The NBA offseason has begun in earnest.
Sunday’s deal sending Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards to the Phoenix Suns for a fairly meager return — Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, a couple of second-round picks and a few pick swaps — officially opened the floodgates and began to set the market for the rest of the offseason.
The Wizards surely are not done as they signaled a fuller rebuild — Kristaps Porzingis can opt-in to the final year of his deal or hit free agency and if the Wizards put a deal together, they could convince him to do that and move him.
Other teams that are thinking of rebuilding or retooling could also put big-name players on the market — the league is holding its breath for the Portland Trail Blazers to make a decision on Damian Lillard and the New Orleans Pelicans also seem ripe to trade one of their stars for a hope at a brighter future.
The Orlando Magic are also very much in the running to make some big moves. With tons of cap space, two Lottery picks and plenty of young prospects seemingly on the cusp of competing for something real, the Magic could be as big or as small players at the Draft as they want to be.
The Orlando Magic are among the teams with big decisions and questions to answer ahead of this draft. We focus on that as we go through the mock draft one final time.
There is always the option to hold onto their two picks and just take two young players, there are the options to trade around, there is the option to trade up. There is a lot the Magic can do. And they have, predictably, been quiet when it comes to what they will do and who they will try to target.
It could be a night for big moves that sets up the Magic’s hopeful future playoff run. Or it could be a night simply to add to the roster and let everything grow naturally. All indications are that it will be the latter, but the former will have to happen at some point.
That may not be Thursday. Then again it might be.
The draft brings up questions. That is what it does. It forces teams to assess the areas it feels it needs to improve at and forces teams to really assess their roster. They have to do a self-scout as Jeff Weltman put it in his availability Monday.
What questions will this draft answer?
As we go through the mock draft this one final time, we will keep all these questions in mind and look at what the Magic may end up doing.