The NBA Draft is Thursday. The Orlando Magic have the sixth pick. Here is who they should consider.
The top of the 2018 NBA Draft is deep with diverse talent.
The quantity of likely starting-caliber big men raises concerns about those players’ future value as a surplus at that position already exists. But there is still a balance of high floor and high ceiling talent at multiple positions in this year’s lottery.
There are better positions to be in than the sixth pick (five, to be exact). But in this draft, there will still be multiple good options available.
The Orlando Magic have at most two players currently on their roster to keep in mind when making their selection: Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon. And even then, Aaron Gordon is about to hit restricted free agency and Jonathan Isaac missed 55 games his rookie year.
It is important to factor those two into the equation when forecasting what types of players might develop successfully in Orlando or fit intuitively in the future. But there is no reason to reach far down in the draft to select around those two.
At this point, Deandre Ayton going number one seems to be the only sure bet. After that, virtually every player in the top seven or eight has a chance to go at picks two or three or fall to the Magic at six. Who will be available with the 35th and 41st picks is even harder to predict.
So Orlando’s front office should keep their minds and options open.
Ideally, this is the draft where the Magic find a foundational piece. Philosophically, an upside swing makes sense. But that is not the only way this draft can be a success.
Like last time, rankings within tiers are fungible, but reaching below a tier to draft for fit is inadvisable.