The first of two top-eight picks is in for the Orlando Magic.
With the No. 5 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Magic selected Jalen Suggs of Gonzaga.
The 6-4 guard averaged 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in his lone season at Gonzaga while guiding the team to the National Championship game. He shot 50.3 percent from the field, including 33.7 percent from three on 3.5 attempts per game.
Even with point guards Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony on the roster, the Magic couldn’t pass on taking Suggs when he fell into their lap, adding another floor general into the mix.
Inside Amway Center the moment Jalen Suggs was announced. pic.twitter.com/7ax6W5BklT— Aaron Goldstone (@AaronGoldstone) July 30, 2021
In his draft profile on Jalen Suggs, our Aaron Goldstone shared his film study thoughts...
-Athleticism really pops when he’s playing in transition; big-time run & jump athlete
-Very crafty at the rim, excellent finisher in transition and on the move (with either hand)
-Evident he’s a multi-sport athlete; elite body control, movement in space
-Was often able to get downhill and to the rim as a pick-and-roll initiator; remains to be seen if he will be able to do that against elite NBA athletes/smarter defenders (who go under screens/fight through with more success)
-Was solid enough as a shooter when defenders went under screens, has room to improve shot mechanics (I would like to see him release the basketball a little higher)
-Can make all the passes necessary out of pick-and-roll action; very underrated vision
-Proverbial “quarterback” on the court, sees the floor exceptionally well – plenty on film (skip passes, cross-court passes to shooters in the corner) to support his passing acumen; unselfish lead guard-Strong and athletic on-ball defender. Uses size and quick hands/quick feet to be disruptive and stay laterally in front of his man-Big-time “hustler”; creates positive plays in so many ways based solely off effort – chase down blocks, steals from back-taps and jumping passing lanes, diving for loose balls, deflections, etc.
-Has ‘All-NBA Defense’ potential; possesses everything needed: size, strength, athleticism, effort, awareness, versatility
The Magic’s pick was believed to be the the first mystery of the draft, with the top-four seemingly set in stone leading up to the draft. But the Toronto Raptors surprisingly pickled Florida State University’s Scottie Barnes just ahead of Orlando with the fourth pick in the draft.
Cade Cunningham went first overall to the Detroit Pistons. Jalen Green went second to the Houston Rockets. Evan Mobley went third to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Magic also have the No. 8 pick, with players like Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody still on the board.
More to come...