Orlando Magic have started draft workouts, but mostly second-round options

Jalen Williams had a breakout sophomore year at Santa Clara and has put himself in the first round. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jalen Williams had a breakout sophomore year at Santa Clara and has put himself in the first round. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The last week for the Orlando Magic has been a quiet one, but still a busy one.

The rest of the NBA world is trying to figure out what the team will do with its first overall pick. That has been the question at the heart of every draft conversation. The rest of the draft will not fall into line until the Magic make their first selection.

Orlando though always holds things close to the vest.

There have been a few morsels dropped โ€” including a tongue-in-cheek response to a quote from John Hammond on a recent podcast episode:

The Magic are, at least, embracing the intrigue. They are very much in on the joke from around the NBA about their draft choices.

The Orlando Magicโ€™s draft process is well under way as the team began workouts and interviews this week at the Amway Center.

Even vice president of basketball operations Matt Lloyd (he is in charge of the Magicโ€™s college and draft scouting) did a podcast and spoke about the Magicโ€™s draft process.

Indeed, that is the part where the Magic are now. As Lloyd spoke specifically on, the team is in the last bits of its draft preparation. And that is bringing prospects to Orlando and having them meet the franchise and having the team personnel meet the prospects.

This is the last big piece of the puzzle and a key one. It is one thing to break down a playerโ€™s game tape and understand what they can do on the court. Understanding who that person is and how they would fit into the culture of a team is just as important.

This is the ultimate job interview.

As always, the Magic remain very quiet on who they are interviewing and what they are doing. The Magic have done post-workout interviews with prospects in the past, but they are extremely rare.

And, so far, the team has not had meetings with any of the top prospects.

Right now, the Magicโ€™s workout and interview focus has been on the players they could select with their two second-round picks, potential players they could trade up for and players who would likely fill out their G-League roster.

Finding a list of these prospects is tough. Orlando was at the NBA Draft Combine โ€” that is where the NBA Draft Lottery took place, and we all know how that went โ€” but there was a dearth of information on who the Magic were talking to at the event.

Everyoneโ€™s focus, rightly, was on the players at the top and trying to figure out what the Magic will do there.

A few players have started to give peeks behind the curtain of the Magicโ€™s draft process by at least acknowledging they were in Orlando.

NC State guard Dereon Seaborn confirmed he was in Orlando for a workout โ€” as we widely reported โ€” earlier this week. He averaged 17.3 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game and projects as a late second-round pick or an undrafted free agent.

Seven-foot-three center Kai Sotto of the NBL also was in for a workout, hinting at the Magicโ€™s desire to look for some center depth. Sotto is extremely raw and is likely a project for the G-League.

That is how most of these workouts will go.

Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel put together the most complete list of Magicโ€™s workout and interview lists.

Among the notable names the Magic interviewed at the Draft Combine are Iowa forward Keegan Murray, who is expected to be a top-10 pick and is a great shooter and defender; Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan, a solid defensive wing who is still developing as a scorer; and Santa Clara guard Jalen Williams, who had perhaps the biggest buzz at the NBA Draft Combine and has solidified his first-round status.

The team has already held a few group workouts for draft prospects. That would include, most notably, Colorado State forward David Roddy. Roddy is expected to go late in the first round or in the second round and is a big forward with an improving 3-point shot.

There are still more players who are expected to arrive โ€” including Gonzaga and former Florida guard Andrew Nembhard and NC State guard Terquavion Smith.

This is just the start, of course.

The Magic are casting a wide net as they build their database of prospects. Remember, the team is not just collecting information for this draft, but putting together profiles that could help them fill out the roster after the draft, fill out their G-League roster and help them for future trades.

All of this is homework for what is coming down the road. And there are still agency-led pro days going on, like the one Jaden Ivey and CAA had Friday:

Of course, now there is less than a month to go before the actual NBA Draft. Eventually, everything is going to return to that top pick.

Everyone is waiting to see when Orlando will bring in Jabari Smith, Jr., Chet Holmgren and Paolo Banchero โ€” if not also Jaden Ivey or someone else. There is a lot to sort through and as much as the Magic want to bring everyone to Orlando, the prospects and their agents will control a lot of the process.

Those are likely the biggest negotiations going on for the Magic right now. Figuring out when and where the interview will take place โ€” and whether there will be a workout and what part of their facility and the city they will show off as part of this job interview.

There is still a lot to do.

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But as the Magic work quietly on their draft preparation, it is certainly ongoing.