The Magic will find out where they will select in the 2013 NBA Draft on Tuesday night when the Lottery teams gather in New York for the annual Draft Lottery. Until then, all the organization can do is its homework.
At the NBA Draft Combine on Thursday and Friday, the Magic began the next phase of their homework getting the opportunity to interview and talk with the Draft prospects for the first time.
The Magic took advantage of that to its fullest extent early on. Yes, they talked to the top prospects as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reported. Both Ben McLemore and Nerlens Noel were on their Thursday night interview schedule. Both are confident that they will be the top pick in the Draft and that they can sell themselves to whatever team gets the number one pick.
The real meat of Rob Hennigan's work comes from interviewing the players lower down in the Draft. And here, we at least get a look at the Magic's early draft strategy.
At Thursday's Draft Combine, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reported the Magic had already interviewed Lehigh point guard C.J. McCollum and Texas point guard Myck Kabongo. Both are very skilled scoring point guards with lots of talent. Kabongo played only 11 games at Texas because of NCAA rules violations. McCollum missed most of his senior season at Lehigh with a broken leg (that he is fully healed from, he opted not to participate in the combine), but he was a prolific scorer for the Mountain Hawks.
Both of these players project to get drafted in the late lottery at the earliest. They are clearly not in the Magic's draft range.
However, the fact the Magic are interviewing these prospects suggests that they recognize a need at point guard. Jameer Nelson is getting older and Beno Udrih is not likely to get re-signed this offseason. Magic fans seem to favor Trey Burke for that top draft pick, but that may be a bit of a reach unless Orlando ends up with the fourth pick. There is still time for him to climb up draft boards though.
And it is still a very real possibility the Magic trade down. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel wrote that the Magic's Draft plans likely have not been completely hashed out. Tuesday's Draft Lottery should clear up the picture some.
Orlando is simply doing its homework. If the team opts to trade down, drafting a point guard like McCollum or Kabongo is a real possibility.
That is still a long way off though.