4 early options for Orlando Magic’s pick from the Chicago Bulls

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Davion Mitchell, Baylor Bears
Davion Mitchell shined in leading Baylor to the national championship. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic’s decision to trade away Nikola Vucevic at the deadline sent shockwaves around the NBA.

The instant reaction among the team’s fanbase was mixed, to say the least. But with Wendell Carter shining and two first-round picks to come this year, there is plenty of optimism for the future.

Having spent six years outside of the playoffs before 2018, nobody wants this rebuild to be a long one. Patience will be required, but acquiring Chicago’s 2021 first-round pick could accelerate the process considerably if the team makes the right selection.

The Orlando Magic are not only preparing for the top of the draft with their own pick. They are likely to get a second top-10 pick from the Chicago Bulls and have a second crack at getting an impact player.

It is no surprise to see Vucevic already having a decisive impact with the Bulls. In seven games in Chicago, he is averaging 22.7 points per game in 31.6 minutes per game, helping his new team win the last three games as they push for a place in the playoffs.

Acquiring the experienced center boosted their chances of making the postseason considerably. He and Zach LaVine have already shown glimpses of an effective partnership offensively as the team heads into a run of very winnable games.

Billy Donovan’s team currently sits 10th in the Eastern Conference with a 22-28 record, three games back from the eighth seed and four games back from the sixth.

A lot has would have to go in favor of the Bulls for them to avoid the play-in tournament, but it is not impossible. Barring a monster run though, 7-10 looks to be the most likely destination for the Magic’s Eastern Conference rivals this season.

This gives Orlando a fantastic opportunity to strengthen the team with, potentially, another lottery pick or someone just outside of the lottery. That is around the same place the Magic have taken Chuma Okeke and Cole Anthony in the last two years.

It is important to remember that while the Bulls being bad does benefit the Magic, they cannot be too bad given the top-four protection on the pick.

With the trajectory for Donovan’s team looking upwards rather than downwards, however, the danger of that happening does not seem too high (he says, bravely).

Here are four very early potential options for Orlando when it comes to that pick.