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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The Guys at the Top

There are some intriguing players at the top of this draft that could help anyone.

Georgia Bulldogs guard Anthony Edwards is widely considered to be the top player in this draft. He averaged a little more than 19 points per game in college as a dynamic attacker and scorer. He can hit from the outside, but he is not a knock-down shooter.

He worked mostly this season on the ball. And the question is whether he can be a dominant scorer at the NBA level. He certainly has the athleticism and craftiness to get to the basket to do so.

This draft is full of a lot of centers and power forwards too. A spot the Magic seem to be pretty full of.

Dayton Flyers forward Obi Toppin helped the Atlantic-10 school jump into the top four. He would have been in store for a big tournament after averaging 20.0 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game.

Toppin is extremely athletic, breaking out tricks on several breakaway dunks throughout the year. He is a hard roller to the rim and has shown a willingness to take 3-pointers and step outside the lane.

His athleticism stands out. But his lack of size and still-improving jumper makes it hard to see him as a center in the league, but he is not quite a modern 4 either.

Players like LaMelo Ball and James Wiseman have incomplete profiles. The NCAA declared Wiseman ineligible after playing only a few games with the Memphis Tigers. And Ball withdrew from his team in Australia in mid-January after playing only 12 games.

So there is a lot of incomplete and flawed players even at the top. That could create some opportunity if there are players the Magic specifically want to target.

Among the top guys, Ball is interesting as a bigger point guard. But his poor shooting — 24.7 percent for the Illawarra Hawks in Australia — makes him less than ideal for the Magic.

They could look at someone like Israel’s Deni Avdija. The 6-foot-8 forward continues to improve as a shooter, getting better especially in spot-up situations. His primary skill is as a scorer but he still has a lot of refining to go in his game to make good on his varied potential.

But he is one of the most well-rounded players in this draft. And unlike many others, he is excelling for one of the top teams in the world in Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Auburn Tigers forward Isaac Okoro could also be a good option in this spot.

Isaac Okoro stepping in to take Chuma Okeke’s spot last year, averaging 12.9 points per game. He has ideal size and is known more for his defense. But, yes, he shoots worse than 30-percent on 3-pointers. He would be another project at the forward spot to work on to become even just a 3-and-D defender.

That is kind of the story of this draft. Throw in an unusually large group of power forwards and centers, and this draft is not the most appetizing for a team like the Magic at the very top.

However, there are some good options for the team in the middle of the first round that they could look to acquire.

There is little difference it seems between many of the top picks and not a hard line between the guys at the time and the guys the Magic could pick at No. 15. Certainly not if the goal is for them to come in and fill a role early on in their careers.

Next. Orlando Magic Daily Mailbag: Nothing else to do. dark

The Magic have to pick which way they will go with their team. And they have plenty to consider as the draft draws closer.