Orlando Magic’s shooting guards have all the features the league wants

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R.J. Hampton, Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic have some concern for the pathway to develop for players like R.J. Hampton as they examine this year’s draft. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

Orlando Magic’s Shooting Guard Group


Although shooting guards are not the primary playmakers on the average NBA team, the Orlando Magic’s shooting guards have every tool to allow them to make plays for themselves and others.

Jalen Suggs averaged 4.4 assists per game in just his rookie season, which was third on the team only behind Cole Anthony and Markelle Fultz.

When Suggs was on the floor he had a 24.9-percent assist percentage, which means when he was on the floor he assisted on about a quarter of the shots made.

He also has started to form a connection with fellow rookie Franz Wagner who shot 36.8-percent from three when getting the ball kicked out to him by Suggs. Suggs had two 10-assist games this year and had 13 games with six or more assists.

Suggs actually ran the point guard position in college and in high school, so having him at the shooting guard position just allows the Magic to have another elite playmaker on the floor to create shots for everyone.

Suggs’ offensive skill set makes him such a tough guard. You can not let him get to the basket. But when the defense starts to tighten up when he gets to the rim, he will make the right play and find his teammates.

Jalen Suggs has terrific potential and capability as a playmaker but R.J. Hampton does as well.

Hampton averaged 2.5 assists per game which was sixth on the team for rotation players, and was also a slight step down from his 2.8 assists per game with the Magic the year before.

He is still finding his place on the team so assist numbers did have a slight drop. He is still working on becoming a better playmaker and decisionmaker — something he wants to work on in Summer League. Time will tell if that experience and repetition will help him — the early returns have not been good.

On any given night Hampton can put up starting point guard assist numbers, which is an opposing team’s biggest fear. When you have to worry about scoring and passing, especially as such a young age, teams will not know how to handle Hampton in the future.

Harris is not a natural-born playmaker but can do it if he needs to.

Harris averaged 1.8 assists per game and had a 9.5-percent assist percentage. But he is not really in the playmaking role for the Magic.

With Suggs and Hampton’s playmaking abilities, along with the amazing point guard play, Harris just has to make the right plays, decisions and easy passes for him to be an effective playmaker.