5 Players the Orlando Magic should develop, 4 they shouldn’t
Don’t Develop: Jalen Suggs
Jalen Suggs feels like he could be the odd man out of this lineup despite being the fifth overall pick in 2021. Or he could finally turn that corner and be the team’s starter after finally being healthy and building off a strong finish to the season.
Either way, Suggs is facing a critical season in his young career that could determine his future with the Magic. And Orlando probably cannot give him another year to figure it all out.
The 6-foot-4 guard struggled mightily as a rookie and played significantly less in year two, despite some improvements. He is clearly behind Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony on the depth chart, and the addition of Anthony Black puts him on the fringes of the rotation.
Suggs is no longer really competing in the point guard group. If he were to break into the starting lineup it would be for Gary Harris at shooting guard. Orlando is still figuring out what to do with him.
Suggs had some big games down the stretch last season, but there was no consistency. His shooting, playmaking, defense and overall shot selection must improve if he wants to live up to his draft status.
The 22-year-old is set to make $7.2 million next year, and the Magic have a $9.1 million team option for the 2025 season.
Jalen Suggs has immense potential. He could become a starter and key contributor, but the Orlando Magic do not have the playing time to give him to find out. They should look to move on via trade before seriously considering his option for next season.
Suggs is not a draft bust yet, but he must significantly improve to avoid that status. It is unlikely to happen in Orlando, and a trade is just what the 22-year-old needs if he hopes to reach his ceiling.