Jalen Suggs, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, will miss the rest of Las Vegas Summer League because of a thumb injury, the Orlando Magic announced on Friday. Suggs underwent an MRI, which confirmed a sprained thumb, and the team is holding him out as a precaution.
Late in the second quarter of the Magic’s game against the Boston Celtics on Thursday, Suggs isolated at the top of the key and tried to force a drive into traffic. It’s not entirely clear what happened, but Suggs seemed to grab at his hand as he ran back down the court and checked out for good at the next dead ball.
Even though this doesn’t appear to be a significant injury at all, the Magic are making the right decision by sitting Suggs the rest of the way. He’s gotten two-plus games in and there’s no reason to send him out there at less than 100 percent when there’s zero at stake. Let him recover and start getting ready for training camp, which is just over a month away at this point.
When he was on the floor at Summer League, Suggs had plenty of positive moments. He scored 46 points in 55 minutes on 17 of 41 from the field, including a thunderous put-back slam against the Cavaliers that will go down as one of the best plays of the event. He was much more than just a scorer, too, adding 19 rebounds, seven assists and five steals.
It was a bit surprising that Suggs fell to No. 5, but the Magic certainly aren’t complaining. They believe he can be the future of their backcourt thanks to not only his skill on both sides of the ball, but his leadership and toughness.
“I wanted to come out here and be the icebreaker, be the one that isn’t afraid to talk first, isn’t afraid to tell a guy some adjustments to make and asking them what they see and learning from what they see,” Suggs said after his first Summer League practice. “I was just trying to come out and be a leader, be vocal and be an extension of everybody on the court.”