Magic: Michael Carter-Williams to miss start of season with ankle injury
Michael Carter-Williams started 25 games last season – second-most among returning Magic players.
Dwayne Bacon (50 starts) signed with the Knicks on an unguaranteed contract. Nikola Vucevic (44 starts) got traded to the Bulls last season. James Ennis (37 starts) remains a free agent. Evan Fournier (26 starts) got traded to the Celtics last season, then joined the Knicks this summer. Aaron Gordon (25 starts) got traded to the Nuggets last season. Though Cole Anthony (34 starts) returns, rookie Jalen Suggs is already pushing to supplant him in the lineup.
However, Carter-Williams won’t return to his prior role, either – not initially, at least.
Carter-Williams – who made a name for himself winning 2014 Rookie of the Year while playing point guard for the 76ers – has shifted into more of an off-ball role. The 29-year-old has become a defensive specialist/secondary creator.
Orlando can play R.J. Hampton, Gary Harris and Terrence Ross at shooting guard. Both because those wings will also play small forward and because the Magic have a logjam at point guard, also expect two-guard lineups with Suggs, Anthony and Markelle Fultz.
Carter-Williams’ injury might change the rotation, but it doesn’t change Orlando’s outlook for the season. This team will probably stink, regardless. Maybe this opens more playing time for promising young players, though.