Orlando Magic have punted 2nd round picks, some with good reason

Orlando Magic, Caleb Houstan. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Orlando Magic, Caleb Houstan. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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Wesley Iwundu, Orlando Magic
Mar 8, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) tries to block a shot from Orlando Magic forward Wesley Iwundu (25) during the second half at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Orlando Magic’s 2nd round pick history

2017 Draft

In Jeff Weltman’s first season with the Orlando Magic, he actually used one of his second-round picks, taking Wesley Iwundu with the 33rd pick. Iwundu spent three seasons with the Magic, playing in 182 games to average 4.8 points per game. Iwundu struggled to make his mark in the league.

The Magic also took Ivan Rabb with the 35th pick before trading him for a 2019 second-round pick (a pick that was later traded). Rabb played in only 85 games across two seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Who did the Magic miss on here? Thomas Bryant (No. 42), Isaiah Hartenstein (No. 43) and Dillon Brooks (No. 45) and Monte Morris (No. 51) were the most notable players selected in that second round.

But there were not any egregious misses. Especially for a team that was still figuring out what it wanted to be shortly after hiring Steve Clifford.

2018 Draft

The Orlando Magic took another second-round pick in Jeff Weltman’s second year, selecting Melvin Frazier with the 35th pick. He played two seasons and 29 games for the Magic before they moved on from the experiment with their second straight defensive-minded, shooting-challenged wing.

Orlando also selected and traded Jarred Vanderbilt with the 41st pick. Vanderbilt has played five seasons, averaging 6.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, carving himself a solid role with several teams. He played 15 games, starting 13, in the Los Angeles Lakers’ surprise run to the Western Conference Finals.

Orlando passed over Mitchell Robinson (No. 36), Gary Trent Jr. (No. 37), Bruce Brown (No. 42), De’Anthony Melton (No. 46) and Keita Bates-Diop (No. 48). Brown obviously played a huge role in the Denver Nuggets’ championship run.

The pattern that should emerge is that what is important in second-round picks is finding players who will fill a particular role. Robinson is a great shot blocker. Trent Jr., Brown and Melton are great shooters.

Perhaps it takes players some time. But in the 2018-19 season, the Magic should have had time to develop players. Even if they were not looking to make an immediate push.

That is what made not spending second-round picks to supplement the roster with more veteran skill players more egregious to sustain the team’s playoff opportunities.