5 questions for the Orlando Magic’s 2023 Offseason

The Orlando Magic found themselves facing overtime again against a hot Miami Heat team. This time they pulled through for a win. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
The Orlando Magic found themselves facing overtime again against a hot Miami Heat team. This time they pulled through for a win. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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Gary Harris, Orlando Magic
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 13: Gary Harris #14 of the Orlando Magic looks on prior to the game against the Chicago Bulls at United Center on February 13, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

5 questions for the Orlando Magic’s offseason

2. Is Gary Harris’ starting job in jeopardy?

Gary Harris had his best three-point shooting season in his nine-year career, shooting a blistering 43.1 percent from three this year. He helped space the floor for the starting unit and averaged the most threes attempted per game for the Magic.

But heading into his 10th NBA season, is he the frontrunner to start at shooting guard next year?

If president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and general manager John Hammond want to give one of their younger players the starting job to take a leap, then he can be replaced. And most pundits would say the Magic need to upgrade at shooting guard with a player who can get himself more involved and shoot a bit more — Harris averaged only 6.4 field goal attempts per game, the lowest since his rookie year, although he took 4.5 3-pointers per game.

The Magic need some volume and a bit more from that shooting guard spot. Thus it seems to be the one starting spot that is up in the air this offseason.

Cole Anthony and Jalen Suggs are first-round selections who fit the age of the young starting unit and had great finishes to the season.

Anthony started to truly blossom as a sixth man, averaging 15 points per game while shooting 41.8 percent from three after the All-Star break. That is the highest percentage on the team during that span.

He also saw an increase in his assists and rebounds per game in relation to the rest of the year while playing similar minutes. Could Anthony replace Harris as a fourth offensive option who can create for himself and others while being an excellent catch and shooter? It is definitely possible.

Suggs also saw the game slow down for him in the second half of the season. Injuries have derailed Suggs’s ability to find a shooting rhythm, but he played 19 of the total 23 games to finish the season.

Earlier in the year, Suggs would hesitate when he had open shots and instead take one or two dribbles for mid-range jump shots. In March, he began to take three-point looks with confidence, and he was knocking them down to finish the season.

He finished averaging 36 percent from three while taking 3.9 per game and had several stand-out performances. Not only was Suggs’ shot falling, but he was noticeably more comfortable and patient while on the floor.

Suggs did an excellent job creating space on fast breaks to finish at the rim. He commands the ball on the break and pushes the pace which creates opportunities for himself and teammates. Suggs also used his dual-athlete skills as a former quarterback and found his teammates in the open floor for passes and lobs for layups and dunks.

Suggs has only played a total of 101 games so far in the NBA. Technically he has only played enough games for a full rookie season and 23 percent of a sophomore season.

His career has been a roller coaster of ups and downs based on injuries that have hurt his growth. As a former 5th overall selection, Suggs might impress in training camp to force coach Jamahl Mosley’s hand to start him. 

He has found his niche as an elite perimeter defender in his sophomore season, and if the organization feels he can take a large offensive step in his third year, then he could very well be the starting shooting guard next season.