Orlando Magic Draft Preview: 5 teams to target to trade back into the first round

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Terrence Ross, Orlando Magic
Terrence Ross had a record-setting performance Sunday. But the Orlando Magic sharpshooter has been heating up lately. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic are notorious for not using their second-round picks.

So much so that it is an easy joke among fans. And, I hate to break this news to you, it feels very unlikely the team can or should use both the Nos. 32 and 35 picks in this year’s draft. Looking at the roster, the team is chock full of young players and could barely squeeze two more players onto the roster and still add some veteran help.

Surely there are deals in the works or thoughts out there that the Magic will explore in the trade market that could change things very quickly. Everything happening on draft night will be part of a bigger puzzle the team will resolve in the offseason.

But there is no reason the Magic will not start on draft night.

It should be an active draft night for trades as plenty of teams will look to improve this offseason. That should give the Orlando Magic a chance to trade back into the first round.

Orlando is likely to be seeking out a new home for Terrence Ross this offseason and they could be looking to move both of their second-round picks — Nos. 32 and 35 — to move back into the first round.

It feels like a sound strategy. There are surely playoff-level teams who would prefer to have an expiring contract in Ross and his veteran contributions over the uncertainty of a rookie — especially in a draft that is seemingly devoid of shooting — with the chance to grab some high-level players with little guarantee in the second round.

Orlando certainly has the means to be a bit aggressive to chase players they like, assuming that teams can get over how much Ross struggled last year with a rebuilding team.

That will be the key to all of this. Orlando should only move to the first round to make sure the team gets the player it wants.

There will be time to go over some of those options in the very near future. But players like Ousmane Dieng, Trevor Keels, Bryce McGowens, Jalen Williams (Santa Clara), Jalin Williams (Arkansas), Christian Braun, Andrew Nembhard (who reportedly visited Orlando for a workout earlier this week), Khalifa Diop (who also reportedly worked out for the Magic this week), Christian Koloko, Ismael Kamagate are among the players the magic could grab at No. 32 or 35 or could trade up into the first round to make sure they get them.

There are obviously a lot of options for the Magic with those picks — and they might be able to wait to No. 32 to get them if they stand pat. And the team will have to cut through the prospects with the same fine-toothed comb they have been using to separate the players at the top of the draft.

The first thing to do is to find a team that would prefer a player like Ross or to move down to the second round rather than take another first-round pick and try to construct a deal that is beneficial for everyone.

Identifying those targets is the first task. And that is what we will do here: