NerlensNoelUK_MoreheadSt051113

Nerlens Noel still the favorite, but Magic wanted Smart

Earlier this week, the NBA Draft's early entry deadline passed and the Draft Class for the 2013 draft was set in stone.

The Magic are patiently waiting their actual Draft position in two weeks at the NBA Draft Lottery on May 21. Next week, they will surely be one of the more active teams evaluating prospects and beginning the interview process at the NBA Draft Combine late next week in Chicago.

This, of course, is the end of the homework assignment and not the beginning. The Magic are (hopefully) wrapping up their evaluations and beginning to narrow down their list and the scenarios for review when it becomes Draft night.

Presumptively, Nerlens Noel is the No. 1 pick. In Chad Ford's latest mock draft, he has the Magic taking Noel as do many other Mock Drafts. Here is a run down of the Mock Drafts and Big Boards out there and who they have the Magic taking with the No. 1 pick:

Source Pick
Chad Ford, ESPN Nerlens Noel
NBADraft.net Ben McLemore
Draft Express Nerlens Noel
HoopsWorld Nerlens Noel

Except for limited instances, it seems just about everyone believe sthe Magic will take Noel, the supposed "best player on the board." Sheridan Hoops reported however that the Magic might only take Noel to try and package him and move down to select Ben McLemore or, if he is off the board, Trey Burke.

Of course, Orlando may not have been in this situation had Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart decided to remain in the Draft.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images/ZimbioChad Ford of ESPN.com reports the Magic had their hearts set on drafting Smart before he decided to withdraw his name and return to Stillwater, Okla. Ford writes:

According to sources, Orlando had its heart set on Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart until he broke its heart when he decided to stay in college. While the Magic need just about everything, point guard might be their biggest area of need. So, does Orlando roll the dice on Trey Burke or do they go after Noel, who gives the Magic something else they desperately need (shot blocking)?

Many Magic fans have pointed to the point guard position as a need the Magic need to address soon as Jameer Nelson's career starts to wind down and he no longer fits the team's long-term youthful vision. Smart averaged 15.4 points and 4.2 assists per game, shooting a 45.4 percent effective field goal percentage and posting a 21.1 percent turnover rate.

Smart clearly has some talent and put in some nice games at point guard. He needs to improve his passing and efficiency before makign the leap to the NBA. Then again, he could be one of those players that have the skills that translate to the NBA better with more talent around him than the slow-it-down college game.

There are several rumors involving the Magic and what they will do with their Draft pick already. The biggest rumor is that the Magic are targeting Ben McLemore and would be willing to trade that top pick to a team hoping to draft Nerlens Noel. If that plan does not work, the rumor is the Magic would take Trey Burke, fulfilling that point guard need.

Obviously, there is still a ton more work to do before the Draft and the actual selection is made.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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