ORLANDO — The Orlando Magic’s opening session of NBA Summer League was all about a series of firsts.

It was the first practice held by Jamahl Mosley as the head coach of an NBA team. It marked the first official learning session in the league for Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner, selected fifth and eighth overall, respectively, by the Magic in the 2021 NBA Draft. And it noted the first time that core pieces Cole Anthony, Mo Bamba – who will practice with the team but not play in games – and R.J. Hampton took the floor with the aforementioned rookies and their new head coach.

“I really liked our first day,” said Mosley after the session. “The energy was fantastic. The guys were pushing each other (and had) a high-level of communication. We always talk about being a tough, talking, tied-together team and that’s what we did.”

The practice was a defensive-oriented one. And as Orlando’s 15th head coach in franchise history has emphasized from his first official day on the job, communication, attention to detail, and finding ways to cause organized chaos for the opposition were all key parts of the learning session.

“We’re laying the foundation for the team that we want to be,” Mosley said. “I keep going back to us growing together and laying the foundation for being a tough, talking, tied-together defensive team and a team offensively that plays with pace, space and the pass. I think that laying that foundation early is going to be the key for us.”

Learning that foundation as well as the speed of the game, understanding the team’s terminology, and digesting the coverages will all be areas of focus for the Magic’s two top-eight picks from this draft class over the next two weeks. While it’s hard to read too much into one practice, both Suggs and Wagner impressed their head coach with their energy and their ability to connect with teammates.

“I think there’s going to be a chemistry and good feel for one another,” Mosley said. “They’re empowering each other, they’re playing together, they’re willing to play with the pace, space and pass, and defensively, they’re doing the right things just being tied together.”

It was a special occasion for both rookies. Prior to catching the bus to head over to the Thomas & Mack Center, Suggs took a moment to sit back and reflect on embarking on the official start to his NBA career. His focus for the upcoming week is simple: soak up as much knowledge as possible and get to know his teammates and coaches.

“It was great,” the 6-foot-4, 205-pound combo guard out of Gonzaga explained. “Being back on the court again after a while, being around the team; it was super fun getting to run up and down and getting to know everybody, put faces to names, and actually be around people.”

Wagner, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound forward from the University of Michigan, shared similar sentiments to Suggs on his first day. Unlike many top-10 picks, who come into a team as the lone high-end selection of a particular draft class, Wagner and Suggs have the opportunity to go through this experience together. They’re also in a position where they have many other young pieces around them – seven additional players under 24 years of age – to help guide them along the way, on a path that they all recently traveled themselves.

“It’s great,” said Wagner, who averaged 12.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.25 steals and 1.04 blocks per game during his sophomore campaign with the Wolverines. “And honestly, it’s super cool that we have such a young group with Cole and R.J. here too. They both have one year under their belt and can help us already a little bit. It’s just super cool to have a lot of guys that are in a similar situation.”

The Magic will now go through three more days of practice before they tip off summer league game action against the Golden State Warriors on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. The goal will be to have the communication and connectivity that they’re building through these sessions carry over to that contest.

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