Big backcourt decisions facing the Magic next season

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Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State Cowboys
Cade Cunningham is far and away the top prospect in this upcoming NBA Draft. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /

Draft Potential

The prospect of potentially drafting at least one high upside guard in the draft complicates things even further.

There are a number of ways this draft could go, from ending up with a top-four pick and another between 7-10, to losing the Chicago Bulls’ pick this year and landing only the seventh pick. The lottery could make or break the Magic’s future.

But for hypothetical purposes, let’s say Orlando ends up with Cade Cunningham or Jalen Suggs. Immediately they become a huge focus for the future, adding a fourth member to the point guard club, Michael Carter-Williams excluded, and leaving Steve Clifford with a big headache as to who gets minutes.

The Magic could conceivably even take two guards in the draft and further crowd the rotation.

Lottery picks are usually focused on taking the best available player, not necessarily what the team needs, and then figuring out the rest later. With Keon Johnson and Davion Mitchell forecast at the spots around where Chicago’s pick is expected to land, it is not outside the realms of possibility the Magic have five young point guards all needing time to grow on the court.

Even if the Magic were fine playing them together, that is a lot to manage.

In this situation, and even with four rather than five young guards, it is tough to see a situation where they all get the chances they need. The team would have to decide who is worth putting the most focus on based on who can get the team to challenge for a postseason spot and then consider their options with the rest.

Luckily, some of the guards in this draft and the ones already with the Magic can be considered combo guards. R.J. Hampton is certainly someone who could slot in at the two rather than the one spot, as could a Cade Cunningham or Jalen Suggs if the lottery is kind to the Magic. And Markelle Fultz despite his jump shot needing work to play at that position regularly.

But securing a spot at the two may not exactly be straightforward either.