After an incredibly topsy-turvy season that ultimately culminated in the fifth worst record in the entire league, the Orlando Magic are in a promising position for this year’s NBA Draft. While many Magic fans expected a pick in the top five this year, in hindsight the sixth place isn’t too bad at all in a very deep draft class.
With this being said, there are several avenues Orlando could pursue. A lot weighs in the balance on this selection, in an incredibly talented draft class, littered with offensive heavyweights, the Magic must get this pick right in order to really kick-start an effective rebuild.
Here are a few of the choices they can choose from come June 22nd when they’re on the clock:
Potentially the most likely and sensible choice of the four. Malik Monk is an excellent offensive talent, something Orlando are in desperate need of. The shooting guard is the second-highest scoring freshman in this draft class, only preceded by the super-talented, top prospect Markelle Fultz. In short, the Kentucky guard knows how to shoot, a commodity that’s worth its weight in gold to the Magic.
A wing is a position Orlando struggled to fill following Victor Oladipo’s departure at the start of the season, with Evan Fournier’s lacklustre defense shining through. While the Frenchman has proven he can be the side’s offensive focal point from beyond the arc, he can’t do it alone. Monk would add depth and firepower to the second unit, and could even force his way into the starting lineup, pushing Fournier out to the small forward spot when playing small.
Dennis Smith Jr.
Not a pick that makes much sense, but likely a selection the Magic are preparing for, having worked out Dennis Smith Jr. in recent weeks. With Monk a hot commodity, he may be taken higher than the sixth pick.
The N.C. State point guard has a solid frame that should see him adapt to the NBA very quickly and he can be deadly on isolation plays. Of course, there are some issues with his all-around play, the injury he suffered in High School where he tore his ACL has left its mark, and his play has been dangerously inconsistent throughout his college career.
Orlando already have three guards in this position, one being Elfrid Payton who showed signs of huge improvement towards the back-end of this past season. If the Magic do opt for Smith, it may likely mean that Orlando have finally given up on their franchise point.
Elfrid Payton triple-double watch: the guard notched his third trip-dub in eight days last night as the Magic fell to Sacramento. #PureMagic
— James (@JCraggSport) March 14, 2017
Jayson Tatum is a player with incredible offensive ability, and it is extremely unlikely he will fall as low as sixth in this draft, but there’s always hope.
Orlando need a reliable, offensive-minded three in the worst way. Aaron Gordon played at small forward for a sizeable chunk of last season prior to the Serge Ibaka trade, a positional change that simply backfired horrendously.
Gordon excels on the defensive end but his jump-shot lets him down, as he only shot 28.8-percent from deep this past season. If he were to be paired with someone of Tatum’s talent the pair would offer tremendous defensive and offensive abilities at the forward spots.
👀Jayson Tatum’s 3 ball so smooth this looks like a gif on loop. (via IG: drewhanlen) pic.twitter.com/JEOGgkXAix
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) May 23, 2017
Of course if the opportunity presents itself, the Magic may even entertain trading their pick for the right player that would fit the system. Right now, Orlando are in need of some major bench reconstruction and a decent wing, if they could negotiate a deal bringing some quality assets in exchange for this pick, it would be a great bit of business.
Many are touting both Tatum and Monk to be drafted higher up the boards, and if this becomes a reality, the Magic could do a lot worse than entertaining offers.
No matter what they decide, new front office members John Hammond (GM) and President Jeff Weltman will have to choose wisely, one wrong move could set the Magic rebuild back another season or two.
— James (@JCraggSport) May 31, 2017