Orlando Magic 2020 NBA Draft Big Board 2.0: One week to go

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R.J. Hampton
R.J. Hampton’s difficult year in Australia has him slipping through the cracks and falling to the Orlando Magic. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images) /

The Magic’s targets at 15


Aaron Nesmith G/F

Vanderbilt Commodores Basketball
Vanderbilt Commodores Basketball /

Scouting Report

The players on this slide are the players the Orlando Magic are probably hoping for and targeting if they stay at No. 15. And there is probably no bigger dream scenario than Aaron Nesmith falling to them.

Nesmith checks off a lot of boxes for the Magic. He is not a hulking or length freak like the players the Magic have draft previously. But he does have a positive wingspan and that certainly plays in his favor.

The main thing Nesmith does and does very well is shoot. He made 52.2-percent from deep last year and 41.0-percent for his two-year career at Vanderbilt. Adding to the lore was the way he scored those threes. Last year especially, Jerry Stackhouse ran a lot of NBA sets for Nesmith and he proved adept at running off screens and finding space to get his shot off.

The biggest downside to Nesmith is that he broke his leg last December. It will have been more than a year since he last played when he arrives to whatever team drafted him. There are always concerns about rust and conditioning. Nesmith might not make the immediate impact everyone would hope for a shooter.


R.J. Hampton G

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Scouting Report

R.J. Hampton was one of the top high school players in the class of 2019. If he had gone the traditional route and played well in college, he would be someone considered among the top picks in the Draft. Instead, he opted to play in Australia and turn pro. He struggled a bit playing in the new environment and his draft stock plummeted.

But all that talent is still there. And he still showed enough flashes of it in contributing to his team, the New Zealand Breakers, to make someone believe in him. Hampton is the kind of high-upside swing a team drafting at No. 15 should be taking.

Hampton has a great first step and can get to the basket whenever he wants. He still needs to improve finishing through contact and passing out of those drives. But this is always something a team can build upon.

So too is his reported improvement as a shooter. His outside shooting was poor in Australia. But he reportedly spent his quarantine/hiatus working with Mike Miller and the reports are encouraging, even if he is not a reliable shooter out of the gate.


Kira Lewis Jr. PG

Alabama Crimson Tide Basketball
Alabama Crimson Tide Basketball /

Scouting Report

The Orlando Magic have put their draft focus on intangibles and things no one can teach. Orlando has long believed it can teach young players to shoot and add skills through player development. They look for players who have something measurable — like length — that they can mold how they want.

So it makes sense to me that in this year’s draft they need to focus on another intangible skill. And I think it makes a lot of sense to focus on speed — especially as the team continues to try to promote pushing the pace and speeding things up offensively to make up for the team’s lack of shooting.

There may not be a player at the top of this draft with more raw speed than Kira Lewis. That is his intangible skill. And while it is not elite speed — like John Wall or De’Aaron Fox, for instance — it is still more than enough to make some ground and make an impact.

Lewis is a decent shooter — 36.6 percent from three in college and 80.2-percent from the foul line — and he did a good job controlling pace and scoring around the basket to hit 18.2 points per game. More importantly, Lewis gives the Magic a skill set they do not otherwise have. That might be the most important thing.


Cole Anthony PG

North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball
North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball /

Scouting Report

Cole Anthony is in a similar spot to R.J. Hampton. He was one of the top recruits in the class of 2019 and seemed destined to be a high lottery pick. But he struggled at North Carolina — even playing through a torn meniscus at one point — and teams soured on him.

Again, with the 15th pick, if there is a player with star potential, they have to consider him and consider him deeply. Players slip through the cracks. They may have picked the wrong college situation.

Anthony still put up numbers — 18.5 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game and 5.0 assists per game — but he was very inefficient. Something was just off with him as he tried to carry a poor North Carolina team.

Still, all the skills are there. He has a good first step and can get into the lane and finish with contact. He had to shoot a lot off the dribble, and there is at least some suggestion he would be a better spot-up shooter. He has to improve his passing consistency, but he can make some incredible passes as a lead guard.

Anthony has the size and the talent the Magic are certainly looking for and should be strongly considered for this pick.