The Orlando Magic announced that guard Cole Anthony will not play Saturday against the Milwaukee Bucks because of a sprained right ankle.
Even though the Magic have struggled as a team overall with a 4-12 record, Anthony has been one of the most pleasant surprises in the NBA thus far. He is averaging 19.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game with a 36.6 three-point percentage in 16 games.
Anthony missed 25 games during his rookie season because of a fractured rib. Injuries were one of the defining stories for Orlando in 2020-21, which helped prompt the front office to go all-in on rebuilding at the trade deadline.
Jonathan Isaac missed the year after tearing his ACL in August 2020, and Markelle Fultz tore his ACL against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan. 6.
Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Al-Farouq Aminu were all traded last season. Jalen Suggs, the No. 5 pick in the 2021 NBA draft, will be counted on to become a go-to star who can elevate the play of everyone around him to expedite the franchise's rebuild.
Suggs will be the most likely beneficiary of Anthony's absence against Milwaukee on Saturday, as he figures to be responsible for most of the ball-handling.
R.J. Hampton and Terrence Ross will likely be asked to play bigger roles as scoring guards for head coach Jamahl Mosley as well until Anthony is able to return.