Orlando Magic 2024 NBA Draft Preview: 5 prospects to watch in the NCAA Tournament

The NCAA Tournament has arrived and while the Orlando Magic are in the middle of their playoff chase, they still will need to keep an eye on a few players as they look ahead to the NBA Draft.

It's NCAA Tournament time and the Orlando Magic will be looking at a lot of different prospects to fill needs for next season, including Duke guard Jared McCain.
It's NCAA Tournament time and the Orlando Magic will be looking at a lot of different prospects to fill needs for next season, including Duke guard Jared McCain. / Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 6
Next

5 Orlando Magic prospects to watch in the NCAA Tournament

DaRon Holmes, Dayton
vs. 10 Nevada (Thursday, 4:30 p.m., TBS)

The Orlando Magic this year seem to feel pretty comfortable with their options at center. Wendell Carter is strong positionally and can cover anyone on the floor at times. Moe Wagner is a master at drawing charges and working around the basket. And Goga Bitadze is a wrecker at the basket.

That does not mean the center position is steady. There are at least a few questions about Carter's long-term viability at center -- and some wandering eyes toward big-man free agents. And Bitadze's strong showing this year might price him out of the Magic's range in free agency this summer.

Orlando probably will feel comfortable going with Carter and Wagner next year. Perhaps the team should use this pick on shoring up the center position. Even with a player who could split time between the NBA and the G-League.

There are some center options (and we will get to another one later on here). But keep an eye on Dayton big man DaRon Holmes.

The 6-foot-10 big man averaged 20.4 points per game, 8.4 rebounds per game and 2.1 blocks per game on his way to being named the Atlantic 10's Player of the Year. He even shot 38.5 percent from three on 2.5 attempts per game after not shooting threes at all in his first two years at Dayton.

Holmes is as close to the complete package as there is among big men. If the league is looking for skill from the center spot, Holmes brings some of that.

A lot of the projections for Holmes have him going early in the second round. But that suddenly is exactly where the Magic are picking in the first round if they want to take a reach for some need.

The concern with Holmes is about his overall athleticism and ability to play above the rim beyond his questionable shooting. That may not exactly solve the Magic's problems and why they might be interested.

But he is a tough defender and could easily find a place in the league.

Also Keep An Eye On

Kyle Filipowski, Duke (vs. 13 Vermont, Friday, 7:10 p.m., CBS)

The bigger name among the centers is the 7-footer with the high profile from Duke.

Kyle Filipowski is averaging 17.1 points per game, 8.6 rebounds per game and 1.2 blocks per game this year. That dropped to 15.8 points per game, 7.6 rebounds per game and 1.5 blocks per game in the ACC.

Filiposki has size and he is obviously a tough player to move around. But his lack of mobility and outside game limits what he can do in the NBA and likely makes him a strong product for the college game.