Orlando Magic Rumors: Markelle Fultz will not interview with Orlando Magic

Jan 29, 2017; Tucson, AZ, USA; Washington Huskies guard Markelle Fultz (20) reacts to a call during the second half against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center. Arizona won 77-66. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2017; Tucson, AZ, USA; Washington Huskies guard Markelle Fultz (20) reacts to a call during the second half against the Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center. Arizona won 77-66. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic will not get an interview with Markelle Fultz at the NBA Draft Combine, according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel.

Likely top overall prospect Markelle Fultz will not meet with the Orlando Magic during this week’s NBA Draft Combine, a source tells Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.

Robbins reports Magic officials wanted to interview Fultz, one of the two expected top-10 candidates appearing at the NBA Draft Combine this week for interviews, but the team was not granted an interview.

Teams make requests of the NBA for players they would like to interview using one of the 20 30-minute interview slots for the next few days at the Combine. Either the NBA did not grant the Magic’s request or, as has been rumored but unconfirmed, Fultz decided not to interview with the Magic.

Fultz was expected to go through eight interviews at the NBA Draft Lottery this week. Many of them included teams in the top-10. It seems the targets for him were teams on the West Coast, teams in the top three or big markets.

It certainly is not encouraging Fultz will not interview with the Magic, who own the fifth-best odds at winning the NBA Draft Lottery (an 8.8 percent chance).

Fultz is largely considered to be the top prospect in this year’s Draft. If the Magic win the Lottery or land in the top three, they are likely to get an individual workout and interview with him then. And that sit down will be much longer and more involved.

In the long run, it may not be a big deal the Magic did not get to Fultz in Chicago. It may be irrelevant if the Magic fall out of the top three anyway. Fultz will likely go int the top two picks in the Draft if not the top pick overall.

Fultz averaged 23.2 points per game, 5.9 assists per game and 5.7 rebounds per game for the Washington Huskies last year.

If the Lottery goes the Magic’s way, they will get their shot at interviewing Fultz down the road. These 30-minute interviews are more informal and a getting to know you type interview rather than a more serious sitdown that would happen with the individual workout.

Interim general manager Matt Lloyd told Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel these interviews are relatively informal and are not the answer. But they serve as a good introduction for the team to the prospects.

"“We try to keep it really conversational and in that very limited time try to get a real good sense of the player’s personality,” Lloyd told the Orlando Sentinel. “Are they energetic? Are they engaging? How do they approach the interview? Are they nervous? We try to keep it real conversational, real easy and free. An open conversation. We have a set of things that we look for — some proprietary stuff. But generally, we keep it real light and real fun.”"

With so few to prospects available at the NBA Draft Combine — Fultz is essentially in Chicago just for these limited interviews and will not speak to the media Thursday — the Magic were largely expected to focus their attention on players they could pick at 25 or 35 in the NBA Draft.

The team interviewed six prospects at the Combine on Wednesday, according to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. Robbins reports the Magic spoke to Kentucky Wildcats shooting guard Hamidou Diallo, UCLA Bruins power forward TJ Leaf, Baylor Bears power forward Jonathan Motley, Creighton Bluejays center Justin Patton, South Carolina Gamecocks guard Sindarius Thornwell and Michigan Wolverines center Moritz Wagner.

Leaf, Motley, Patton and Thornwell are potential first round picks and options for the Magic late in the second round if they slip.

I profiled Leaf and Thornwell in the top five players the Magic should watch at the NBA Draft Combine. Motley is a bull of a power forward who picked up rebounds left and right for the Bears this season. Patton averaged 12.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game for Creighton this year.

Hamidou Diallo did not play this year for Kentucky and many believe he will return to Kentucky. He is merely testing the waters and likely will pull out before the NCAA’s final deadline to return to school. Diallo is a talented player, but likely still needs time to play and gain experience.

Moritz Wagner averaged 12.1 points per game for Michigan this season after seeing his minutes nearly triple after his freshman year.

The Magic will continue doing their homework and getting their first sit down with these prospects.

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While they did not get to sit down with the top guy they wanted to, the Magic are still doing their work this week as the Draft Combine continues. They are expected to have 14 more interviews with prospects in the coming days.