The NBA Draft Lottery is only a few days away. The Orlando Magic will have the fifth-best odds at winning. Let’s now take a good look at the top prospects.
The Orlando Magic’s coaching search marches on. . . but quickly the Magic will have to start making some decisions. The offseason officially begins for the non-Playoff teams on Tuesday. The NBA Draft Lottery is here.
Without knowing the full draft order, a mock draft is probably still a bit premature. There is still no sense even of what the Magic are looking for.
And that is not just because the Magic do not have a coach at the moment. It is hard to get a sense of even the play-style they want to go with. The coach will have a lot to do with the direction this team wants to go.
This does not even get into the complete flux the roster remains in. It is clear the Magic are not going to bring back a lot of the same players either. That makes them something of a clean slate.
Everything is hard to judge right now.
Both president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and general manager John Hammond have a history of taking players with length and versatility. Hammond as the general manager of the Milwaukee Bucks took a chance on a young, raw Greek prospect named Giannis Antetokounmpo in the mid-first round and then took another long-limbed, supposedly defensive-minded center in Thon Maker, a reach at No. 10 two years ago.
Jonathan Isaac seems to be of that type. Maybe that informs the direction the team will go. But, really, no one knows what the Magic are thinking these days. And with it feeling like the Magic are going to start almost from scratch, just about any need is on the table.
Mock drafts are having a hard time getting a handle on what the Magic want to do too.
ESPN’s Lottery Machine has the Magic taking Deandre Ayton if they win the Lottery. Brendon Kleen of FanSided has the Magic taking Trae Young at No. 6. It seems like there are any of four or five players the Magic could take, even if they end up where they are meant to at No. 5.
Come Tuesday, the Magic will have 88 chances out of 1,000 to win the NBA Draft Lottery and a 29.1 percent chance to land in the top three.
Our Ricky Scricca came out with his big board three weeks ago. He has updated his list using his extensive study and his own statistical measures. His takes are definitely a bit different than the mainstream, although backed up very well.
That is at least a baseline for everyone to start with. As the NBA Draft Lottery creeps closer, it is clear there are some very good players in this year’s Draft. There appear to be at least six or seven players with clear star potential. But they all also seem to have a fatal flaw.
How the Magic order these players will be critical for their decision making obviously. But it will also be critical for the direction they want this team to go. This player will be a foundational piece — to go along with Jonathan Isaac and (probably) Aaron Gordon.
Finding that fit will also be a part of the team’s calculation.
A lot of the information and the differentiation between these prospects will come in interviews and workouts in the weeks to come. A lot of them feel that close.
So how would I order them entering the NBA Draft Lottery? Glad you asked . . .