Orlando Magic 2024 Mock Draft Review: What the mock drafts say about Magic's needs

The NCAA Tournament is on the horizon, reflecting a key date in draft preparation and focus throughout the league. The Orlando Magic are not thinking fully about their draft needs while in the midst of a playoff chase, but who they target might say a lot about them.
Wake Forest's Hunter Sallis is the kind of big guard everyone knows the Orlando Magic like as we turn a brief eye to the NBA Draft.
Wake Forest's Hunter Sallis is the kind of big guard everyone knows the Orlando Magic like as we turn a brief eye to the NBA Draft. / Cory Knowlton-USA TODAY Sports
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The Orlando Magic are in the middle of a playoff push right now.

Development has taken a back seat to figuring out which players and rotations will help the team win in the postseason. The Magic's two first-round draft picks are not even in the rotation.

One of them has spent the majority of the season in the G-League -- Jett Howard continues to perform well though, averaging 18.4 points per game and shooting 36.4 percent from three.

The fact both Anthony Black and Jett Howard are not in the playoff rotation is not a sign the team has given up on their development or that they will pass on the upcoming NBA Draft. Even though the team is likely to pick closer to No. 20, the team still has to find every way to add talent to the roster.

The draft process is well underway -- president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman is away from the team right now to do some college scouting. The NCAA Tournament does not represent the end of the evaluation, but it is a midpoint. When the games stop, all that tape and information stops as teams prepare for the Combine in May.

So while this week's conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament that begins next week is a turning point for fans -- a major event that draws even NBA people to watch the college game -- it is only another chapter in the book for teams evaluating these prospects.

It is worth pointing out that many of the top prospects in this year's draft are coming from foreign leagues and from the G-League Ignite. This is not considered a particularly strong class, especially at the very top.

Still, there is no reason to pass on an opportunity to add talent to the team.

What we do not know when it comes to the Orlando Magic though is what the Magic are looking for. Aside from shooting and some ball-handling and point guard help, the Magic's immediate needs are a bit of a mystery.

They sat tight at the trade deadline seemingly wanting to see how their young team responds to the Playoffs before making any major changes to the roster.

The Magic's draft pick is not likely to crack the starting lineup or signifiy some significant shift in the team's plans this year. But what kind of player the team targets may be a direct effect of what happens in the playoffs and what flaws become apparent in the postseason.

That bit of information for the Magic is still a month away. And no matter who they pick, they will have to find a way to fit in Black and Howard to this puzzle too -- along with whatever major moves the team may make with their ample cap room.

It is seemingly fairly likely the Magic may go the G-League route once again with whomever they pick.

For now, we are still getting introduced to the players the Magic might pick in this year's draft. Sitting at No. 19 or 20 in the current draft order certainly opens up more possibilities. Orlando will be casting a wider net this year than five or six players like they did the last few seasons.

As the draft experts submit their mock drafts ahead of the NCAA Tournament, we want to look less at the players they project the Magic to pick (although, definitely log those names away for your brackets) and more about what those players say about the Magic's needs and what they are looking for as the draft enters this critical phase.