If you ask eight out of 10 mock drafters, it is pretty clear what the Magic will probably do with the fourth pick in the Draft. That would be select Dante Exum. You will probably find one who suggests Marcus Smart and another that favors Noah Vonleh and drafting a point guard with the 12th pick.
For all intent and purposes, it is feeling safe to assume the Magic will select Dante Exum with the fourth pick. That is the assumption this post will work under.
Because that makes the options at No. 12 a little bit more interesting.
Orlando could take a player that fits a need such as a shooter like Nik Stauskas, Doug McDermott or Rodney Hood. The team could use the pick to trade up and get one of the star athletes that seem to be settling in at the 6-10 spot in the draft like Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh or Julius Randle.
Or they could use it on a European player to stash away?
Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reports the Magic may not look to bring in a player they can use right away with that second first round lottery pick:
They have a closet full of young guys, so much so that there is talk here in Italy that the #12 might be used on a “draft and stash” guy. The Magic want to be a playoff team next year and bringing two or three rookies in, may not help them achieve that. I believe Arron is more valuable to them as a veteran and efficient score than he is in trade, unless he returns rookie scale veterans — guys in their third or fourth year. Not saying they won’t deal Arron to move around, because I know that they would, but they do not feel “urgency” to move Arron.
It is an interesting idea. There are some very talented international prospects that would be available at the 12 range, including Croatian forward Dario Saric and Bosnia & Herzegovinian center Jusuf Nurkic. There is no word whether either of these players would come straight to the NBA or would be willing to continue playing and developing in Europe until they can be brought over to the NBA. But they are both very talented and will find a spot in the NBA if they want it.
Magic fans likely do not like hearing the stash idea after the experience with Fran Vazquez nearly 10 years ago. He made one trip to Orlando — the day after the Draft — and was never heard from again in The City Beautiful. That might still make the franchise a little gun shy.
What is becoming clear is the Magic are not likely to part with Arron Afflalo without getting a quality asset in return and that there are numerous options with the 12th pick the team can exercise. A lot can change between now and June 26 so the Magic might scrap these plans in favor of something else or find that the player they really wanted falls to them at 12.
If the goal is to be a Playoff team next year, as Kyler suggests, then the Magic have to remain flexible to whatever route presents itself in the next two weeks.