The Orlando Magic headed into the draft lottery Tuesday night (May 21) with high hopes. They sent their franchise good luck charm, senior VP Pat Williams, who had helped the Magic land the No. 1 overall pick in back-to-back seasons.
It didn’t work.
But the Magic still came away with the #2 pick, and that will afford them some flexibility. The Magic may choose between Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel, Kansas Ben McLemore; or even possibly Trey Burke of Michigan.
All three prospects bring different things to the table. Noel is an interior threat who could pair favorably alongside Nikola Vucevic. McLemore would replace Arron Afflalo, and the Magic presumably could shop Afflalo for something nice, since he’s on a reasonable contract and is in the heart of his prime. Burke would replace Jameer Nelson, though the Magic would likely keep Mighty Mouse around to tutor Burke until his contract expires at the end of next season.
The Magic are strongest in the frontcourt, but this draft is also loaded with options at the 4/5 spots. Cody Zeller, Alex Len and Kelly Olynyk are all projected to go in the lottery and will play the 4/5-spots. The aforementioned Noel gives this draft class four centers in the top 12 picks, potentially.
If the Magic play to the strengths of this draft, they’ll consider a twin towers possibility. It’s not conventional, but Hennigan helped draft Serge Ibaka in OKC, so seeing him go with a lanky defensive type like Noel wouldn’t be all that surprising.