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The Magic-Warriors Summer League Tilt Gave Us Our First Looks At Four Lottery Picks In Las Vegas

The Las Vegas edition of NBA Summer League opened on Sunday with a full slate of action. The centerpiece of the first day was a doubleheader featuring Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, and Evan Mobley, with plenty of intrigue on all sides. While the second day of games wasn’t quite as overwhelming from a matchup perspective, the marquee contest pitted the Golden State Warriors against the Orlando Magic with quality prospects all over the place. In addition to former first-round selections like Cole Anthony and RJ Hampton, four Lottery picks were on the floor in Orlando’s Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs and Golden State’s duo of Moses Moody and Jon Kuminga. In fact, the game needed more than the scheduled 40 minutes, with the Magic coming back from a late deficit and prevailing in overtime, 91-89.

It was a solid day for the Warriors’ prospects. With the caveat that Golden State participated in the California Classic, meaning this was not the pro debut for either player, both Kuminga and Moody entertained and excelled. Kuminga, who spent last season with the G League Ignite squad, made the kind of flash plays that remind observers of his sky-high potential and physicality, and he finished the evening with 16 points, six rebounds, and three steals.

Moody’s start was a bit slower, but he came on strong to finish with 15 points and four rebounds. The former Arkansas wing and No. 14 overall pick settled in after the uneven start, showing off his scoring package, creation potential, and general awareness on both ends.

For Orlando, Wagner largely struggled offensively (including 0-for-6 from three) and, even with plenty of talent on the floor, the Magic scuffled with their starters in play. Ironically, it was the team’s largely unheralded bench that made the game competitive, but Suggs did leave his mark on the festivities. He finished with 24 points, nine rebounds, three blocks, and two steals, and Suggs’ trademark competitiveness and two-way ability were in full view.

The stretch run brought a tighter margin on the scoreboard, putting all four players in a more competitive setting. That largely brought out the best in all involved, with Golden State’s pair teaming up for buckets.

Suggs made huge plays for Orlando on both ends, engineering the offense and forcing overtime with a defensive stand.

Golden State dominated the game when playing Kuminga and Moody together. Of course, the final score is often the least relevant piece of any Summer League game, but the Warriors have to be thrilled with what their lottery picks have put on tape, both in California and Las Vegas, and the Magic can take solace that Suggs produced well and Wagner isn’t the kind of player — namely in that he is a supporting piece offensively that thrives in a team context on the defensive end — that is set up to shine in a Summer League setting. It wasn’t exactly the NBA Finals in terms of overall game quality, but Monday’s primetime tilt did bring some memorable moments, a competitive finish, and a spotlight on four interesting prospects.

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