The Orlando Magic had an interesting approach to the 2020-2021 season. After making the playoffs with the core of Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, and Evan Fournier, the Magic decided to give it one more run at the start of the season. However, it was quickly realized that this core was just not going to be able to get it done and the Magic had a firesale at the deadline.
Vucevic was shipped to the Chicago Bulls for draft picks and Wendell Carter Jr. Gordon went to the Nuggets for Gary Harris and some picks. Fournier was traded to Boston. This was an oddly built team and the signs were on the wall that it was time to start over. This is a franchise that is starting over, but the cupboard is not bare for the Magic.
Due to the Vucevic trade, the Magic wound up having two lottery picks at five and eight. The Magic selected Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs and Michigan forward Franz Wagner with the pick. These two guys are expected to be able to contribute to a young core that includes Jonathan Isaac, Cole Anthony, and Carter. Another young guy to watch is former lottery pick Mo Bamba. Bamba has been slow to develop, but he has shown flashes when in.
The Magic might not be a good team in 2021-2022, but that does not mean that they are not intriguing and we’ve got you covered with our Fact or Fiction series. It features the boldest and biggest claims being made about the Magic and offers you the answer with a decisive fact or fiction.
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Jalen Suggs will Start at Point Guard
The Magic have some young and intriguing options at the point guard. Markelle Fultz, the former No. 1 overall pick, tore his ACL after a nice start to the season. Anthony had his moments as a rookie, but he was pretty inefficient and still has a ways to go in his development. Now you enter Suggs, the rookie fifth overall pick.
Suggs was not expected to be there when the Magic selected fifth, but they are thrilled that they got him. Suggs put on a good show during summer league and that has the Magic excited. This is a team that is looking to the future and he is going to be an important piece to that.
It is going to be interesting to see the point guard rotation that the Magic go with, but Suggs should get most of that work. It would not be shocking to see the Magic work some combos of Suggs and Anthony and Suggs and Fultz, whenever Fultz gets healthy. As a contender for rookie of the year, Suggs should see plenty of starts and it will lead to him starting the most games at point guard.
Verdict: Fact, Suggs will start at point guard
Jalen Suggs will win the Rookie of the Year
This is going to be an intriguing race for the rookie of the year. Along with Suggs and potentially Wagner, there is going to be a lot of tough competition to win the rookie of the year award. Top overall pick Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green, and Cavaliers forward/center Evan Mobley are considered to be the top contenders for the award.
The rookie of the year has to elevate the play of his teammates while putting up good stats. Those are the main two ingredients that go into winning the award and Suggs is going to have a chance to do both. If he gets the starts that he is projected to, the stats should be there as the leader of the Magic offense.
While Suggs will make a great case, the rookie of the year award is going to go to the first overall pick in Cunningham. He is the most talented prospect coming into the league and has a chance to be spectacular. Suggs will have a great season but will finish behind Cunningham when it comes to the awards.
Verdict: Fiction, Suggs will not win rookie of the year
Jalen Suggs, Markelle Fultz, and Cole Anthony can Co-Exist
The topic has been discussed plenty so far, but Suggs, Anthony, and Fultz are going to be very important players for Orlando this season. Fultz got off to a nice start, but injuries derailed his season. Anthony showed flashes but was largely inconsistent throughout last season. Now Suggs is unexpectedly entering the picture after being picked fifth overall and he might be the most talented of the bunch.
All of these point guards have different skills. Anthony is a nice passer, Fultz might be the best playmaker and Suggs might already be a better scorer than both of them. It is going to be interesting to see how new head coach Jamahl Mosley will use all three of them.
To start the season, expect to see a lot of Anthony and Suggs as Fultz works his way back from injury. Then, things will really start to take shape and you will get a better idea of how Mosley will use these guys going forward. It is going to be interesting, but for now, it is possible for these three guys to co-exist.
Verdict: Fact, Suggs, Anthony, and Fultz can co-exist
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