The Orlando Magic will have options when the NBA Draft comes around in October. On the day the Draft was supposed to be held, here is our first mock draft.
Thursday was supposed to be the NBA Draft.
It is this time of year that we are usually beginning to think about how the Orlando Magic would solve all their problems after decompressing from the end of another season — this time with a second straight trip to the Playoffs. And we get to the difficult task of seeing how the team will shape.
For a team like the Magic with little cap room, the Draft is a critical time.
They can look to add talent through the draft or begin shaping the roster through trades. By this point, they would know if Evan Fournier was going to opt-out of his contract and what the team’s free agency outlook might look like.
The board for the offseason would be laid out. All Jeff Weltman would have to do is make the first move.
Of course, that is not the case this year. The coronavirus has put the entire season on hold. Only now is the league ramping up to get ready to finish off the season. And we are still one month away from games resuming.
The Playoffs will not begin until August 17. The Draft will take place shortly after Game 7 of the Finals, scheduled for October 13. It all still feels a long way off. October 16 is a lifetime away. And there is a lot to get to until then.
But the Draft is always an ongoing process. It never stops just because the season has. Teams are always evaluating and figuring out what they need to do.
Even though the Magic still have a lot of basketball to be played — at least 10 games left this season — they also have to have an understanding of what they need to do to improve their roster this year. Their plans for the offseason should already be set, only changing with whatever opportunities arise in the process.
That includes a careful understanding of their goals in the Draft. The Magic are indeed in a position where they could do just about anything.
This is not a Draft with a lot of top-end talent. But still, Orlando could use this as an opportunity to try to trade up and bring in one of the better players in this Draft. They could stand pat and find a quality role player. Or they could look to trade out of the Draft, hoping to package it into something they could use for next year.
In any scenario, this is a very big Draft day coming up.
At this point, we know the Magic’s m.o. They want players with length and versatility. Orlando has had a drafting philosophy under Weltman of taking the best player on their board and figuring they can teach skills.
The time to follow that strategy might be nearing an end. And the team already has Chuma Okeke waiting in the wings for his rookie year next season.
With all that in mind, it is time to take a more formal and early look at the Draft class. In honor of today being the original date for the NBA Draft, let’s do a mock draft. For the purposes of this exercise, we will not run a Lottery and seed teams by their order of finish when the season closed down.