Friday, December 09, 2022

Who is the best fit for the Orlando Magic with No. 1 in the 2022 draft?

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It didn’t take long for the Orlando Magic’s draft lottery celebration to turn into speculation.

After the Magic won the draft lottery on Tuesday in Chicago, questions quickly began to surround the winner of the No. 1 pick in the June 23 NBA Draft.

What will be Magic’s outlook for taking the top pick?

Will his philosophy change during the scouting combine and predraft mechanics?

Are they drafting based on need?

Basketball Operations President Jeff Veltman clarified that they are not going through a need-based drafting process.

“We’re at a level right now where we’re not a needs-based team,” he said. “We are looking for talent, character and people who fit the way we want to play and the way we want to develop the team.”

Coach Jamal Mosley echoed Veltman.

“It’s adding consistently high basketball IQ, competitiveness, toughness, combat – someone who is willing to come and work with this group of people,” he said. “Jeff and those guys do an extraordinary job of evaluating the talent to get to know these people over time and then we’ll go from there.”

Orlando has another month to decide what they’ll do with the No. 1 pick. Here are the three best fits:

1. Jabari Smith (Auburn)

Height: 6 ft-10 | Weight: 220 pounds | Age: 19

Smith’s best offensive skill – shooting – is one area in which magic can improve.

Orlando’s 33.1% 3-point percentage was the league’s third-worst points during 2021–22 and has been a bottom five shooting team over the past two seasons.

Taking on Smith, who took 42% shot from the arc on 5.5 attempts during his lone season with the Tigers, would immediately help make life easier for Magic’s playmates on the half-court.

Smith is not dangerous in spot-up situations. At 6-foot-10 with a high release point, he can easily shoot at defenders from multiple areas of the floor without needing to create much advantage.

His size, length and athleticism make him a disruptive perimeter defender and someone who doesn’t have trouble switching multiple positions.

Due to his shaky ballhandling and inconsistent internal scoring, there are concerns about whether Smith will develop into the go-to scorer/creator the Magic need. But Smith will be the cleanest fit that Orlando has already started building with their roster.

2. Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)

Height: 7 feet | Weight: 195 pounds | Age: 20

Holmgren is arguably the most polarizing player in this year’s draft.

Their combination of rim protection (3.7 blocks with the Bulldog), handles, touch near the rim, basketball IQ and floor-spacing capability for their size make them one of the more exclusive possibilities in a while.

Holmgren’s size, length and versatility – he is light enough on his feet to guard the girth – is a profile Orlando has shown a resemblance to in previous drafts.

The Magic started a two-man lineup with Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba, and Holmgren could be a comfortable fit next to Carter on the frontcourt so that he could maintain rim safety at all times, a core tenet of Mosley’s defensive system. Is.

There are significant concerns about how effective Holmgren can be due to its slim frame for its height in the posts at both ends of the floor and as a finisher at the rim. Holmgren’s outside jumper (39% on 3 with Gonzaga) would have to be consistent for him to become an offensive threat.

Holmgren’s abilities are clear and he fits into what magic already possesses, but the question remains whether he will maximize his skills.

3. Paolo Banchero (Duke)

Height: 6 ft-10 | Weight: 250 | Age: 19

Banchero’s skills show he could be a substitute at the next level.

With the Blue Devils, Banchero was able to create opportunities for himself and others with the dribble. He is a versatile scorer who did well around the rim due to his strength, footwork and touch.

Banchero is one of the better passing top prospects (3.2 assists as a forward) who can serve as an offensive centre, which the Magic can use after having the league’s second-worst offensive rating in 2021-22. Is.

His external shooting (33.8%) from outside the arc is one area he will need to improve upon.

Banchero has also not been consistently locked in as a defender at Duke and it is unclear how switchable he will be to the next level.

This article first appeared on, email at cost [email protected] or follow him on twitter @khobi_price,


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