5 Orlando Magic training camp battles to watch

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Jalen Suggs, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors
Jalen Suggs helped pace the Orlando Magic to a solid victory over the Toronto Raptors. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Orlando Magic training camp battles to watch

Who starts at shooting guard?

Even before it was announced Gary Harris had torn the meniscus in his left knee and would need surgery to repair it, this was perhaps the biggest question that would need clarity before the season began.

Even with Harris out of the equation, this still feels like a spot that needs clarity. Even if the initial decision feels academic.

It starts with the fact that it feels like four starting spots are already fairly secured.

Markelle Fultz is the favorite at point guard (more on that in a minute). Franz Wagner and Paolo Banchero seem locked in at the forward spots. And Wendell Carter, perhaps the team’s best player down the stretch of the season as he gained more confidence, is a sure bet at center (or one of the forward spots).

It is hard to argue against any four of those players — and especially hard to argue against Wagner, Banchero and Carter being ensured of a spotting start.

Before Harris’ injury, the debate then was whether the Magic should start the veteran shooter or stick with the promising young rookie who struggled through in his first season. There were good reasons for both to get their shot at it — Harris would provide some veteran know-how and much-needed 3-point shooting while Suggs has the potential to be a breakout star.

Now after Harris’ injury, it feels like Suggs is set to start at shooting guard. But the questions remain because of how poor his rookie year was. He should make some improvements, but he has to prove himself again.

The other options come with their own questions though.

Cole Anthony is a scorer but would be an odd fit next to Markelle Fultz. He would be a solid shooter to pair with Fultz. But the lack of size could throw the team off.

R.J. Hampton could be another good option for the Magic to start at the 2. But Hampton really struggled last year and he did not show himself well in Summer League. He has a lot of questions about where he fits in the league and what his ultimate role will be.

Those questions probably keep either from getting the starting job — Cole Anthony is the best bet to push for starter’s minutes, especially with Jalen Suggs and Devin Cannady and even R.J. Hampton able to help out at point guard.

Suggs did not get the starting job last year until Harris was a late scratch on opening night of the season. It seems certain he will slot in as the shooting guard again.

But when Harris gets back, that question could be thrown back into the air. And if Suggs struggles, it could be an open competition yet again.