The Magic did not win the Lottery. In fact, they probably have company now when it comes to the luck department at the NBA Draft Lottery.
No, Nick Gilbert did not show up but the Cavaliers still managed to beat the odds and win the Lottery for the third time in four years. Kyrie Irving and Anthony Bennett will have company as No. 1 overall picks with the Cavaliers. The Bucks will pick second followed by the 76ers.
That leaves the Magic as the team left out and jumped over to get the Cavaliers into the top three. Orlando will draft fourth and 12th, a pick received from Denver as part of the Dwight Howard trade.
“We would have liked to have seen the highest number possible for us – all of the teams would – but we like where we’re sitting and we feel like we can get a good player,” Magic general manager Rob Hennigan told OrlandoMagic.com. “We feel like we have our work cut out for us these next couple of weeks to figure out who that (best player is), but we do like where we’re sitting.”
There is a tinge of disappointment for sure. A tough season of losing appears to have left the Magic with nothing to show for it. This ia d eep draft class and has some very good players at the top. The Magic though will not get the choice among those top players — Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid and Dante Exum. That choice could be made for them.
Orlando will still do their homework though and make the most educated and best decision for the franchise. It just may not be the franchise-altering player everyone hoped for.
That is what happens when you play the Lottery, sometimes you lose — actually, most of the time you lose.
Orlando will still get a very good player, whether that is one of the four mentioned or Julius Randle or Noah Vonleh or Marcus Smart. There are good players in this Draft.
And the Magic have that second lottery pick to spend too. That could turn into Aaron Gordon or Tyler Ennis or a whole host of other players. There is still a lot of work to do.
The rebuild was never going to be easy. It is still not anywhere near easy. The team will have to maximize its draft picks and continue to collect assets and put together a good team. This is just one piece to that puzzle.
At least the path becomes a little bit clearer with the Draft Lottery completed.