Orlando Magic prepared however the NBA Draft Lottery goes down

Dec 6, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel looks onto the court during the third quarter against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center. Orlando Magic defeated Washington Wizards 124-116. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 6, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel looks onto the court during the third quarter against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center. Orlando Magic defeated Washington Wizards 124-116. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic are not nervous about the results of the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery. They feel confident they can succeed no matter where the chips fall.

There may be a fair amount of fidgeting on the stage for Orlando Magic coach Frank Vogel where the NBA Draft Lottery results are taking place.

Life as a coach is to have everything out of your hands. Well, almost everything. There is strategizing and preparation that goes into every game. But ultimately the players dictate how things go. A coach can always adjust.

This will be an entirely different sense of powerlessness for Vogel when he is awaiting results that may dictate his team’s future.

The actual Lottery will take place in a separate room well before the 8:30 p.m. ET broadcast of the NBA Draft Lottery on ESPN. Vogel and the other representatives on the stage are literally figureheads, simply there for show.

It is a bit. . . awkward.

The affable Vogel is taking the calm approach to this game of complete chance. He does not plan on bringing any lucky charms. He still has not decided whether he is keeping his freshly grown summer beard or if he may go clean shaven for the television cameras. But he will be there waiting word that would make a difficult season seemingly worth it.

Interim general manager Matt Lloyd is a bit more anxious for what is to come. One of his nephews bought him a fidget spinner in Magic blue to keep in his pocket as deputy commissioner Mark Tatum reads the results in the most dramatic fashion possible. What happens on that stage could make his job easier or a bit harder.

Still, the nerves over the Lottery are not getting to the Magic. Anything can happen during Tuesday’s drawing. And either way, the Magic feel like they are in a good position. They feel ready for whatever luck throws at them.

"“It’s exciting actually,” Lloyd told Orlando Magic Daily on Monday. “I’m not approaching it from the perspective of being nervous about it. I’ve been in situations where a team had a 1.7 percent chance of winning it and we won it. I’ve been in situations where we moved back. The anxiety is from opportunity as opposed to considering the worst-case scenario. We are going to consider all scenarios. Whatever happens happens. We will be very very prepared for the outcome in either direction.”"

Lloyd was a part of the Chicago Bulls’ front office in 2008 when the team had a 1.7 percent chance at winning the Lottery. The Bulls won the Lottery and selected Derrick Rose with the top overall pick.

He was, of course, also part of the Magic’s front office that had top-five picks in three consecutive years, but only improved or maintained their position once in that span. The Lottery can be cruel and it is purely random how the results unfold, despite its weighted odds.

This year’s draft promises to deliver a big prize to the winner. Markelle Fultz is the consensus top overall pick and a potential star in the making. And the controversial-not-by-his-fault Lonzo Ball is not too far behind him. After that, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, De’Aaron Fox, Dennis Smith Jr., Malik Monk, Jonathan Isaac and Frank Ntilikina all project to be solid contributors in the NBA.

The feeling around Magic circles is the results of the Lottery will not affect their preparations significantly. They will get a good player no matter where they pick.

"“The prospects that I’ve looked at, I really feel like if we are first or fifth or sixth, we’re going to get a good player,” Vogel told Orlando Magic Daily. “I really like this draft. I don’t know if there is the transcendent LeBron James-type of star, Shaquille O’Neal-type of star. But there are definitely good players at the top of this draft. If we move up, I’m going to feel great. If we don’t move up, I’m still going to feel really good.”"

Lloyd said, if anything, the Lottery results will provide some peace of mind of knowing where they are picking. It will give the team a clearer understanding of the options ahead of them.

There will be no more hypotheticals and game planning what to do should the team land, say, third in the Lottery or tumble to eighth. With the draft order set, there will be some certainty in the team’s preparations.

That has not stopped Orlando from going through its paces already. The Magic spent a good chunk of time at the NBA Draft Combine focusing on prospects they could take at No. 25 and No. 35 (possibly even No. 33 depending on where the Los Angeles Lakers’ pick lands in the Lottery.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

But Orlando did get a sit down with De’Aaron Fox. And the team followed that up by bringing Dennis Smith in for a workout and interview at the Amway Center on Monday.

Everything gets settled Tuesday. The team has done its legwork. Lloyd said the team has done its scouting and background research. They have broken the prospects down through their statistical models. The last components are getting the face time to understand the prospect’s personalities and seeing where the team’s opportunities lie.

That starts with finalizing the draft order.

This is a deep draft, Lloyd said. The opportunity the team created at the trade deadline to add an extra pick only adds to the excitement this draft brings.

But the real opportunity and the real chance to change the franchise comes at the top.

"“It’s a great opportunity for our organization,” Vogel told Orlando Magic Daily. “I hope I’m never up there again. I hope this is the one and only time I have to do this. The opportunity to move up or just to have a high pick if we don’t move up is going to mean a lot to our franchise and about future.”"

It is easy to get wrapped up in the chances of landing the top pick. That kind of pick can change the franchise. It is easy to say: “If the Magic win the top pick, what do they do?”

And for a team this high in the lottery pecking order, it is easy to let those visions run wild.

The Magic organizationally are not quite doing that. They are confident no matter how the ping pong balls fall they will get a player they can build around and grow with. There will be no fidgeting or fretting or nail biting or any nervous energy for them in that room.

Next: 2016-17 Orlando Magic Player Evaluations

Perhaps until the whole thing starts and fate begins to lay its cards. Then perhaps the nerves will take over and the possibilities for the future will begin to unfurl.