Orlando Magic workouts continue in first week after Draft Combine

Feb 2, 2017; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears forward Ivan Rabb (1) scores against Utah Utes guard Lorenzo Bonam (15) during the first half at Haas Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 2, 2017; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears forward Ivan Rabb (1) scores against Utah Utes guard Lorenzo Bonam (15) during the first half at Haas Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic were busy at the Amway Center all week as they worked out several prospects throughout the Draft in the first week since the combine.

The Amway Center was busy this week.

The NBA Draft process is in full swing as the Orlando Magic had several prospects in town throughout the week. Most of these prospects are relatively nondescript. The Magic, after all, have four picks in this year’s Draft and a G-League team roster to fill. Teams go deep into the NBA Draft.

The only prospect of note for the sixth overall pick was Dennis Smith, whom the team made available to the media. Other than him, the Magic have made only UCF Knights center Tacko Fall available to the media. But they are still conducting workouts nearly every day.

Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders compiled an early list of players who have worked out for the Magic so far. The list is not the most impressive. Smith is the only player who is in the running for the sixth overall pick and went through an individual workout. Likely everyone else came in as part of a group.

There are still a few names to note here.

Utah Utes power forward Kyle Kuzma had an impressive showing at the NBA Draft Combine, perhaps able to cement himself into the first round of the NBA Draft. He averaged 16.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-9 power forward does not have much of an outside game to speak of — he hit on 27 of 84 3-pointers last year for the Utes.

DraftExpress currently projects Kuzma to go in the middle of the second round. He very well could continue to climb as he impresses with his physical tools and athleticism. That is a good reason for the Magic to have him in for a group workout. Surely he was one of the players they were zeroed in on during that workout.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward V.J. Beachem is another interesting prospect. He averaged 14.5 points per game for Notre Dame last year. Beachem shot 39.2 percent from beyond the arc in his four-year career at Notre Dame. He is not expected to be drafted, but is an intriguing mix of size and shooting. There is perhaps a belief he can continue to develop.

The final intriguing prospect that has been in town already is Kansas Jayhawks point guard Frank Mason. Mason averaged 20.9 points and 5.2 assists per game for the Jayhawks last year as it senior leader and heartbeat. At 5-foot-11, Mason is a bit undersized, which is probably why many suspect he will get drafted late in the second round.

But Mason is ready for the NBA as a senior from Kansas. He is consistent and knows how to manage a game. He would make a solid backup point guard or change-of-pace point guard to whoever drafts him.

The workouts will undoubtedly continue this week.

While there is no word of any of the top prospects ready to come in, interim general manager Matt Lloyd said they have made good progress contacting the top prospects and are hopeful they will have them all in. The process does drag out and it may not happen immediately. Lloyd said he feels his staff is ahead of the game on their prep work for these interviews. Now it is just a matter of getting them in.

With the Magic holding four picks in the draft, the prep work continues up and down the draft. Even into this weekend.

Saturday, the Magic had UCF sharpshooter Matt Williams for a workout. Gerry Woelfel of the Racine (Wis.) Journal Times reports the Magic will host California Golden Bears forward Ivan Rabb for a group workout Monday. Other reports say Purdue Boilermakers power forward Caleb Swanigan will also be a part of that workout.

UPDATE: Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports Rabb and Swanigan will work out for the Magic on Tuesday.

Williams is a sharpshooter, having made 38.4 percent of his 3-pointers last year on his way to 15.1 points per game and a 53.0 percent effective field goal percentage. The majority of his field goal attempts and makes last year came from beyond the arc.

DraftExpress currently rates him as an undrafted prospect. In fact, DraftExpress did not even bother to rank him at all.

In all likelihood, the Magic brought him in for a workout to get a better look at the local prospect. For sure, he should find a place on a Summer League team and possibly in the G-League if he does not want to play in Europe. His shooting will guarantee him a spot somewhere in professional basketball.

The more interesting candidates that will come through early next week are Ivan Rabb and Caleb Swanigan.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

Rabb averaged 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game last year for California. He was projected to be a lottery pick last year. His numbers stagnated last season and so he has slipped to late in the first round. He could very well still be a Lottery pick.

Rabb, at 6-foot-11, 220 pounds, has the size to play center. He is not the prototypical athletic rim protector the NBA likes now, but he has a solid base and is tough to move.

If he is working out Monday for the Magic, he would go against Caleb Swanigan, another big-bodied center. Swanigan was the Big Ten’s Player of the Year, averaging 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Swanigan has worked hard through his three-year college career to lose weight. He is projected as a second-round pick, but it is hard to see what more he can gain from returning to Purdue.

To be sure, he will prove a formidable opponent going up against Rabb. These individual workouts are his opportunity to impress. And Rabb, for sure, has to show off against players like Swanigan in workouts to improve his standing.

The next big deadline on the calendar is Wednesday when the NCAA sets its deadline for players to withdraw from the Draft without losing NCAA eligibility. That will be a big turning point as the final list of college prospects are set.

Next: Yes, the Orlando Magic were losers on Lottery Night

The Magic have clearly kept themselves busy as they work out several prospects throughout the Draft. They are not leaving any stones unturned as they make their assessments for the June 22 Draft.