2022 Orlando Magic Draft Preview: Each top prospect’s case for No. 1

Paolo Banchero is among the players Orlando Magic fans are pining for in the NBA Draft. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Paolo Banchero is among the players Orlando Magic fans are pining for in the NBA Draft. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chet Holmgren, Gonzaga Bulldgos
PORTLAND, OREGON – MARCH 17: Chet Holmgren #34 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts against the Georgia State Panthers during the second half in the first round game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Moda Center on March 17, 2022 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Orlando Magic Draft Preview: Each player’s case for No. 1

Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren was ranked the number one player in the 2021 high school class. He is a do-it-all big man who has been called a unicorn by some draft analysts.

The top recruit committed to a Gonzaga team that was undefeated until losing in the championship game the year before, Holmgren provided a unique skill set to the college game. He would have a unique skill set to the NBA floor too.

And despite being eliminated in the Sweet 16, Holmgren showed flashes of why he was the top-ranked player.

Listed at 7-feet tall, Holmgren was extremely efficient offensively. He shot 39-percent from the beyond the arc and 60.7-percent from the field, which was 10th best in the country.

Outside shooting and efficiency were major weak points for the Magic last year. And going with a big man this versatile will help spread the floor.

Getting easy buckets will help transform the Magic’s offense into something that is respectable. That is something the 29th-ranked offense needs. They just need some floor spacing and someone who will command the defense’s attention at all times.

Holmgren was also impactful on the defensive side of the floor.

He averaged 3.7 blocks per game, which was good for fouth in the nation.

Defense is his calling card and if the Magic select him then they would finally establish a clear direction with the team.

Orlando would become a defensive-oriented team by putting Holmgren on the 19th best defense in the league. That may seem pedestrian but considering they had the 29th ranked offense it is impressive.

With Mo Bamba entering restricted free agency, and Jonathan Isaac not seeing the court since 2020, the Magic should not, and will not, eliminate drafting a big man.

Picking Holmgren is a very intriguing possibility for the Magic. He is one of the rarest and most unique prospects to come into the NBA in years.

There is not an exact comparison for him and that is why he is so interesting. If the Magic decide to swing for the fences then Holmgren will be walking on stage first.