Feb 2, 2013; Milwaukee, WI, USA; The Orlando Magic logo on a players shorts during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Bucks won 107-98. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Mock Draft Roundup 2.0


NBA mock drafts are coming out fast and furious. Sites are releasing them for the first time or refining them almost daily. With two lottery picks, the Orlando Magic are right in the thick of things. Here are what some other sites are projecting for the team currently, along with an explanation if there is one.

DraftExpress 

4. Joel Embiid, Center, Kansas 

It’s tough to see a talent like Embiid falling any further than this, injury concerns and all. Orlando will certainly be looking to draft a player with star power, and Embiid ticks a lot of boxes on both ends of the court. They will likely be hoping to receive some assurances from Embiid’s camp that his back and foot won’t be long-term issues, but with two lottery picks and a solid center already in place, the Magic can afford to roll the dice here.

 

12. Elfrid Payton, Point Guard, Louisiana-Lafayette 

Having drafted a big man with their earlier pick, the Magic could look to address their point guard situation. They have a team option on the final season of Jameer Nelson’s contract, and will likely need to start thinking about the next step in their rebuilding process considering Nelson is already 32. Payton will have to improve his outside shooting along the similarly limited range of Victor Oladipo, but would form a powerful backcourt combination defensively.

 

ESPN.Com’s Chad Ford 

4. Joel Embiid, Center, Kansas 

If Exum is available at No. 4, the Magic will have serious interest. But if Embiid falls to here, he might be too tantalizing to pass up, especially since Orlando has another pick in the lottery. The Magic are in desperate need of a rim protector and an athletic frontcourt player to pair with Nikola Vucevic and the Kansas center gives them just that.

If Embiid’s injury scares them off, Noah Vonleh is also a possibility here.

12. Dario Saric, Forward, Croatia 

This pick is highly contextual based on what the Magic do at No. 4. If they go with Dante Exum, then they’ll likely look at another big, and Saric is the one guy left on the board who really makes some sense for them. His playmaking ability, rebounding and versatility make him a nice fit in Orlando. Exum and Saric would give them the two best young international prospects in the draft.

But one of the reasons they are looking at a big like Noah Vonleh at No. 4 is because the draft is pretty weak on bigs after Vonleh, Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon are off the board. Meanwhile, there are several intriguing point guards here, the most exciting of which might be Elfrid Payton. His athleticism, quickness, defensive toughness and ability to get to the rim make him a great fix in Orlando if they pass on Exum. Tyler Ennis, Zach LaVine and Shabazz Napier would all get looks here, too.

It is also worth noting that Ford had this to say about Embiid and the possibility of the Magic selecting him in his Friday column.

The Magic have wanted a rim protector and could see an opportunity here. They too have another lottery pick and some flexibility to be patient. Nikola Vucevic has been more than solid the past two years, but he doesn’t provide the Magic with the shot-blocking they desperately need. If Embiid makes a full recovery, he’s a steal at No. 4. The problem for the Magic is that they have other needs, too. They need a point guard, and Marcus Smart will be there. They also need a stretch 4, and Vonleh is likely to be on the board. Can they pass on both of them for Embiid? I put the odds of them doing so at 50 percent.

 

CBS Sports 

Gary Parish: 4. Joel Embiid, Center, Kansas; 12. Aderian Payne, Power Forward, Michigan State 

Zach Harper: 4. Dante Exum, Point Guard, Australia; 12. James Young, Small Forward, Kentucky 

Matt Moore: 4. Marcus Smart, Point Guard, Oklahoma State; 12. Gary Harris, Shooting Guard, Michigan State

 

NBADraft.Net 

4. Marcus Smart, Point Guard, Oklahoma State 

12. Dario Saric, Forward, Croatia 

 

HoopsHype 

4. Marcus Smart, Point Guard, Oklahoma State 

Unless Exum jumps into the Top 3 ahead of Embiid, this pick is likely to come down to the upside of Exum versus the safer pick Marcus Smart. Smart will need time to lock into the PG position, but would be a perfect complement to Oladipo. Smart rates extremely highly among analytics projections. He struggled in his sophomore season as questions arose about his shooting ability and maturity. He could slide some on draft night, though he remains our top PG available. He had some bumps in the road including the incident shoving the Texas Tech fan, but his character is not in question, according to scouts. He’s a natural leader and the kind of player that makes everyone around him better just with his presence. While he’s obviously a work in progress, scouts really like his competitiveness and will to win. He appears to be a guy that will work hard to correct all of the deficiencies in his game. Comparing Smart to past NBA guys is very difficult, as he’s such a unique player.

12. Dario Saric, Forward, Croatia 

If the Magic stand pat and select Smart or Exum at 4 as many are projecting, opting for one of the few bigger prospects like Saric at 12 would seem to make sense. Kyle Anderson would also be an intriguing option here. Saric been on scouts’ radars from some time now proving to be an effective player at the European pro level at a young age. His highly polished skill set may be a better fit for Europe, however his toughness and feel for the game gives him some intrigue for the NBA. What he lacks for in speed and athleticism he makes up for in skill level and desire. Saric was a point guard as a youth, and retains a tremendous feel and the vision and passing to create for others. His jumpshot continues to be a work in progress. His lack of speed on the perimeter likely makes him a PF in the NBA.

 

Yahoo! Sports 

4. Noah Vonleh, Power Forward, Indiana 

The Magic would love to have Exum fall into their lap to pair in the backcourt with Victor Oladipo and use Jameer Nelson as trade bait, but Vonleh and his 7-4 wingspan will work quite nicely alongside Nikola Vucevic to give Orlando a solid young frontcourt.

12. Tyler Ennis, Point Guard, Syracuse 

The adjectives used to describe the young point guard are mature, wise beyond his years, and intelligent. The Magic can use Ennis to back up Jameer Nelson or have him take over should they end up trading Nelson.

 

Basketball Insiders 

Alex Kennedy: 4. Joel Embiid, Center, Kansas; 12. Elfrid Payton, Point Guard, Louisiana-Lafayette 

Joel Brigham: 4. Marcus Smart, Point Guard, Oklahoma State; 12. James Young, Small Forward, Kentucky

Steve Kyler: 4. Noah Vonleh, Power Forward, Indiana; 12. Elfrid Payton, Point Guard, Louisiana-Lafayette 

Yannis Koutroupis: 4. Noah Vonleh, Power Forward, Indiana; 12. Elfrid Payton, Point Guard, Louisiana-Lafayette 

 

Overall

 

Player

Times Picked

Joel Embiid

Four

Elfrid Payton

Four

Marcus Smart

Four

Dario Saric

Three

Noah Vonleh

Three

James Young

Two

Aderian Payne

One

Gary Harris

One

Tyler Ennis

One

Dante Exum 

One

 

 

Tags: Mock Draft NBA Draft Orlando Magic