The Orlando Magic’s pick
There are a lot of different directions the Orlando Magic could go in this draft.
The first place they could go is up. The Magic are reportedly looking to move up. And the best way this team can create some change is to make sure they get the player they like in this draft while adding a veteran to help replace whomever they trade to get there. That would theoretically help set this team’s future up while also maintaining their position as a playoff-caliber team.
But, of course, that gets to the issue of: Who are the Magic trying to pick? What are they trying to get out of this draft?
That is a much more complicated question.
There is an obvious need to fill out the Magic’s backcourt. They have questions about their backup point guard spot. And now with James Ennis opting out, there is an immediate need to find a starting-caliber small forward.
From a skills perspective, the Magic desperately need shooting. They also need primary creators badly. Getting that kind of a star in this Draft is difficult.
But that kind of mindset should be what the Magic are looking for. They need someone who has a skill that adds to the team while also finding someone who has the potential to do more.
A lot of people are speculating the Magic could target a point guard no matter what. But some of that is also about a lack of faith in Markelle Fultz and his development. The Magic likely do not share that lack of faith.
Still, a point guard makes sense. Especially if they can play alongside Fultz and add something to the team.
Orlando talked all last year about playing with pace and picking things up. If that is truly how the Magic want to play, then having multiple ball handlers capable of pushing the pace could be what finally pushes this Magic offense into overdrive.
The Magic have focused on intangible skills in the Draft, believing they can develop skills to help the team. So why not draft speed?
Kira Lewis is the fastest on-court player in this draft. He is really good at getting the ball and going, hopefully bringing along some friends in the process. He is a creative finisher when he gets to the basket.
While that speed is not elite — he is no De’Aaron Fox or John Wall — it should be more than enough to get the job done for the Magic as they look to get out in transition more and more. He shot 36.6-percent from beyond the arc last year, but his 80-percent free throw percentage suggests his shooting will come. Especially if he does not have to be the primary ball-handler and attacker all the time.
Every pick at this stage will carry the risk of bust potential. At the least, Lewis will be able to fill in admirably as a backup point guard who will keep the Magic moving fast. If Mohamed Bamba will remain the backup center, having a springy point guard next to him could help him attack the paint more and get more out of his development.
Lewis would be a solid pick at this point in the draft. If the rumors are correct, the Magic are aiming to move up to take him anyway.