Orlando Magic Daily Mock Draft 3.0: Our final predictions

Scottie Barnes is the clear favorite to land with the Orlando Magic tonight. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Scottie Barnes is the clear favorite to land with the Orlando Magic tonight. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /
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Moses Moody, Arkansas Razorbacks
Jan 6, 2021; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks guard Moses Moody (5) shoots a free throw against the Tennessee Volunteers during the first half at Thompson-Boling Arena. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic made the 2021 NBA Draft vitally important to the franchise’s history back in March when they traded Nikola Vucevic, Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon. Stripping the roster to its studs and going all-in on a <ahem> tanking protocol with a roster far too young to win consistently signaled the team’s intention.

It worked up until the Lottery. The Magic “earned” the best odds to win the Lottery on the final night of the season and positioned themselves well to win the top pick in a celebrated draft class.

The ping pong balls did not bounce Orlando’s way though. The team fell to the fifth pick.

That does not mean the team’s rebuilding plan is gone. Anything can happen on draft night. And the team was likely to need multiple trips to the Lottery to rebuild their base.

The debate that has raged since then is how the Magic should spend their two picks — fifth and eighth — and how best to position the franchise for its future. Orlando may not get a clear crack at the consensus top four of this draft. But the team will still get two quality players in the end.

Draft day is finally here and the Orlando Magic await their opportunity to select a player who can change their franchise and their future.

And they are two players who will be consequential to the Magic’s future. Key pieces to the team as it grows from the ground up and tries to get back into playoff contention. Orlando has to hope and believe the two players the team picks Thursday night will be part of the team’s rotation when that day inevitably comes.

The Magic have been coy as ever with their strategy and their beliefs. It is widely believed Orlando has settled on Scottie Barnes at No. 5. What the team might do at No. 8 is anybody’s guess.

The team will not say it needs a star specifically, only that it needs two quality players to add to their group. But the Magic absolutely need to take some big swings and go for it. They need to find that central piece to build their roster and restart the franchise.

We have already gone through a mock draft a few times. Our latest, published yesterday, was a group effort that began back at the Lottery once the draft order was set. But here on the day of the draft, it would make sense to put all of our thoughts about the teams aside and look at what is more likely to happen.

Below is a prediction of how the draft will actually play out with some notes on the goings-on ahead of the draft.