Orlando Magic NBA Draft Preview: Few options at the top for Magic’s needs

Georgia Bulldogs guard Anthony Edwards is presumed to be the top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Georgia Bulldogs guard Anthony Edwards is presumed to be the top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Isaac Okoro, Auburn Tigers
Isaac Okoro has filled in as a versatile wing defender for the Auburn Tigers this year. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Teams are looking at the NBA Draft as the season’s hiatus continues. The Orlando Magic have plenty to consider including looking at the players at the top.

Thursday at noon passed without any fanfare. There were no squeaking of sneakers and the initial ruffling of brackets, everyone checking to make sure the results matched what they predicted.

For NBA teams like the Orlando Magic, there were no players to review and watch one final time. No final data points to tick off before teams really started to formulate their draft plans.

Even though the league is closing team practice and training facilities for the time being in response to the coronavirus pandemic, teams are still formulating their draft plans. The calendar does not stop. And while it is not certain the draft will even take place in June as scheduled, the draft will take place at some point.

According to ESPN, teams are indeed continuing their draft preparation. They may not have a Draft Combine to conduct final interviews or workouts to get that last bit of face time. Not in the near future at least. But they are still planning as if the draft will take place.

The Magic have a small benefit on this front.

Their “rookie” for next season is already within the program, so to speak. Chuma Okeke has been rehabbing with the Lakeland Magic all season. President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman has frequently updated his status and talked about the team’s excitement for him to join the squad next year.

But Orlando still has another draft pick to prepare for. With the team’s cap situation a bit in flux and its need to make some kind of change to the team. That is what the draft will do.

With so much of the draft — let alone the salary cap — in flux, it is hard to get a handle on the draft and how teams will approach it. This will be a time for front offices to trust their process and preparation to make a valuable selection with limited information.

The Magic are going to be stuck in a cap hole for a little while, especially considering the cap is likely going to decrease because of the suspension of the season and loss of revenue from China refusing to air NBA games.

Undoubtedly though, the Magic have needs they need to fill. And while trades can and must help the team improve, they will still need to supplement the team in some way. The draft is an easy way for the team to do this.

Weltman’s draft philosophy has always been to add a player that fits his vision. He has not really drafted based on need. But that may become a necessity this time around.

The Magic could also view another draft pick, especially with Okeke waiting in the wings, as a negative. The team is already pretty young as it is. The team might want to use the pick to add a veteran role player to help boost their playoff chances.

Either way, draft night will be important for a number of reasons. It is certainly a night the Magic have to get right.