ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — When the Orlando Magic’s hopes of moving up in the NBA draft never materialized, they instead used their picks to select former Gonzaga star Jalen Suggs fifth and German forward Franz Wagner eighth.
Owners of two top-eight picks for the first time in franchise history, the Magic had hopes of packaging those selections and moving into the draft’s top four. However, when they failed to find a trade to their liking, the Magic stood pat and chose Suggs and Wagner. Suggs, the USWBA National Freshman of the Year, famously banked in a winning, half-court shot in the NCAA Final Four semifinal game against UCLA.
Wagner, who averaged 12.5 points in his one season at the University of Michigan, could join his brother, Moritz Wagner, in Orlando. Mo averaged 12.5 points in 11 games with the Magic this past season.
The Magic missed out on a chance to select Orlando high school product Scottie Barnes when Toronto took the versatile forward at No. 4. Barnes was high school teammates with NBA top overall pick Cade Cunningham in the 2019-20 season at prep powerhouse Montverde Academy in suburban Orlando, Fla.
Suggs, a 6-foot-4 guard, averaged 14.4 points in his only college season. He scored 24 points in his first college game against Kansas and had 22 points in Gonzaga’s loss to Baylor in the national championship game.
The Magic propelled themselves into rebuilding mode on March 25 when they traded Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon and three others.