I think we're all more or less agreed that this upcoming season is one of low expectations in terms of win-loss record, but an exciting one regarding the young talent the Magic have accrued, especially our new top-five pick, Jalen Suggs. So, rather than a simple wins prediction, I thought it would be fun to make wild guesses as to who will lead the team in various statistical categories. I'll put the categories and my own thoughts; add yours below. There's absolutely no stakes to this whatsoever.
I'm going to guess Cole Anthony. Part of this is assuming Ross gets traded, part of this is feeling like somebody's gonna have to put the ball in the basket. Suggs would be my other choice, but I feel like Anthony's going to take over Ross's sixth man scoring role, for better or worse, perhaps playing off-ball alongside Suggs. I might be crazy.
I'm going with Suggs. I think Fultz's delayed return will push him out of contention along with Suggs's own play. I'm leaning toward Fultz having a diminished role even when he does come back. I know there's an idea of Suggs and Fultz playing together, but even if that kinda works, I think Suggs will still be the more productive player.
Bamba. It'll be a two-man race in all likelihood between him and WCJ, but I think this is gonna be the year Bamba takes the lead in playing time, even if he's not the nominal starter right away. It comes down to opportunity.
WCJ. Despite the chatter coming out of the offseason of his efforts to extend his range (and that three he hit yesterday), I think he'll stay closer to the basket. Putbacks and dunks, baby, putbacks and dunks.
Okeke. This one's tough. We traded out... all of our shooting, basically. The best 3PT shooter who played more than 10 games last year who's still on the roster this year was Mo Wagner. 2nd was Harris, then Okeke. I'm betting on Okeke improving after a real offseason. Harris, if he spends the whole season with us, might be the stiffest competition here, barring a big jump from Anthony, or a really good rookie season from Suggs or Wagner.
I'm gonna go with Suggs on this one. Okeke and Ross are the only players still here who averaged over steal a game last year. I have no idea what Mosley's defensive scheme is going to look like or anything like that, but I feel like Suggs is going to rack up some steal numbers from his sheer energy alone (for better or worse).
I mean, it's gotta be Bamba, right?
Suggs. This is a total guess, since we have no idea how Mosley's rotations are going to shake out with all these young guys needing time. But I feel like Suggs is going to prove to be the straw that stirs the drink. I hope so, at least.
All right, that's it, let me know how crazy I am in the comments.