Jalen Suggs Scouting Report

Jalen Suggs
Selected fifth overall by the Orlando Magic, Jalen Suggs was arguably the best pure point guard in the 2021 NBA Draft. (Photo courtesy of Gonzaga Athletics)

Though the Magic were already well stocked with guards, the team had to be pleased that Suggs fell to No. 5 overall in the NBA Draft.  There is so much to like about Suggs, the best pure point guard in the 2021 draft class.  He is an excellent all-round athlete, who also has a high basketball IQ.  He is tough and scrappy, and yet graceful with the ball in his hands.  Perhaps most importantly, he is a proven winner, who led his high school (Minnehaha Academy) to multiple state championships, three in basketball and one in football.  This past season as a freshman, Suggs also helped Gonzaga (31-1) win the West Coast Conference (WCC) with an undefeated record, with the Zags’ only loss coming in the NCAA Championship game.  Individually this season, Suggs collected numerous honors, including an All-WCC First-Team selection, a Consensus All-America Second-Team selection, and the WCC Rookie of the Year award.

Position:Point GuardTeam/Class:Gonzaga (Fr.)
Birthday:06/03/2001Nationality:United States
Shot Hand:RightStats:Click here

Suggs is a true two-way threat.  On offense, the Minnesota native has a dynamic handle and plenty of moves to create shots or attack the rim.  He can score at all three levels, but he is equally dangerous as a passer, featuring a quick mind, exceptional vision, and passing accuracy.  On defense, the freshman’s ability to quickly read and react is on full display; he is not only a tenacious on-ball defender but also a premier ballhawk. Additionally, he is a very good rebounding guard, a skill that allows him to convert opponents’ misses into transition points.  

There are a few areas where Suggs will need to improve to become a star at the next level, mainly his jump shooting and his ball security.  When shooting off the catch, his release is slow due to dipping the ball before starting his upward motion, and his release is typically low on all types of jumpers.  Additionally, his 88 total turnovers on the season were the 18th most in Division I, though he did have very good numbers in terms of assists (4.5 per game) and A/T ratio (1.55).  


  • High IQ on both ends of the court; has great vision and anticipation, and reacts quickly
  • A shot creator; this season, ranked at the 97th percentile for PPP in isolation, and at the 93rd percentile as an off-dribble jump shooter in the half court
  • A triple threat with an ideal combination of court vision, passing accuracy, and ability to make difficult passes, including no-look and full-court connections; ranked at the 86th percentile for points and assists per possession
  • On and off the ball, a good finisher around the rim, able to use either hand, absorb contact, and maneuver in the air; ranked at the 97th percentile for PPP with runners and floaters and at the 59th percentile for all other shots around the basket in the half court
  • Efficient scorer, ranking above the 50th percentile for PPP on all play types, and shooting 50.3 percent from the floor
  • Rebounding and transition offense; averaged 5.3 rebounds per game, and in transition, ranked at the 72nd percentile for points and assists per possession
  • Gets to the free-throw line regularly (3.8 FTA per game), and a solid foul shooter (FT% of 76.1)
  • An excellent all-around defender; averaged 1.9 steals per game (1st in WCC and 11th in the nation), ranked at the 84th percentile for overall defense (PPP allowed), and had a defensive rating of 90.8 (best in the WCC)
  • Scraps and hustles
  • A proven winner and an all-around producer; finished among the top seven in the WCC for win shares, plus-minus, and PER


  • Slow and low release on jumpers is problematic, especially when catching and shooting; made just 33.7 percent of his 3-point attempts, and ranked at the 39th percentile on half-court catch-and-shooter jumpers (23rd percentile when guarded)
  • Must improve ball security; had a high turnover rate (20.5%), which put him at the 16th percentile among players with at least 100 possession this season
  • Quick on the pull up, but needs to become more effective with midrange jumpers; made just 6 of 17 (35%) jumpers inside 3-point line in the half court
  • Balanced in terms of direction, but can struggle driving to the right; made 64 percent of shots driving left, but only 33 percent going right
  • Lack of length limits his ability to block shots (averaged just 0.3 blocks per game)
  • Aggressiveness can lead to foul trouble; averaged 2.6 fouls per game, and his 78 personal fouls were the third most in the WCC

Sources, Credits, and Acknowledgements  

Stats used in our scouting reports come from Synergy Sports Technology, RealGM.com, and Sports-Reference.com.  Other outside sources are noted with links to the source.  Click here to see the statistical abbreviation key.


  • Richard C. Harris

    Richard has worked as a sports writer/editor/scout/analyst since 1998. He has been credentialed for a variety of special events and games by the NBA, the NFL, the G League, and numerous college athletic programs and conferences. He has contributed to various magazines, radio shows, and a number of other sites, including ESPN.com, SI.com, and USAToday.com. Richard is the former CEO of FantasyFootballExperts.com and a former member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA). An active member of the US Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), Rich is currently the Managing Director at Hoops Prospects, a site that specializes in evaluating potential pro basketball talent. Follow on Twitter @HoopsProspects.

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