5 All-Stars the Orlando Magic missed drafting by just one pick

Atlanta Hawks v Orlando Magic
Atlanta Hawks v Orlando Magic / James Gilbert/GettyImages
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In the NBA, drafting players is often a gamble. Sometimes, players who showed all the potential in college just never pan out in the NBA while late draft picks, like Nikola Jokic, go on to surprise everyone. 

Recently, the Orlando Magic have drafted very well, picking Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Jalen Suggs among others. And yet, like every NBA franchise, the Magic narrowly missed some big names. 

So, let’s look at five stars the Orlando Magic missed drafting by just one pick. 

5. Kristaps Porzingis 

In 2015, the Orlando Magic had the fifth overall pick in the NBA Draft. They selected Mario Hezonja, who already started playing professionally in Spain at the age of 17. There, he won championships long before stepping foot on an NBA court. 

Turns out Hezonja’s future as a basketball player was much brighter in Europe than in the NBA. The forward played five seasons in the NBA—three of them in Orlando—and never put up the numbers you would eventually expect to see from a fifth overall pick. 

What makes this even tougher is the fact that the Magic did not even get anything in return for their lottery pick when his time in Orlando was up. The team simply decided not to pick up his fourth-year option in 2017 and let him walk in free agency. 

Drafting Hezonja so high was a miss, but at the same time, the Magic also missed drafting a star by just one pick. Kristaps Porzingis went fourth that year. Porzingis only made one All-Star team so far, but he has been a very productive player over his entire career and was a big part of the Boston Celtics’ success this season. 

Coming into the NBA, Porzingis was known as a unicorn due to his unique skill set. At the time, a 7’2” center who could shoot the three was an extreme rarity.