The Orlando Magic’s 102-89 home loss to the Toronto Raptors on Friday was expected to showcase two Rookie of the Year candidates.
Which lasted only 20 seconds.
Franz Wagner sprained his left ankle on the first possession of the game after trying to “pull the chair” on Raptors rookie Scotty Barnes, while FSU and Monteverde Academy alum Barnes was posting on the right block.
Wagner was out of court at 11:40 in the first quarter and was later out for the rest of the game.
Two-way player Ignas Brazdekis (13 points from 5-of-7 shooting) subbed for Wagner and started the second half in his place.
Magic coach Jamahal Mosley didn’t have an update on Wagner postgame.
“We’ll Have To See How He Pulls Up” [Saturday],” said Mosley, “and pray it doesn’t get serious.”
8 pick in last year’s draft, has started in all 78 games so far this season.
He is the only rookie and league-wide one of only three players to have started in each of his team’s games.
Wagner averaged 15.5 points (46.8% shooting, 35.7% at 3-pointers), 4.6 rebounds and 3 assists on Friday.
He and Barnes, who finished with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists, have been the top five rookie candidates of the year for most of the season.
According to Vegas Insider, Barnes entered Friday with the second-best odds for winning the award behind Cleveland Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley, while Wagner has the fourth-best behind Mobley, Barnes and Detroit Pistons guard/forward Cade Cunningham. Odds were.
“It’s a special group,” Mosley said of the 2021 draft class, which includes Magic rookie Jalen Suggs, the No. 5 pick in the draft.
Suggs missed his ninth game in a row due to an injury to his right ankle bone. Wendell Carter Jr. also sat for the fourth time in five games with a left wrist sprain.
“There’s a spirit and energy about the way they play the game,” Mosley added about the rookie class. There is a competitive spirit about each and every one of these people. They want to win. They want to compete. It’s actually shown with a lot of these guys. ,
Without Wagner, the Magic (20–58) lost their fifth consecutive game to finish at the bottom of the league standings.
The Raptors (45-32), who entered Friday with the league’s best defensive turnover rate, scored 32 points from Orlando’s 21 turnovers.
Six Toronto players scored more than 10 points, including Fred VanVleet (19 points, 5 steals, 5 rebounds and 3 assists).
Mo Bamba had 15 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks. Markel Fultz recorded 12 points (5 of 13), 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals in 20 minutes.
Devin Kennedy, who signed a 10-day contract with the team’s G League team – the Lakeland Magic – on Thursday, scored 9 points on 28 minutes shooting 3-of-7 beyond the arc.