The biggest draft debate raging among those paying attention to this part of the process during the conference finals starts at the very top of the draft.
Who are the Orlando Magic going to pick?
That is not an easy question well before we get to the Magic’s typical secrecy over every internal working of the Amway Center. The front office is a tight-knit group and does a good job keeping confidential information confidential.
The top pick in this draft was always going to be a debate — between three very good players in Jabari Smith Jr., Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero. This was not a class with a clear-cut number one player. So the team was always going to have to sit and think about what they want, what wins in the NBA and how to move the team forward.
The national media is still trying to get a handle on what the Magic will do and how that will set up the rest of the draft.
Nobody knows what the Orlando Magic will do with their draft pick at No. 1. The rest of the draft will fall into place after the Magic make this difficult choice.
Reporters from The Athletic asked “rival executives” who the Magic would pick and they seemed to favor Chet Holmgren. ESPN.com’s reporters seem to believe that Jabari Smith Jr. is the pick. If you watched the Orlando Magic’s All-Access from the Draft Lottery, Mike Miller is already putting in a good word for his client Paolo Banchero.
There are good arguments for all three players. There are no wrong answers. Nobody should feel like they have to fight for their prospect — positive arguments only!
But everyone is starting to get into their camps. Everyone does have their favorite and the guy they want the Magic to pick.
The front office still has a ton of time to make those decisions. They will surely have individual meetings with all three of the top prospects. There is still a long way to go.
But we are a week out from the NBA Draft Lottery. We have had the chance now to sit with the top pick for a week. We are all feeling some kind of way.
But the draft order getting finally set also provides the opportunity to do a first run-through the whole draft and assess where the team could be looking to move up and move around.
In other words, with the first pick in tow, it is time to update our mock draft for the first time after the Lottery.