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

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2. Joel Embiid 

In 2014, the Magic selected Aaron Gordon fourth overall, making him one of the new centerpieces of the franchise. With his highlight dunks and tough defense Gordon was clearly a talented player and fun to watch in Orlando. He was obviously not playing the best role for his individual success, however. 

Since he has gotten to Denver, where he can be a glue guy rather than a focal point on offense, he has really found himself as a basketball player. He was a crucial part of the Nuggets’ championship run last season and their following success this season. 

To be clear, picking Gordon fourth was not a bad selection. Out of the top ten of the 2014 NBA Draft, only three players made an All-Star game—Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, and Julius Randle. Joel Embiid is obviously the biggest name in that group, and the Magic missed him by just one pick in the draft. 

Embiid went third and has since gone on to make seven All-Star teams and win the 2023 MVP award. While it wasn’t like the Magic willingly passed on Embiid in the draft, being so close to getting a generational talent still hurts at times. 

If the Magic had drafted Embiid in 2014, we never would have gotten to watch this young team grow and have so much success together, however. So, it all worked out in the end and the Magic have a future superstar in Paolo Banchero now.