Feb 25, 2014; Madison, WI, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward Noah Vonleh (center) looks to pass as Wisconsin Badgers guard Traevon Jackson (12) and forward Frank Kaminsky (right) defend at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin defeated Indiana 69-58. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NBA Mock Draft Roundup 3.0

 

With the NBA Draft just hours away, we take one final look at what mock draft’s have the Magic selecting this year. Do they stay at four and 12? Do they make a big move and trade up to one? These questions and so many more will be answered very, very soon. 

Bleacher Report 

4. Dante Exum, Point Guard, Australia 

Exum and the Magic have been a fit throughout the process. Orlando has not so subtly been trying to replace Jameer Nelson for the last two years, and Nelson’s impending free agency will force the situation. The Magic were dead set (subscription required) on taking Marcus Smart last year before he returned to school, a fateful move that wound up working out for the best.

Victor Oladipo was one of only a handful of 2013 rookies to show any long-term promise, and pairing him with Exum would give Orlando a potentially nightmarish defensive tandem. Exum is 6’6″ with a ridiculous 6’10” wingspan, which makes him long enough to defend both guard positions. Oladipo is more than quick enough to keep up with point guards, so Orlando will be able to switch easily depending on the situation.

Landing Exum also allows the Magic to avoid pushing the farcicalOladipo-as-point-guard angle. Oladipo can handle the ball a bit, but he’s turnover prone and much better as a secondary option. The only issue with taking Exum at No. 4 is shooting; the Magic are already a below-average team from long range. Exum’s biggest flaw beyond his level of competition is his shaky jumper.

If general manager Rob Hennigan is convinced he can make an Exum-Oladipo backcourt work offensively, this is a no-brainer.

12. James Young, Small Forward, Kentucky 

Orlando is probably a little disappointed McDermott is not available here. Neither Tobias Harris nor Moe Harkless has developed a reliable jumper yet, and adding McDermott to the fold would give the Magic someone who can stretch the floor from either forward spot.Stauskas isn’t a fallback option here unless Hennigan surprises and goes with a big at No. 4.

In either case, Young is a strong fit and might be the best player of the three long term anyway.

A scoring-first wing with good athleticism and a 7-foot wingspan, Young began coming into his own late in his only season at Kentucky. The rim is still rattling from his dunk in the NCAA championship game against Connecticut, and his inconsistent jumper started falling with regularity. Consistency is a noteworthy issue, but one that’s to be expected for someone still a couple months shy of his 19th birthday.

Young would also give the Magic another attack-first player who can fight his way into the paint. An Exum-Oladipo-Young trio requires a lot of faith in future projections, but it sounds awfully exciting. 

DraftExpress

4. Dante Exum, Point Guard, Australia

Though Victor Oladipo played on the ball for stretches last season, Dante Exum would give the Magic two long, athletic guards and plenty of flexibility moving forward. Should Exum be picked by Philadelphia, Embiid is reportedly the next player in line here.

12. Jusuf Nurkic, Center, Croatia 

Having drafted a point guard with their earlier pick, the Magic could look to bolster their frontcourt situation. Nikola Vucevic is a terrific rebounder but Orlando doesn’t have a back to the basket target like Nurkic on their roster at the moment. Jusuf Nurkic can help any team with his scoring instincts and offensive rebounding prowess and is considered by most the clear-cut second best center in the draft.

NBA.Com Consensus Mock 

4. Noah Vonleh, Power Forward, Indiana 

12. Gary Harris, Shooting Guard, Michigan State 

Newsday.com 

4. Noah Vonleh, Power Forward, Indiana 

Orlando likes Exum and the idea of pairing him in the backcourt with Victor Oladipo, but if he’s gone, Vonleh would give the Magic a versatile power forward who rebounds well, blocks shots and can stretch the floor with his shooting.

12. Elfrid Payton, Point Guard, Lousiana-Lafayette 

If Orlando goes big at four, it could take a point guard with Jameer Nelson’s future unclear. Payton, Tyler Ennis and Zach LaVine are candidates. The Magic also could package the two picks to move up.

CBS Sports 

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

Zach Harper: 4. Noah Vonleh, Power Forward, Indiana; 12. Doug McDermott, Forward, Creighton

Matt Moore: 4. Julius Randle, Power Forward, Kentucky; 12. Elfrid Payton, Point Guard, Louisiana-Lafayette 

Basketball Insiders 

Alex Kennedy: 4. Noah Vonleh, Power Forward, Indiana; 12. Tyler Ennis, Point Guard, Syracuse 

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

Steve Kyler: 4. Noah Vonleh, Power Forward, Indiana; 12. Tyler Ennis, Point Guard, Syracuse 

Yannis Koutroupis: 4. Noah Vonleh, Power Forward, Indiana; 12. Tyler Ennis, Point Guard, Syracuse 

ESPN.Com 

4. Noah Vonleh, Power Forward, Indiana

The Magic have also been trying to both move up and get another lottery pick. They’ve offered Nos. 4 and 12 and Afflalo to the Cavs and Bucks, but so far, no takers. They’ve also used Afflalo as bait to get a pick from the Kings at No. 8 and the Nuggets at 11, but so far, no deal.

The Magic also are taking a long look at Embiid. They know they need an athletic rim protector. Nikola Vucevic has been great, but he doesn’t provide the defense they seek in the middle. But there is concern in Orlando that Embiid’s timetable won’t work with what they are trying to build. If he misses the season and then essentially has his rookie year in 2015-16, they can’t really expect him to start helping until 2016 at the earliest. The Magic have already had two brutal years of rebuilding. Two more sounds gut wrenching.

The Magic are also very keen on Exum, and I’m told they would likely select him if he’s on the board. If he’s gone and Embiid seems like too much of a risk, then it comes down to Vonleh and Marcus Smart to the Magic.

Vonleh has intrigued them ever since a stellar workout. His ability to stretch the floor and his ability to protect the rim make him a very good fit next to Vucevic. The team also needs a point guard badly and has been enamored with Smart for two seasons. Smart’s workouts haven’t been great in Orlando, however, and the Magic increasingly believe they can get a very good point guard at 12. I think Vonleh has the edge.

12. Elfrid Payton, Point Guard, Louisiana-Lafayette 

This pick remains highly contextual based on what the Magic do at No. 4. If Exum falls to them or if they take Smart, 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 if Exum is gone and they pass on Smart and take Vonleh, look for them to take a point guard. There are several intriguing point guards here — the most exciting of which might be 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.

Player

Number of Times Picked

Noah Vonleh

Eight

Elfrid Payton

Four

Tyler Ennis

Three

Dante Exum

Three

Gary Harris

One

James Young

One

Aderian Payne

One

Jusuf Nurkic

One

Julius Randle

One

Doug McDermott  

One

 

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