'What If' the Magic select Paolo Banchero

Here's part 2 in the series about what you would do during the off-season, should select a specific player in the upcoming draft.

If you'd like to know more details about this game, check out the first one, regarding selecting Chet.

So let's set the scene...

It's draft night. Adam Silver walks to the podium, but everyone on twitter already knows what he's going to say: "With the first pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic select...Paolo Banchero out of Duke University."

Confetti and hugs all around.

For more on Paolo, check out the great scouting report here on OPP.'s the next morning, and it's time to pull up the Magic's payroll page on basketball ref, the espn trade machine, and get to work!

Player Age 2021-22 2022-23 2023-24 2024-25 2025-26
Gary Harris 27 $20,482,143
Jonathan Isaac 24 $17,400,000 $17,400,000 $17,400,000 $17,400,000
Markelle Fultz 23 $16,500,000 $16,500,000 $17,000,000
Terrence Ross 31 $12,500,000 $11,500,000
Mo Bamba 24 $7,568,742
Wendell Carter Jr. 23 $6,920,027 $14,150,000 $13,050,000 $11,950,000 $10,850,000
Jalen Suggs 20 $6,593,040 $6,922,440 $7,252,200 $9,188,537
Franz Wagner 20 $5,007,840 $5,258,280 $5,508,720 $7,007,092
Robin Lopez 34 $5,000,000
Cole Anthony 22 $3,449,400 $3,613,680 $5,539,771
Chuma Okeke 23 $3,277,080 $3,433,320 $5,266,713
R.J. Hampton 21 $2,303,040 $2,412,840 $4,220,057
Bol Bol 22 $2,161,152
Moritz Wagner 25 $1,729,217 $1,878,720
Devin Cannady 25 $100,000 $1,752,638 $1,902,137
Totals $110,991,681 $84,821,918 $77,139,598 $45,545,629 $10,850,000

There's your cap sheet. The Salary Cap is expected to be set at a whopping $122M, with the luxury tax hitting at $149M. As you can see, currently the Magic are at $84M, even with Paolo's contract.

There are currently 12 members on the team; with Harris (UFA), Bamba (RFA), Lopez (UFA), and Bol (UFA?) as options to return. Keep in mind there are cap holds for these players, so if you want to sign someone to a big contract into the Cap space, you'd have to renounce or sign some/all of these players first. Bamba's is the biggest concern, at ~$22M, as he's going to be shopping for as big a deal as he can get (what you think he'll get, you can list below as part of your plan to either keep him or let him walk). Harris has a similar sized hold. Lopez & Bol are negligible. But between Bamba & Harris, the Magic technically don't have any cap space. To create it, you have to waive one or both of them.

So lay it out in the comments. What do you do with the expiring deals? Do you make additional consolidation trades? Do you stay young but look to swap for different young prospects? If so, what moves would you look make? Do you stand pat? If so, how do your lineups shake out? How do you expect the team you're working towards will play? How do you hope they will play? What's your rough off-season regime for the newest member of the Magic, and for the existing members.

Try not to go full "NBA2K" on trade proposals, please. Realistic makes for more interesting conversations.

I'm excited to see how some you would want to see from the Magic, should they draft Paolo at #1!

A thanks in advance for anyone willing to play this little "what if" game with me & your fellow posters.

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.

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