The Orlando Magic are likely going to pick with the 15th pick in the upcoming NBA Draft. We begin examining the players the Magic could target.
The NBA world has stopped. The Orlando Magic’s season was put on hold for the virus and everything within the league — from when games will resume to the calendar — is in complete flux.
In many ways, the NBA world has not stopped. Time still marches on and franchises around the league are always preparing for the current season as much as they are preparing for the future.
While nobody yet knows when the NBA Draft will take place, the success of both the WNBA and NFL’s virtual draft certainly suggests the draft will take place at some point. Even if the NBA does not pick back up, players have to know whether they should prepare to join a NBA team in the fall or winter or go back to school.
Most NBA teams are already in summer mode in many ways. Magic coach Steve Clifford said he has been reviewing tape with his coaches and studying his team as if he were preparing to make offseason adjustments.
While president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman is surely devoting time and energy to preparing the AdventHealth Practice Facility to reopen for players and keeping up with his own players, he is also likely preparing for the draft.
Monday was the deadline for early entrant candidates to apply for the NBA Draft. More than 200 players declared their intent to enter the NBA Draft (they can still withdraw, although deadlines with the NCAA are still up in the air).
With that announcement too, the league has reportedly set up some ground rules for contacting prospects. There will not be any in-person workouts, but it seems possible that teams can watch players workout virtually or conduct some type of workout digitally.
The NBA Draft Lottery probably will not take place May 19 — the season likely will not be over by then — but the NBA Draft process is moving forward.
For the Magic, this figures to still be an important draft. Orlando will likely pick 15th or 16th depending on where the team finishes in the final standings. It is virtually the same spot the team drafted last year.
With little cap room once again this offseason, it again feels like this will be a player the Magic have to find some value in to add to the roster. Especially with the Magic adding another rookie in Chuma Okeke after deferring last year’s draft pick.
The Magic are always looking to add to the roster. Of course, draft philosophies vary and there is something to be said for taking the next best available player regardless of team needs.
Weltman’s drafting philosophy certainly favors physical length, but he has also proven he is not afraid to take the best player on his board and give them ample time to develop using the G-League.
But most fans would say the Magic are not doing a good job with this draft if they do not come out of it with a guard. There might be some kernel of truth to that. The Magic certainly could not afford to defer another draft.
We have begun to put together our board at Orlando Magic Daily.
This is your inside take on the Magic’s draft needs, pick selections and scouting reports as we continue our early stages of draft review.
We have identified nine potential first-round targets the Magic can land at pick 15.
These rankings are building off of our previous reports looking at the top of the draft (where there are at least some people who think the Magic could trade up), the shooters in the draft and even some of the dark horse players the Magic could reach for or get.
We will be revisiting the draft more and more as we arrive closer to draft night. A list of my top 71 right now is available here as a Google Doc. I will update it more as we get closer to the Draft.
Up first are our point guards.