Orlando Magic: 3 candidates for a breakout season in 2019-20

Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images /
2 of 4
Orlando Magic
(Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /

3. Markelle Fultz

The temptation to leave Fultz off this list is obvious for several reasons, and it starts with the fact that he doesn’t need anymore said about him to increase the hype surrounding his potential return to the court. There has been enough grainy footage of him working out in gyms throughout the offseason to ensure this has already happened.

More than that, it’s hard to quantify exactly what a breakout season would mean for a player who only ever appeared in 33 games for his previous employers, the Philadelphia 76ers. Just getting him on the court, first as a backup and hopefully in time as a starter, for something like 50 games would constitute real progress in his career.

Would that be enough for Fultz to break out? Or do fans want more, especially with video of him shooting now doing the rounds? If he can defend at an above-average level, which would help the entire team, and lead the team assists, would that be a good place to start?

The flip side of not seeing much of Fultz since he entered the league, and which can work to his advantage, is that just seeing him on the court again will make fans happy. If he plays in the first game, isn’t on a minutes restriction and plays well, he will automatically become the top candidate to have a breakout season by just being there.

Fultz was a poor 28.7 percent 3-point shooter during his second season with the 76ers, and in his rookie season, he didn’t attempt a shot from deep in 14 games. When he makes his first one for the Magic, he is likely to get a standing ovation. That’s how much the fans want him to succeed, and how critical he can be to them skipping steps throughout their rebuild.