Orlando Magic Daily: B-
Let’s start with myself since I have not formally weighed in with my thoughts on the Magic’s draft.
As I noted above, and in the podcast with Zach Oliver of Orlando Pinstriped Post, a lot of the feelings many of us had about the Draft were born out of the expectations we had for the Magic’s 2018 season.
The going thought, based on everything the coaching staff and player said, was they all believed the Magic were closer to the Playoffs than their record indicated. It made everyone believe the team would still be pushing to make the 2018 Playoffs, although with much less urgency.
The thinking was the Magic would look at adding players with their four picks who could contribute fairly quickly. Especially with that sixth pick, the thought was Orlando could get a player with a high upside and the ability to contribute quickly.
The Magic, seemingly went the opposite direction, taking the biggest “risk” and “potential” player at the top of this draft in Jonathan Isaac.
With how everyone expected the Draft to play out, the Magic were essentially making a pick between Dennis Smith and Jonathan Isaac. And so taking Isaac was not a reach at all. In most senses, it is a perfectly sensible and acceptable pick. And it sets the Magic in motion for the rest of the summer and the near future.
Isaac’s fit remains a bit uncertain despite all his talent. He is still growing as a shooter, after making just 34.8 percent from beyond the arc. He is a more natural wing at the moment, but many still believe he will one day be a power forward. The same position as Aaron Gordon, the Magic’s other prized young player.
That question of fit prevents the Magic from getting the best grade they can get. In my estimation, there was a better player on the board who fit the teams needs better. I am also not as high on Isaac as a lot of others, his passiveness with the Florida State Seminoles really concerned me. He has the physical tools, but it will just take a lot of time.
As for Wesley Iwundu. I really like him. I think he can come in and make an impact immediately on defense. If his shot continues to develop, he should be able to carve out a role in the NBA.
What I did not like is how the Magic punted on their other picks. While they certainly could not bring four rookies to training camp next year, there should have been some opportunity to move up or even the chance to move back some in addition to retaining future assets. There were players I personally liked at 25 and 35.
But, at the end of the day, the Magic have more information than the public. So if that was the best they could do. . . I guess that is the best they could do. I would have done things differently and maybe played my hand slightly different. If they did not like anyone on the board at 25, waiting for the second round was the right call.
It was not a home run draft by any means. It was solid. But, ultimately, it did not live up to expectations.
Let’s see how the rest of the Web viewed the Magic’s Draft.