5 Draft prospects who can fill a need for the Orlando Magic

The Orlando Magic have a lot to focus on as the NBA Draft approaches in about one month. The team is approaching this draft looking to fill some key needs—if they keep the pick at all. Who should they be focused on?
The Orlando Magic could be in the market for a rim-protecting big at this year's draft. Indiana's Kel'el Ware could fit the bill.
The Orlando Magic could be in the market for a rim-protecting big at this year's draft. Indiana's Kel'el Ware could fit the bill. / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Rim Protector: Kel'el Ware, Indiana

The Orlando Magic may not be feeling the pressure to make a massive change at center quite yet. But the thought should be lingering in the background.

Wendell Carter was fine when he played. His scoring was down, and his injury early in the season probably slowed him down all year and led to a general sense of a lack of aggression. His rim protection numbers were virtually the same as in previous years.

But the question should still linger whether Carter as a floor-spacing, position-based defender is the way the Magic ultimately win a title or win at a higher level. Do the Magic actually need better rim protection?

Orlando finished the season 13th in the league with 5.2 blocks per game. The team was 12th in the league with a 64.1 percent defensive field goal percentage at the rim according to Second Spectrum. Maybe the lack of rim protection is an issue of perception rather than reality.

Opponents shot 58.4 percent at the rim against Wendell Carter specifically, 18th in the league among centers who played at least 24.0 minutes per game and the same as Evan Mobley. In the Playoffs, opponents shot 67.4 percent at the rim against Carter, so there was some concern in the postseason.

This will be an issue for the Magic to ponder as they examine how to make their team better.

Likely, this is not an issue they should resolve in the draft. The players who typically fall under the rim protection wing of centers are raw and just rely on their athleticism.

That is the case with a pair of centers in the Magic's range. But Kel'el Ware of Indiana is the one who could be the more dynamic of those types of players.

Ware averaged 15.9 points and 9.9 rebounds per game for the Hoosiers last year. He added in 1.9 blocks per game. On top of this, he hit 42.5 percent of his 3-pointers, showing at least a willingness to step out of the paint and hit jumpers (his free throw percentage suggests this is not something to rely on).

But Ware is a big presence on the interior. He measured at 6-foot-11.75 without shoes with a 7-foot-4.5 wingspan. He had a 32.5-inch standing vertical leap and 36.0-inch max vertical leap at the NBA Draft Combine.

If Ware can bring some defensive awareness to the table, he would be an excellent addition to a team looking for some rim protection.