Magic rookie Jalen Suggs, the No. 5 overall pick of the 2021 draft, is expected to return to action on Friday against Charlotte, writes Dan Savage of the team’s website. Suggs has been sidelined with a fractured right thumb since November 29, missing the team’s past 20 games.
Although he was unable to play in games, Suggs has traveled with the team and has been engaged on the sidelines, according to head coach Jamahl Mosley.
“He’s used the time, obviously, sitting with the coaches, studying film, understanding things on the sideline,” Mosley said. “You’ll see him sometimes get up and throw suggestions and things that he sees. I think that’s fantastic. Our guys are so engaged with one another that they understand what we’re asking them to do.”
We noted on Tuesday that Suggs and Markelle Fultz had resumed practicing with the team, so perhaps Fultz won’t be too far behind. Fultz has been recovering from a torn left ACL suffered at the beginning of last season and has yet to play in 2021/22.
Through 21 contests (27.8 MPG), all starts, Suggs is averaging 12.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3.6 APG and 1.1 SPG. His counting stats are solid, but like many rookies, he’s struggled with efficiency, committing 3.2 turnovers per game with a poor shooting line of .339/.255/.763. He will look to improve upon those numbers when he returns for the rebuilding Magic, who currently have the worst record in the NBA at 7-35.