With the NBA Draft just two days away, the Orlando Magic should be wrapping up their preparations and have a good idea of who they want to take come June 21st.
The Orlando Magic will make their sixth straight NBA Draft Lottery selection this week. It will be their fifth top-10 pick in six years too.
It is a time for desperation it seems for the Magic. So long outside of the Playoffs has left fans hungry to see the team succeed. And patience has grown thin — even though impatience has likely made the situation worse.
There is an instinct here to go for a player who can make an immediate impact and fit into a flawed but still talented roster.
There are holes to fill in many places — some more than others. But Orlando must fight that urge.
The team must make sure it picks the best player available on the board. The Magic should not go for a pick simply because it “fits”.
Taking the best player available is always the right approach to go with in the NBA Draft because trades are so easy to make. But quite simply, the team needs an injection of talent. And Orlando is not close to contending for a Playoff spot.
At this point, the Magic need to be more concerned with adding talent to the roster. Any logjams or misfits can be sorted out later.
For example, there were a lot of concerns among Magic fans on social media the team picking a player such as Michael Porter Jr. would not make sense due to the presence of Jonathan Isaac and Aaron Gordon, supposedly the Magic’s two building blocks.
But if the Magic front office genuinely feels Porter Jr. is the best prospect when they are picking at six, they need to pick him. There can always be a trade or a free agent signing to fill the other holes in this roster.
After all, the NBA Draft is simply about taking the best player possible that will benefit and impact your franchise the most.
Picking a player that is less talented just to fill a hole in the roster will not really improve the roster as much because that player may not pan out to be a type of player that can fill the hole that existed before the Draft. This has happened to the Magic in the past by trading Dario Saric for Elfrid Payton.
Rebuilding teams have made many decisions on draft night that seem peculiar at first. But in the long run, pan out to be a very smart decision. Collecting talent has proven itself more valuable than overvaluing players remaining on the roster for a losing team.
After all, picking a prospect likely locks that player to the franchise for around eight years. It is highly important to pick a player who will make a positive impact both on and off the court.
In the past, there have been many examples of NBA teams who drafted on need and later regretted it. The Portland Trail Blazers surely regret picking Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan, simply because they had Clyde Drexler.
That is an extreme, but a poignant example.
All in all, it is never a good idea to pass up on talent and settle by picking a lesser talented player just to fill a need in the roster. And the Magic are no exception.
For this Draft, they should ignore whatever needs they might have. They need everything and they need to take the best player available.