Orlando Magic Daily Big Board 3.0
The First Tier-B
There are still plenty of people who are firm of the belief the Orlando Magic should draft Chet Holmgren with the first pick in the draft — the same with Paolo Banchero. They all have good reasons to go No. 1. No one is wrong in arguing what they want to argue. The distinctions between these players are really small.
Holmgren should get the nod at No. 2 because of his potential to be a supremely different player than a lot of others in the league. And that counts for something.
Holmgren was a killer shot blocker and defensive player at Gonzaga. That is where he had a lot of his focus. His block rate is near the levels of some of the elite shot-blockers who entered the NBA.
That is the place where Holmgren will start. What will be interesting to see is how his offense grows and expands.
In high school, Holmgren had an array of dribble moves to go with incredible outside shooting for a 7-footer. He put these on display at times at Gonzaga but not on full display by any means. Holmgren has a lot of guard skills for a player his size.
The questions about his frame and weight are certainly legitimate and fair to ask. He has done all he can to overcome them at this point.
Holmgren though is something unique. There are not many big men who can play the way he plays. And if all those various skills come together, then the team that drafts Holmgren has a true unicorn. And someone incredibly unique in this league.
The last time we did this Big Board exercise I had Paolo Banchero as my No. 1 guy. This fall is not necessarily about Banchero himself, but more about watching tape on the other players and thinking about what kind of team the Magic want to be.
Banchero might be the rookie who makes the most immediate impact in the league. He is most capable of scoring at an NBA level as a rookie. And there is a lot of enticement in drafting him because of his ability to go get buckets.
No one would begrudge that. The Magic desperately need that kind of a scorer — someone they can just get the ball to and let him loose. He is a great player around the basket in the post and mid-post. His 3-point shot is improving. And his passing and defense are underrated, even if they looked like weaknesses in college.
Banchero though feels like the most limiting of the top prospects. And that is why he ultimately falls to No. 3.
If he is not the top guy on the floor, what else is he going to provide? This lack of role versatility is ultimately why Banchero settles in at No. 3. If the Orlando Magic (or anyone else) believe he is the leading scorer to lead the team to the promised land, they should take him and not think twice about it.