Bitadze is determined ‘to go out there and do it,’ for the Magic

2023-03-12T08:35:48+00:00 2023-03-12T11:33:18+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

12/Mar/23 08:35

Getting comfortable in new surroundings is the task for Goga Bitadze, the Georgian center navigating through his fourth NBA campaign

By Johnny Askounis/

Switching from the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague to the NBA, Goga Bitadze joined the Indiana Pacers four years ago and in February moved on as a midseason addition to the Orlando Magic.

“They make it easy for me to adjust,” he told Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel regarding his second NBA team, “Whatever Coach wants me to do, I’m going to go out there and do it.”

Bitadze, 23, falling narrowly shy of the lottery range was selected with the 18th overall pick of the 2019 NBA draft. The Pacers spell generated 170 games played, including 21 starts. Under the guidance of Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley, in five more games played lasting 12.2 minutes per game, he registered 5.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.4 blocks, and 0.2 steals per contest.

Reacting to limited opportunities after inking a two-year contract as an unrestricted free agent, the Georgian center looks determined to finally establish himself in the league. A potential setback in the current plan is widely considered likely to open a path back to EuroLeague as respective teams would be eager to secure the services of a big with experience and a good fit to the style of play in Europe.

Franz Wagner dealing with an ankle injury

European players displaying their talents in Orlando extend to Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Moritz Wagner, besides the most recent addition in Bitadze. Franz Wagner suffered a right ankle sprain against the Miami Heat on the latest edition of NBA Saturdays. X-rays were negative but the German forward might miss action heading to a four-game road trip starting at the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday.

Wagner, 21, averaged 18.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.2 blocks per game over 66 appearances retaining a leading role throughout his sophomore NBA campaign. Shooting nearly 49% from the field, his scoring contribution slightly improving compared to his rookie campaign confirm yet another promising asset for the Magic, a list highlighted by Italian Banchero, the top pick of the 2022 draft.

Orlando sits at 28-40, trailing the Play-Ins zone of the Eastern Conference by a margin of 3.5 games.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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