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T-Minus 18 days until Lottery

We are in May which means the march to Secaucus is on ahead of the May 21 NBA Draft Lottery. That will air on ESPN at 8 p.m., so mark your calendars.

Beginning later on this month, the Magic and other teams around the league should begin bringing in draft prospects for interviews and individual workouts. There is also the NBA Combine in Chicago where teams around the league will get a close look at the top players in this year's Draft and continue doing their homework.

Likely the Magic are still breaking down and discussing the pros and cons of players all over the Draft and finishing up their evaluations of the top prospects. It is hard to do much projecting until we know where the Magic are picking. All we know is that the Magic are getting one of the top four picks in this year's Draft.

Not a lot has changed, but with less than two months before the NBA Draft, it would be good to keep track of who the Magic might take.

Our friends over at Hoops Manifesto have compiled a "Consensus" Mock Draft Big Board using the mock drafts and big boards released by several Draft sites. The top four are: Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Anthony Bennett and Otto Porter.

Noel has been the biggest riser since the NCAA Tournament. He has been out since February with a torn ACL, but nobody among the top picks were able to separate themselves. Noel is considered by many to have the most talent and highest upside in this Draft. He also is an absolute force defensively.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images/ZimbioI have my doubts, which I wrote about after the injury in February. We touched upon the upcoming Draft in the ELOOnline Podcast last weekend. I have the consensus draft's No. 2 player, Ben McLemore, as my top player on the board. His shooting ability is something the magic desperately need on the roster, and I think he can develop into a solid contributor. Not an All Star, which Noel might be if he comes back healthy and his defense translates, but a solid player. It is a safer pick, in my opinion.

Many Magic fans favor drafting a point guard and have Trey Burke high on their wish lists with Marcus Smart opting to return to Oklahoma State. Burke is seventh in the consensus Draft. He certainly could be in play if the Magic do not get one of the top three picks. There are already rumors that Orlando might prefer trading down and possibly pick him lower in the Draft.

Of course, the problem with trading down in this Draft is finding a team that will trade up.

There is obviously lots of evaluation to do before then. But we are in Lottery month for the Magic and we are just waiting for the ping pong balls to drop.

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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