Orlando Magic Expected to Go Big once Again With the No. 1 Draft Pick
The last three times that the Orlando Magic landed the top pick in the NBA Draft, they ended up with Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway (after a huge trade) and Dwight Howard. If the player taken first overall in the June 23 draft is as good as those players, the days of the Magic being in the draft lottery could be coming to an end.
There is no surefire No. 1 overall pick, but Orlando getting the first choice should go a long way in its building efforts. Keep on reading the NBA Draft lottery recap for more on the Magic’s good fortune.
Players have until June 1 to withdraw their name from the draft. Players with remaining college eligibility who aren’t drafted can return to school as long as they end their relationship with any agents.
More Help on the Way for Magic
Orlando has made over its roster with the selection of Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner in the top 10 of the 2021 NBA Draft. Now the Magic get to pick the top prospect in next month’s draft.
While Orlando has seven players 6-foot-10 or taller on its current roster, the Magic figure to pick from 7-footer Chet Holmgren or 6-10 prospects Jabari Smith and Paolo Banchero.
Thunder, Kings Moving on Up
As the lottery selection was unfolding, there was little movement as things went according to plan. That all changed when the Sacramento Kings were not the team listed as having the seventh overall selection. A little later in the process, the Oklahoma City also proved to be lucky in the lottery.
Oklahoma City (+650) had the fourth-best odds and Sacramento (+1200) the seventh-best odds. They ended up with the No. 2 and 4 spots in the draft order.
The Thunder will gladly take one of the remaining top frontcourt players as Banchero, Holmgren and Smith would all fit nicely with last year’s lottery pick. Josh Giddey is another, as well as emerging star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Sacramento’s draft history has been sketchy at best. The decision to take Marvin Bagley ahead of Luka Doncic in 2018 will be as much a part of their draft history as the Portland Trail Blazers selecting Sam Bowie ahead of Michael Jordan in 1984.
The Kings traded away not only Bagley but also former first-round selection Tyrese Haliburton in separate trades during the season.
Sacramento will have to wait and see what happens with the top three picks. If things go as expected, perhaps the Kings take Purdue guard Jaden Ivey and let him team up with De’Aaron Fox in the backcourt.
Rockets Figure to Go Big
When looking at the NBA Draft lottery recap, Houston is the only team to have a top-3 pick in both the 2021 and 2022 drafts.
The Rockets passed up on frontcourt players Scottie Barnes and Evan Mobley, who finished first and second in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting. Houston did land a promising post player Alperen Sengun thanks to a trade with Oklahoma City.
Houston selected guard Jalen Green second overall. It took Green some time to adapt to the NBA, but he was the top rookie scorer after the NBA All-Star Game averaging 22.1 points on 48 percent shooting over his last 24 games. Now, the Rockets should be able to get a skilled big man to go with Green.
Pistons Take Tumble
A year ago the Detroit Pistons determined who the draft was going to play out after winning the draft lottery and selecting Cade Cunningham. Detroit didn’t have the same luck with the lottery this year as the NBA Draft lottery recap shows, however, they will once again have a major role in seeing how the top half of the first round shakes out.
If things go as expected, Duke’s Paolo Banchero, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, Auburn‘s Jabari Smith and Jaden Ivey of Purdue should be the first four players off the board. That leaves Detroit with some decisions to make.
Perhaps the Pistons go after 6-foot-6 guard Shaedon Sharpe, who is a top-level athlete, however, Sharpe is a bit of an unknown commodity since he didn’t play a game for Kentucky during the 2021-22 college basketball season. Former Iowa star Keegan Murray, a 6-foot-8 forward, might be another way to go. There is no way of knowing just who the Pistons will take and that is certain to make for some anxious moments for teams picking right after Detroit.
New Names in Top 10
It is not unusual to see the same teams picking in the top 10 year after year.
Indiana hasn’t had a top-10 pick since selecting Paul George 10th overall in 2010. Portland’s last top-10 draftee was CJ McCollum in 2013. You have to go back to 1997 to find the last time San Antonio had a selection in the top 10. That year Tim Duncan was the top overall draft pick by the Spurs and that worked out well!
It will be worth monitoring to see how these teams add to their roster with higher picks than they usually get.
Los Angeles Picks on the Move
The Lakers would have picked eighth and the Clippers 12th in next month’s draft, however, the Lakers sent that selection with many others in the deal that brought Anthony Davis to Los Angeles.
The Clippers’ pick is on its way to Oklahoma City thanks to the Paul George trade.
The winners of those two blockbuster trades will be decided down the road. At the current time, New Orleans and Oklahoma City seem better off with the draft capital coming their way than by holding onto those star players.
Oklahoma City, Charlotte Busy on Draft Night
Oklahoma City’s selection will be No. 2 overall and then they added the 12th pick from the Clippers. Charlotte’s selection is 13th. Two picks later, the Hornets will be on the clock again as a deal sending Devonte’ Graham to New Orleans brought back the 15th overall selection.
Oklahoma City also has the No. 30 selection.Follow us on Twitter