Orlando Magic Daily 2023 NBA Mock Draft 3.0
Question: How do the Rockets complete the picture?
The Orlando Magic and Houston Rockets started their rebuilds at virtually the same time. It is hard not to make some comparison between the two teams. And it is hard not to notice how much further along the Magic seem to be than the Rockets.
Houston has had its share of high picks. Jalen Green with the second pick in 2021 and Jabari Smith Jr., the guy the Magic were supposed to pick first, in 2022. Yet, it feels like they are a bit of a mess. They have moved on from their coach in Stephen Silas and gotten the more experienced Ime Udoka in.
Will that save a roster that has at times felt mismatched?
That is why adding a player like Amen Thompson feels like the right move. It would give the Rockets a player who can play the more traditional playmaker role even at his 6-foot-7 size. And that could help make everyone else fit into their correct places.
Granted, the Rockets’ problems are really on defense rather than offense.
Thompson is a player who makes a lot of sense and could even be a player the Magic are considering trading up for — there have been at least some rumors to that effect. He checks a lot of boxes as a bigger playmaker. The Magic love that kind of versatility.
Question: How do the Pistons complete their picture?
Similar to the Houston Rockets, it sure feels like the Detroit Pistons have fallen behind their rebuilding peers. An injury to Cade Cunningham that caused him to miss virtually the entire season cost the Pistons any chance to make progress even if it gave them a good look at Jaden Ivey.
So what direction do the Pistons need to go to complete this picture? What do they need to boost their team?
That is sort of hard to say. They could go for a defensive wing in Ausar Thompson. Or they could aim for the offensive wing that could receive the passes from their playmakers in Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey and spread the floor in Cam Whitmore. Or they could add yet another big and draft connector Jarace Walker.
I had the Pistons going with Whitmore at this spot. But the latest scuttlebutt are that his workouts have not gone well.
So the Pistons should do the other option and shore up their defense and get a cutter for their two guards to play off of. Ausar Thompson is still the more talented player and someone who could grow especially in this sort of environment.