5 Interesting Two-Man Lineup Combination Possibilities for Magic in 2021-22 Season

by Josh Cohen

1. Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony

Toronto won a title with Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet in the backcourt. Portland has been in the playoffs every year with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier look good together in Charlotte. The same can be said of De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton in Sacramento. A couple years ago, OKC thrived with three lead guards – Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Dennis Schroder. Keep an eye on Darius Garland and Collin Sexton in Cleveland going forward. It’s also going to be interesting watching Anthony and Suggs go to war together in Orlando. It will get even more intriguing when Markelle Fultz returns.

2. Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba

Bamba and Carter, back-to-back draft picks in 2018, were on the floor together briefly in Orlando’s game against Utah on April 3 last season. Pairing them together a little more frequently could be in the cards this year. Both have a lot to prove going into year four of their NBA careers. Let’s remember, both thrived playing alongside Moe Wagner, a stretch five who re-signed with the Magic over the summer. Bamba’s forte is his range shooting and shot blocking. Carter’s strong suits are his footwork, touch near the basket and lateral movement on defense.

3. Franz Wagner and Moe Wagner

Moe, four years older than Franz, played at Alba Berlin in Germany a few years before his younger brother did. Moe was at the University of Michigan from 2015-2018; Franz was there from 2019-2021. Finally, they will get to play on the same squad. Moe said on media day that his brother is the “easiest teammate to play with.” They’ve played pickup games together in open gym and Moe noted that Franz’s unselfishness, high basketball IQ and versatility gives him an edge over most opponents.

4. Jalen Suggs and Terrence Ross

Suggs played on a loaded Gonzaga team last season. The only game they lost was the national title contest against Baylor. One of Suggs’ teammates was Corey Kispert, one of the best 3-point shooters in college basketball in 2020-21. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Suggs has a knack for locating open shooters on the perimeter, which benefitted Kispert, the 15th pick in the 2021 draft. This should excite Ross, the Magic’s leader in 3-pointers made each of the last three seasons.

5. Chuma Okeke and Franz Wagner

The Magic have the personnel to be an excellent defensive team, although it may take a while for that to materialize with Jonathan Isaac, Fultz, Michael Carter-Williams and Okeke recovering from their injuries. At full strength, though, they are going to be a tough team to score against with all that defensive versatility. An interesting defensive duo at the forward spots could be Okeke and Franz Wagner, both capable of guarding positions one through four.

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