The Orlando Magic will have a lot of options when the NBA Draft comes around. And there will be a lot on the line when it is their turn to pick.
The Orlando Magic season has been over for roughly two weeks. The playoffs are moving into the conference finals. And the offseason is becoming a real thing.
This is usually the time of the NBA calendar where teams are in overdrive in their draft preparations. The Lottery usually takes place over the NBA Draft Combine. And in the NBA Draft takes place usually the week after the NBA Finals takes place.
Buildings around the league would usually be bustling with the entrance and exit of prospects crisscrossing the country to workouts and interviews.
Of course, everything is quiet right now. The Draft has been postponed to November 18. Nobody knows when players will be available for workouts. If interviews are taking place, they are doing so over Zoom and not in person.
The extra time might lead to some restlessness in front offices.
Teams were preparing for a June NBA Draft. Instead, they will had to wait five extra months.
The reality of this was evident when Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said the team had already sorted the draft class into tiers ahead fo the Draft. The team has already done a lot of its homework on the Draft.
There will still be some rank ordering that goes on. But it feels like much of the Magic’s draft work might already be done. Everyone is just waiting for the draft to take place.
But Orlando will be using this offseason as a chance to retool too. After a second straight year at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff picture and a second straight five-game gentlemen’s sweep, it feels clearer than ever the Magic need to make changes to get to their next step and advance their franchise.
Making the playoffs should not be enough. Although it might have been enough the past two years after six years struggling to win 30 games. Orlando could very well be one of the more active teams as it tries to map a way forward.
With Jonathan Isaac out for the entire 2021 season, the Magic are going to have to figure out how to build depth and fill in his minutes while still setting themselves up for the future. This balance will not be easy. Especially if the team wants to make changes.
To be sure then, draft night is going to be a big one for Orlando. The team needs to hit on its draft pick — wherever it lands — and be active in the trade market to find ways to improve the team and push its way forward.
A lot is on the line.
For now, it is time to dive back into the draft class and assess where the Magic might be looking to move up to and which players they should be targeting.
We last did a mock draft in June during the week the NBA Draft was supposed to take place. A lot has changed since then. The Draft order is set in stone after the Lottery. And a lot will still likely change depending on how the rest of the NBA Playoffs play out — this is a copy cat league.
So now we will look at a mock draft with a special eye on some of the moves the Magic could make and where they could sniff out some opportunity.
We will not simulate trades and run the mock draft as if everyone will keep their picks. However, we will note where the Magic might have opportunities to make deals and move around and what it might take to do so.