• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Jalen Suggs unconcerned with winning NBA Rookie of the Year

·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Magic rookie Jalen Suggs may enter the 2021-22 season as a favorite to win Rookie of the Year but the fifth overall pick isn’t all that concerned with his standing among his peers.

Suggs will begin the season with the third-highest odds of winning by most sportsbooks. His ability on the court, plus his projected role with the Magic in the backcourt are two factors that seemingly give him a strong chance to win the award.

Despite the high odds, Suggs just wants to help the Magic win.

My expectation is to come in and help this organization win. I think in doing that, everything else will take care of itself and whatever position I fall in, I fall in. As long as I handle everything and get better every day, come in and work, grow and get some wins with the team — all of that correlates. Personal accolades are never my main focus and as long as I win at the end of day, it doesn’t matter what else happens.

Suggs is the highest draft pick by the Magic since Mario Hezonja in 2015. The selection created instant buzz among the Magic faithful given his electric playing style last season at Gonzaga and ability to take over games on the court.

He will enter the season with tremendous expectations as a top-five pick. He is viewed as a key piece that will be tasked with leading the Magic back to being a consistent playing threat. He is seemingly ready for that challenge, and even welcomes it.

While expectations are high, Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley defined a successful season for him, and fellow first-round pick Franz Wagner, simply by developing into a professional on and off the court.

I think each person is different. I think getting acclimated to the NBA season is one to understand how to play through an entire NBA season and what that schedule looks like with the travel and games, sleep patterns. All of these things are about developing and becoming a professional. I think those are very big.

I don’t go into numbers and what that looks like for them but I think them understanding what it means to be a professional and what it takes to work every single day. That is part of success for a lot of these young guys to understand that they are coming off of playing 32 games and we’re walking into an 82-game season.

Suggs looked every bit of a top-five draft pick with the Magic in the Las Vegas Summer League after averaging 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in three games. He dazzled with his scoring, leadership and confidence, something the Magic have long needed.

Finding a place for Suggs in the court will be one development to watch over the course of training camp. The team also has several others in the backcourt, including Markelle Fultz, Terrence Ross, Cole Anthony, R.J. Hampton and E’Twaun Moore.

Wherever he may fit into the rotation, Ross has been impressed by Suggs.

He is very talented. When you think of football players and basketball players when they play both, you usually think of some deficiencies they have but he is really well-rounded in everything. I have seen him attack the rim, shoot. He handles the ball really well. He is physical in the paint. His footwork is really amazing to see. It has been fun watching him. He has that toughness still. I think he is going to bring more of that toughness to our team, especially at the guard play.

The organization is building toward the future and has entrusted its long-term outlook on several young, promising players. The group is seemingly ready to turn things around and is eager to get the season started with training camp beginning on Tuesday.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

Related

J. Cole splashed a game-winner over Franz Wagner in pickup game

Jalen Suggs admittedly had jitters before working out with Damian Lillard

Magic Connection: Jalen Suggs, R.J. Hampton picking up friendship in Orlando

List

NBA 2K22: Complete rookie ratings for each first-round pick