Orlando Magic Daily Mock Draft Version 1.0: Postseason run through

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Jonathan Kuminga, G-League Ignite
Jonathan Kuminga had a strong showing in the G-League’s bubble. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic did the job.

When they traded away their three top scorers at the trade deadline in Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier, it was clear what direction they were headed. They put rookies and young players on the court and quickly held out veteran players with seemingly minor injuries.

The team was still trying to win. But it was a very uphill climb for the team to get there. Indeed, winning proved difficult in the final days of the regular season. The Magic landed exactly where they expected to in the end.

On the final day of the season, the Orlando Magic took a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers to guarantee themselves at least the third-best odds to win the NBA Draft Lottery. Then the miracle happened and the LA Clippers lost to the woeful — and clearly tanking — Oklahoma City Thunder.

That delivered Orlando the third-worst record in the league on their own and the best odds to win the NBA Draft Lottery — a full 140 combinations to win the Lottery.

In that sense: Mission accomplished. The Magic’s plan to position themselves for the Lottery worked out as well as it could.

And in this draft, it seems like it is a decision well worth it. Many scouts and draft observers believe the five players at the top of this year’s draft grade better than any player in last year’s draft. If there was a draft to make this dive into the Lottery, the timing could not be more right.

The Orlando Magic hold the best odds in a draft that is considered a very good one throughout the Lottery. Putting the Magic in an advantageous position.

More importantly than the 14.0-percent chance to win the Lottery, the Magic now have a 52.1-percent chance of getting a top-four pick. Orlando is essentially a coin flip away from a potentially transformational player.

On top of that, the team has essentially a four-in-five chance of getting a second top-10 pick with the Chicago Bulls landing in a tie for eighth in the Lottery standings. The Bulls will convey their pick to the Magic if it is outside the top four as part of the Nikola Vucevic trade.

Things could not have worked out better for the Magic. But everyone will have to wait until June 22 and the NBA Draft Lottery to figure out exactly where the team stands.

On our part, we are going to start diving into the draft class now with a mock draft based on the final order of finish. Members of the Orlando Magic Daily staff will be taking the place of each team in the Lottery and making their picks.

Houston, for now, is on the clock . . .