4 No. 18 draft picks who had successful NBA careers

The Magic would not be the first team to find a solid role player with the 18th overall pick.
New York Knicks v Orlando Magic
New York Knicks v Orlando Magic / Sam Greenwood/GettyImages
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For the first time in years, the Orlando Magic do not have a lottery pick. Instead, they will be picking at 18 and 47. This year's draft class is generally not considered a very strong one. Nevertheless, some of the players available could fill a need for the Magic and might still be on the board when they pick 18th overall. 

The NBA Draft always involves a certain amount of guesswork. Sometimes, players who impressed in college never find stardom in the NBA despite being high draft picks. Other times, second-round picks or players who went undrafted put together successful careers despite the odds. 

There is a chance that the Magic will find a real contributor with their first-round pick--either for now or for the future. After all, not every player who ends up having a successful NBA career is picked in the lottery. So, let's look at four players who went on to have successful NBA careers after being drafted 18th overall to see what this year's pick might hold. 

4. JaVale McGee

In 2008, JaVale McGee was drafted 18th overall by the Washington Wizards. McGee played four seasons with the Wizards, and by his third season, he averaged 10.1 points, 8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game as a solid starting center. 

His real success came much later, however. After struggling to find his place outside of Washington, the big man signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2016 and went on to win two straight titles with them. 

Now a two-time NBA champion, McGee signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2018 and eventually won yet another championship. In his first season with the team, his playing time and production increased dramatically compared to his time with the Warriors. In March 2019, he even put together a career performance, recording 33 points, 20 rebounds, and 6 blocks against the Brooklyn Nets. 

On top of the three championships, McGee is also the proud owner of an Olympic gold medal won at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

So, McGee might not have been an All-Star or one of the main guys on his championship teams, but he made his living as a role player and found his own kind of success over a long NBA career that might not be over quite yet. Last season, he acted as a veteran presence for the Sacramento Kings.