Orlando Magic 2024 NBA Draft Preview: How the current rookies affect the team's development

The NBA Draft comes front and center even in the middle of a Playoff race with the NCAA Tournament tipping off. The Orlando Magic have their own rookies to develop in the present and how they turn out could affect what comes next in the Draft.
Anthony Black has had his ups and downs but has been a surprising hit in his rookie year for the Orlando Magic.
Anthony Black has had his ups and downs but has been a surprising hit in his rookie year for the Orlando Magic. / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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The NCAA Tournament is here. But for the first time in several years -- maybe even for the first time in a decade -- Orlando Magic fans are not obsessing over brackets and trying to figure out which players they need to see.

A playoff race has changed everything for the Magic. The Draft no longer feels liek the primary way the Magic will add players to their roster.

Plus, on top of this, Orlando has had struggles including Anthony Black and Jett Howard in the rotation.

Black was pushed into the starting lineup early in the season but has since fallen out of the rotation. Still, he has shown signs of his defensive prowess and shooting potential throughout the season. Black is someone the Magic are going to have ascend into the rotation soon.

Howard has played most of his season in the G-League for the Osceola Magic where he has put up solid numbers -- 18.5 points per game, 36.5 percent shoooting from deep and a 56.6 percent effective field goal percentage.

At the G-League level, at least, Howard has been as-advertised as a shooter. The Magic surely want to get him on the floor next year.

As much as the Draft is an opportunity to add new, young players to the fold. The Magic already have a duo of young players that are going to be pushing for more playing time.

It presents one of the biggest challenges for the Magic as they begin to evaluate this draft. The Magic should never pass up an opportunity in the draft, but that draft pick is no longer about simply adding talent. Orlando has to look at how that player fits into the bigger picture.

So much of the Magic's draft prep starts with how they evaluate their own roster.

Since most of us are probably behind in our draft prep and the conference tournaments and NCAA Tournament will pick up this week, marking the end of the college basketball season and that phase of draft prep, it was time to play some catch-up.

I chatted with Locked on NBA Big Board's Richard Stayman to get an introduction to the draft class and talk about how the Magic should approach this year's draft. He breaks down what the Magic need and their season so far and which prospects in the Draft will fit the Magic's eyes as the draft enters this final playing phase.

In this post, we talk about how the way the Magic have developed rookies Anthony Black and Jett Howard this season affect their approach to the draft and what Richard has seen from the Magic's two rookies and how it might differ from his draft prep from last year.

You can check out part one of the interview where we chat more about the highlights of the draft class here.

This interview has been edited for clarity, context and updated stats.