be an interesting exercise to rank them ourselves. So I'll start off with my takes:

8. Hall - Strictly signed for big man depth, he's probably not going to last long on the roster.

7. Bamba - I don't hate Bamba. I still think he can become a solid player. But it's been long enough that I think some disappointment is warranted. He might become a trade piece.

6. WCJ - I like what he's done for us so far, and am interested to see what he can do. But he has a similar injury story to Bamba, and he doesn't provide the most important skills we lack as a team.

5. Hampton - I'm ranking him here based on that "ceiling" factor. He's the youngest player, and obviously extremely raw. But man, that speed. And he's had a couple games where he doesn't look *awful* shooting. There's hardly any real way to guess how good (or bad) he'll become, but I'm thinking optimistically for now.

4. Anthony - He's shown improvement as a distributor and a bit in his shooting, though that's still inconsistent at best. He's probably miscast in the lead guard role he's been thrust into, but all things considered hasn't been a disaster, at least lately. I'm pretty darn excited about him right now.

3. Fultz - The stats tell me he hasn't been great. The eye test on his shot mechanics isn't promising. But I don't know, I just keep feeling like there's something yet to come. Look at how bad a drop-off we had after he went down (obviously more than that happened, but still). Maybe I'm nuts.

2. Okeke - Boy have I been pleasantly surprised. He's still had those rookie struggles, for sure, but the guy can play. The smarts, the work ethic, the combination of passing, shooting, and defense; Okeke's the guy I'm personally most excited about.

1. Isaac - I feel like he pretty much has to be in the top spot because he's the only guy here with a for-sure elite skill. Top defensive player in the league. Of course, the caveats are there: not much contribution on offense and the injury history. But he's shown the most ability to be truly great at the game in some aspect.

So, those are my thoughts. Depending on where we pick, a new guy is going to supersede most if not all of these players, but this is the group that ostensibly we're going to build on in some combination. Put your rankings down below!

This FanPost was made by a member of the Orlando Pinstriped Post community, and is to be treated as the opinions and views of its author, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.