Magic exercise team options on Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Jalen Suggs

Orlando Magic exercise team options on Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Jalen Suggs

The Orlando Magic are exercising their third-year team option on forward Paolo Banchero, along with their fourth-year team options on guard Jalen Suggs and forward Franz Wagner, President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman announced today.

All three players are now signed through the 2024-25 season. Banchero, 20, was selected No. 1 overall by the Magic in the 2022 NBA Draft out of Duke University. In 72 starts of his rookie 2022-23 season, Banchero averaged 20 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 33.8 minutes per game.

Plus, Banchero shot 42.7% from the floor, 29.8% beyond the arc, and 73.8% at the foul line. Banchero finished 11th in free throws (394) and ninth in free throw attempts (534). He recorded six 30-point games as well.

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Additionally, Paolo Banchero is the first No. 1 pick to win the award in the season right after getting drafted since Karl-Anthony Towns in 2016.

The Washington native became the fourth former Duke player to win the award, joining Kyrie Irving, Elton Brand, and Grant hill. The forward also joins Shaquille O’Neal (1993) and Mike Miller (2001) as the third Magic player to receive the honor.

Banchero led all rookies in points, ranked third in assists, fourth in steals, and fifth in total rebounds. In the regular season, the Magic forward also won four straight Kia NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month awards.

Orlando Magic exercise their third-year team option on Paolo Banchero, along with fourth-year team options on Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs

Furthermore, Franz Wagner was selected eighth overall by the Magic in the 2021 NBA Draft out of the University of Michigan. The 6-foot-10 forward was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2022 after averaging 15.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 30.7 minutes per game during his rookie season.

Wagner, 22, made 80 starts last season. The German hooper averaged career highs of 18.6 points, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steal, and 32.6 minutes per contest, along with 4.1 boards. Not to mention, he shot career bests of 48.5% from the floor and 36.1% from downtown.

Meanwhile, Jalen Suggs was taken fifth overall by Orlando in the 2021 NBA Draft out of Gonzaga University. Suggs, 22, made 45 starts in 48 games of his rookie 2021-22 season. The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 11.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 27.2 minutes per game.

On Oct. 7, 2022, Suggs suffered a left knee capsule sprain and bone bruise after a collision with Dorian Finney-Smith during a preseason match against the Dallas Mavericks.

Fans wonder if this particular injury led to Suggs regressing in the 2022-23 season. The Minnesota native made only 19 starts in 53 games played with the Magic. He logged 9.9 points, 3.0 boards, 2.9 assists, a career-high 1.3 steals, and 23.5 minutes per contest.

In Orlando’s 130-129 win over the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 3, 2022, the guard recorded a career-high 26 points, nine assists, and four steals in 37 minutes as a starter.

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