Anthony got off to a hot start in 2021-22 by scoring 20 points or more in 12 of his first 22 games of the season. In that stretch, he twice scored 33 points – first on Nov. 7 in a win over the Jazz and then again on Dec. 8 in a loss to the Kings. On Oct. 24 at Madison Square Garden in a victory over the Knicks, he pulled down 16 rebounds, the most by a Magic guard in a single game in team history. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder averaged 16.3 points and 5.7 assists, both team highs, as well as 5.4 rebounds.
The 7-foot Bamba averaged career highs in points (10.6), rebounds (8.1), assists (1.2), blocks (1.7) and steals (0.5). His 118 total blocks were tied for the fifth most in the league this season. He made 107 3-pointers, 11 more than in his first three NBA seasons combined. His best scoring performance of his career came on Jan. 19 against the 76ers with 32 points. That night, he set the record for most 3-pointers made by a center in Magic history with seven of them.
Cannady appeared in five games after signing with the Magic’s parent club in late March and scored in double figures in each of the last three, including on April 10 in the finale against the Heat when he posted 15 points, two shy of his career high. The 6-foot-2 guard, best known for his outside shooting, has bounced back and forth between Lakeland and Orlando the last two seasons. He was named the G League Finals MVP in the Disney bubble in 2021 after helping Lakeland capture the franchise’s first championship. A few weeks later while on a two-way contract with the Magic, he suffered a serious right ankle injury. Following a nearly year-long recovery, he resumed play in Lakeland, where he appeared in 16 games and shot nearly 47 percent from 3-point range.
Wendell Carter Jr.
Carter’s name was mentioned frequently in Most Improved Player talks toward the end of the season. That was certainly warranted, as the 6-foot-10, 270-pounder showed tremendous progress over the final couple months. Following the All-Star break, he averaged 19.6 points and 11.6 rebounds. Against the OKC Thunder on March 20, he racked up a career-best 30 points to go along with 16 rebounds. Several of his other top games came when he went head-to-head against the league’s premier big men. Against Joel Embiid and the 76ers on March 13, for instance, he recorded 23 points and 12 rebounds. A month earlier in Denver against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, he had 25 and 12. He also had a pair of 20-10 games against Nikola Vucevic and the Bulls.
Fultz made his season debut on Feb 28 following a nearly 14-month-long absence due to a left knee injury. Despite being on a minutes restriction in each of the 18 games he appeared in, he managed to score in double figures 13 times and had a pair of double-digit assist performances, including in the season finale against the Heat when he dished out 15 of them. Only two players in the NBA this season – Chris Paul and Trae Young – had higher per-36-minute assist averages than Fultz.
Hampton scored in double figures 18 times this season, including in the season finale against the Heat when he had 21 points. On Nov. 7, in a win over the Jazz, he made a clutch 3-pointer with 21.5 seconds left. By starting in 13 of Orlando’s last 18 games, the 21-year-old got a chance to sharpen his skills playing against stronger competition.
After a slow start, Harris got into a groove beginning in late November. He scored in double figures in all but one of the 22 games he appeared in from Nov. 27 until Jan. 14. His best performance – not just in that stretch but throughout the season – came on Jan. 8 when he erupted for 28 points in Detroit. In Indiana nearly a month later, he racked up 22 points and hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers to help the Magic rally past the Pacers.
The Magic’s elder statesman, Lopez appeared in 36 games this season and averaged 7.1 points on 55 percent overall shooting. He stepped up when the Magic were shorthanded in December because of the COVID surge. On Dec. 18 in Brooklyn, the 7-foot, 280-pounder posted 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Magic to a win over the Nets. Several nights later in a victory in Atlanta, he tallied 10 points and 11 assists, the second-most assists by a Magic center in franchise history.
Okeke tallied 22 double-digit scoring performances this season and twice had 20-plus. One of those games came right after the All-Star break when he racked up a career-high 26 points to go along with nine rebounds in a victory over the Rockets. One of Orlando’s top defenders, Okeke recorded a career-best six steals twice in a span of less than a week in December.
Ross’ most memorable performance of the season came in the first week when he scored all 22 of his points in the fourth quarter to help the Magic beat the Knicks at MSG. That was the most points scored in a fourth quarter by a Magic player ever and fourth most points scored in any quarter. Tracy McGrady’s 25 second-quarter points on March 9, 2003 against the Nuggets is the franchise record for most points in a single period.
Although limited to 48 games because of injuries, Suggs made a big impact when he did suit up, particularly on the defensive end. The Magic’s defensive rating with the 6-foot-5 Suggs on the court was a team-best 107.8. Opponents shot just 43.5 percent from the floor with the 20-year-old as the nearest defender, one of the best marks in the league among first-year players.
Among rookies this season, Wagner scored the most points (1,197), grabbed the fifth-most rebounds (356), dished out the sixth-most assists (231), and compiled the fifth-most steals (68). The 38 points he scored on Dec. 28 against the Milwaukee Bucks were the second most by a rookie this season and were tied for the third most by a first-year Magic player ever. The 6-foot-10 German forward was on pace to play in all 82 games, but a couple of minor ankle sprains late in the season prevented that from happening.
Wagner had a strong finish to the season by scoring in double figures in 13 of his final 18 games. His best performance, however, came in January when he posted a season-best 26 points to lead the Magic to a win over the Hornets. Another one of his top games came a little over a week later when he dropped in 23 points in a victory over the Bulls.