ORLANDO - When the Orlando Magic were dealt intriguing cards in last years draft with two top ten selections, there were infinite scenarios with how the team could handle them.
But instead of trading the picks for an established NBA player and or more draft capital, the team opted to keep both and select players familiar with stepping up in clutch situations in Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner.
And while there were the expected ups and downs that come with a rookie season, the Magic organization feels comfortable with them being vital parts of their rebuild.
"[My rookie season] was exactly what I needed," Suggs said during media day. "It was the perfect learning experience, I wouldn't trade anything about last year for nothing. Although was a it was hard not being able to really get a rhythm, I wouldn't trade that because I learned so much about myself."
The aforementioned rhythm that was difficult for Suggs to maintain came from an ankle injury that limited the 21-year-old to just 48 games during his rookie season.
Still managing to post averages of 11.8 points, 4.4 assists and 3.6 rebounds, the shooting splits (36.1/21.4/77.3) is an area the former Gonzaga Bulldog looks to improve on, which starts with instilling confidence back into himself.
"I know who I am, I know I've never been a bad shooter," Suggs said. "It's really just getting that belief back that this is who I am, this is something that I've always done and again, like I said, prove it to myself and let the world find out."
For Wagner, the First-Team All Rookie selection spent the summer playing brilliant basketball for the German National Team, capped off with a bronze medal for his home country.
Averaging over 16 points and four rebounds in just about 26 minutes per game, the second-year forward will use the experience he gained playing on an international stage this go around for the Magic.
"I feel confident, I mean I was confident before but I think it comes from working and seeing," Wagner said. "Seeing how some of the stuff works in competitive situations and hopefully I can continue to develop."
Wagner, Suggs and the rest of their Magic teammates tip-off the season on October 19th against the Detroit Pistons.
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