The NBA Draft Lottery was held last Wednesday, and no, Orlando won’t be picking from the top three. However, they will draft at pick six.
With this in mind, my take on the optimal pick for Orlando, and whether they should trade up, or down.
The Magic have found their way to becoming a frontcourt focused team, featuring Aaron Gordon, Bismack Biyombo, and Nikola Vucevic. All quality players, they lack a quality point guard, or on the wing scorer. At pick six, they are likely to have their pick at either, I list the most likely below:
An elite on-the-wing scorer, Monk could be exactly what this team needs.
Orlando is missing one thing in a reliable scorer, and after averaging (19.8) points per game, the Magic may deem him the best prospect. His size is considered his biggest flaw, but his in the paint presence rids of any concern.
Malik’s athleticism, explosive paint play, and three-point shooting may land him in Orlando come this summer.
The Duke forward has emerged as a top five prospect in recent mock drafts, but should he not, I expect fully that Orlando will snag him at six. In college Tatum averaged (16.8) points and (7.3) rebounds.
At 6″8, he holds potential to unfold into a great on-the-wing scorer, which as I mentioned previously the Magic are in desperate need of.
At first, Jayson will likely have issues facing league size small forwards, but his isolation ball success should not be ignored.
Many fans are calling Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox, the second best point guard in the draft. He’s excelled in physical play, and will make you regret every fast break.
An issue Orlando faced this season was their pace, and drafting this quick and agile guard would certainly be a step in the right direction.
Last season, Fox averaged: (16.7) points, (4.6) assists, and (4) rebounds in just under thirty minutes a game.
Trading Up, or Trading Down?
The Orlando Magic are a young team with a lot of undeveloped talent. Aaron Gordon, Nikola Vucevic, and Evan Fournier are key pieces they could take to building around.
On the other hand, they could just as well take to adding a top pick talent, and attempt to trade up in the draft. The Philadelphia 76ers 3rd overall pick comes to mind. Sending Elfrid Payton and the 6th overall pick in exchange for the 3rd, which is a very liable trade for both parties. With so much raw talent in Philadelphia, it’s not unlikely they’d accept a young point guard and the second or third best forward at pick six.
At three, the Magic will be in place to take Josh Jackson, or assure hopes of drafting Jayson Tatum. It’s not insane to think Orlando may look to trade up, and that the trade will feature Elfrid Payton, who hasn’t found his stride in now his third season.
All stats and information provided by ESPN, Orlando Sentinel, NBA.com, and Orlando Magic Daily. Featured image provided by ClipartNet via Google Images.