Back in 2018, the Chicago Bulls made a move for their future by drafting Duke University ace big-man Wendell Carter Jr. with the seventh overall pick.
This draft pick gave the Bulls a high-potential two-way big-man that would compliment Lauri Markkanen to form a talented twin-towers setup in Chi-Town.
However, things didn’t work out for Carter Jr. in Chicago and he only averaged 10.8 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.0 BPG in 50.9% FG in two and a half seasons there.
A hard reset was obviously needed for the 21-year-old big-man and in the recent trade deadline, he got what he needed.
Along with Otto Porter Jr. and two first-round picks, Carter Jr. was traded to the Orlando Magic for Nikola Vučević and Al-Farouq Aminu.
There is no doubt that this transaction was a win-win situation for both teams involved but it’s Carter Jr. who hit the jackpot with this one.
Finally playing in a team where he will be heavily relied on instead of one that had guys like Zach LaVine, Markkanen and Coby White who were expected to be the focus of the offense, the 6’10 big-man is showing why he was expected to be a big piece on a rebuilding team.
In the 10 games that he played since joining the Magic, Carter Jr. is averaging a career-high in points and field goal percentage with 14.0 PPG on 54.5% FG shooting, he’s also putting up 8.7 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.1 BPG.
Having the freedom to do more on the court than rebound, Carter Jr. have gotten more confident and is now making a bigger impact.
In just his third game with the Magic, Carter Jr finished with a big double-double performance of 21 points and 12 rebounds on 61.5% field goal shooting to give them the win over the New Orleans Pelicans, 115-110.
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Then in his first game back to Chicago, Carter Jr. held his own against All-Star big-man Vučević and finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block and shot 8-16 from the field to get their 18th win in the season.
The Orlando Magic are having a horrible season with 18-37 record, putting them 14th in the Eastern Conference with no chance to make the playoffs.
However, the future is bright for the Magic.
Aside from Carter Jr, the Orlando Magic also have Jonathan Isaac (23 y/o), Cole Anthony (20 y/o), RJ Hampton (20 y/o), Markelle Fultz (22 y/o), Mo Bamba (22 y/o) and Chuma Okeke (22 y/o) on the roster.
Aside from those young guns, the Magic also have all of their future first and second round picks, as well as two first-rounders from Chicago, one first-rounder from Denver, two from Boston and two second-round picks from Milwaukee.
The current situation of the Magic may be rough, but the future is looking bright with these young guns on board.
What do you think about WCJ? Do you think he’ll be a star in Orlando? Sound off in the comment section!