The Magic should have a clear priority on draft night

If the Magic keep the pick, they should have clear priorities on draft night.
Orlando Magic v Toronto Raptors
Orlando Magic v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

The Orlando Magic have been at the center of many offseason discussions around free agency and big trades. They could go after Paul George or Klay Thompson in free agency or chase a big name on the trade block. Before free agency starts, the NBA Draft will take place, however. 

For the first time in years, the Magic are not picking in the lottery. Orlando has the 18th pick in the first round this year. They can either trade it to get a more proven veteran contributor or bring in a rookie. 

The 18th pick does not usually offer up a lot of big stars, but that is okay. Orlando is not looking to draft another young star. Rather, they need someone who can potentially fill a very specific role. 

The Magic should have a clear priority when making their first-round selection 

The Magic might very well keep their first-round pick. Picking 18th in a draft that is considered rather weak might not be enticing enough to get many teams interested in a trade centered around the pick. Still, there are options

If the Magic keep the pick, however, they should have clear priorities on draft night. Shooting is a big need. Orlando was one of the worst 3-point-shooting teams in the league in 2023-24 and often struggled offensively. So, one big priority this summer should be addressing the team's shooting struggles, and the draft is no exception. 

At the same time, however, the Magic could use players who can contribute right now. From now on, the team will have a target on its back. They will no longer be considered the young team that got some really nice wins but poses no real challenge to the top teams in the league. 

It is difficult to join a winning team with playoff aspirations as a rookie. Last season, first-round picks Anthony Black and Jett Howard already struggled to get minutes—the latter spent most of his time with the G League— and 2024-25 might be no different. 

Whoever the Magic end up drafting shouldn't expect a lot of minutes to just be handed to them, but they must be ready to help the team when needed. Injuries can happen at any time and to anyone. So, the Magic need reliable depth to fall back on. Another developmental project won't help much with that. 

An older rookie with a solid outside shot and a clear idea of what they can contribute would and that is exactly what the Magic should be looking for in the draft. Having a capable contributor on a cheap rookie contract will be incredibly valuable down the line. Maybe the Magic can find someone like that in this year's draft.