Friday, December 02, 2022

Orlando still evaluating all options with No. 1 draft pick

Orlando, Fla. ( Associated Press) — The college basketball season came to an end nearly three months ago, the NBA Draft Lottery loomed over a month and the draft is due out this weekend.

Looks like the process should stop.

Orlando Magic president Jeff Veltman sees it differently.

“Let me tell you, it’s still early in the process,” Veltman said on Monday.

Translated: The Magic have yet to decide what they will do on Thursday night, when the draft is done and they will have the No. 1 pick. Other teams have made calls to find out what the asking price would be if they were to trade for that selection, and Magic evaluated all the top candidates.

But Veltman sees no reason to decide anything before it is absolutely necessary, especially given Orlando’s chance of grabbing this No. 1 pick.

“The conversation is always on,” Veltman said. “But, most importantly, we get to do what we want. That is the real advantage of being the No. 1 pick.”

The top candidates for the pick are well-known: Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. worked for Orlando earlier this month, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren met with Magic over several days last week, and Duke’s Paolo Banchero, former Magic guard Mike. Working with Miller. ,

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Holmgren said he was convinced that “great people” were leading the magic.

“He has a vision for what he’s trying to put together in Orlando,” Holmgren said.

Veltman wouldn’t say that those are the only three candidates who would consider Orlando No.

“It has been confirmed that there are a lot of talented players at the top of this draft, that’s for sure,” Veltman said.

This is the fourth time Orlando will be making the No. 1 pick. The Magic took on Shaquille O’Neill with the top pick in 1992. 1 pick by Orlando in 1993, and he traded that same night for Penny Hardaway and a package of future picks that eventually turned into Vince Carter. And, later, Miller. And in 2004, Magic picked Dwight Howard with the first pick.

1 pick on Thursday will join a youth corps in Orlando that already includes 2017 top pick Markel Fultz, a pair of top eight from the 2021 draft in Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs, and Cole Anthony – No. 15 pick in 2020.

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Orlando also has the likes of No. 6 from the 2017 and 2018 draft, Jonathan Isaacs and Mo Bamba. It’s possible that when next season begins, Orlando could have six lottery picks, nine top-16 selections, and 12 first-rounders on its roster.

It’s part of the challenge for Magic – which also has the likes of No. 32 and No. 35 this year – going on Thursday: to find more youngsters who fit in with the current core, to be better next season and be consistent. Finding ways to be better for years to come.

“We want to get better, but not at the cost of returning to mediocrity,” Veltman said. “And we want to have something sustainable. But you have to raise the standard to do that. You can’t just stay at dungeon level, you know, intertwined. So those conversations are what we’re having, which players.” Do this for us.”


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