Orlando Magic Daily 2024 NBA Mock Draft 2.0: Opportunity abounds, success is narrow

The Orlando Magic are readying for the NBA Draft and hoping to add talent to the roster. That will not be as easy with the No. 18 pick in the draft this time around. How might things play out and where might the Magic strike? It is time for one final run through the mock draft.
Nikola Topic was once considered one of the top prospects in the Draft. A torn ACL could have him drop and become a big option for the Orlando Magic.
Nikola Topic was once considered one of the top prospects in the Draft. A torn ACL could have him drop and become a big option for the Orlando Magic. / Anadolu/GettyImages
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Orlando Magic Daily 2024 NBA Mock Draft 2.0

Uncertainty at the top

player. Scouting Report. . 6-9, 195 lbs. France. Zaccharie Risacher. 125. Atlanta Hawks No. 1 Mock Draft 06.25.24. Zaccharie Risacher. 1

This draft class is getting a bad reputation and it is mostly because of the players at the top of the draft. There just is not a lot to get excited about and all the players at the top have a major flaw. That should be evident in me flipping which direction the Atlanta Hawks go at the top against who is No. 1 on my Big Board.

But this falls back to the familiar argument the Orlando Magic likely made when they took Paolo Banchero over Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith Jr. You need to pick the player most likely to be a star and with the skills of a star.

Maybe you have to squint to see Zaccharie Risacher as a star—and he certainly is not the prospect Paolo Banchero was—but Risacher has the perimeter skills and offensive instincts that Alex Sarr lacks right now.

What the Hawks do here is really a teaser for the rest of their offseason.

Orlando is not likely looking to move up to the top of this draft. There is no one at the top of this draft that would meaningfully boost the Magic's short-term or even long-term prospects. But keep an eye on Orlando as a candidate to get into Dejounte Murray or Trae Young trades. They might even be willing to take on Clint Capela to do it.

Scouting Report. Alex Sarr. 7-0, 224 lbs. Alex Sarr. 2. 142. . France. player. Wizards Mock Draft No. 2 06.25.24

The Washington Wizards are a team that is in a bit of flux themselves. They could be involved in a few trades with Kyle Kuzma and Deni Avdija on the table to get moved to help the Wizards clear their books. For them it makes sense to swing big.

Alex Sarr is still my top prospect in this draft. He is an excellent defender and has a great fluidity as a 7-foot forward. Alex Sarr has reminded some people of Jonathan Isaac with his ranginess defensively.

Chances for a Magic Trade: Keep an ear open

I do not think the Orlando Magic would have much interest in taking on Deni Avdija in the first year of a four-year, $55 million extension (at least it is front-loaded). I do not think they have much interest in Kyle Kuzma either. Nor would they have interest in eating Landry Shamet's $11 million in non-guaranteed money that is likely turning loose to the market anyway.

The Magic are not looking to move up to No. 2 either and give up assets for anyone at the top of this draft.

Scouting Report. Houston Rockets No. 3 Mock Draft 06.25.24. 6-6, 210 lbs. UConn. Stephon Castle. Stephon Castle. player. 169. 3.

The Houston Rockets essentially had the same season in 2024 that the Orlando Magic had in 2023. In other words, they were a young team that started slow but found something and clicked deep into the season, eventually becoming the last team eliminated from postseason contention.

The Rockets, like the Magic, hope this is their last time drafting this early in the Draft.

I am personally very high on Stephon Castle. He is the best guard prospect to me by a mile because of his dogged defense and his ability to use his physicality on offense to create space. He believes he can play point guard. So dropping him onto a team that values that versatility with multiple playmakers I think would ultimately help him get the most.

His defense would help a Rockets team that struggled carving a defensive identity but started seeing commitment on that end under Ime Udoka.

Chances for a Magic Trade: Not likely partners

The Orlando Magic are hunting more for veteran players it would seem. But I would argue that Stephon Castle is probably one of the few top players the Magic might push in for. He fills a lot of needs the Magic want. They just aren't upsetting the apple cart for him.