Marc Daniels: What This Lottery Now Means For The Magic


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It was Magic. Every promo ESPN ran leading up to the NBA Draft Lottery highlighted four players. The Magic ended up with the 5th pick. It doesn't mean the team can't find a star with the 5th and 8th pick in the draft. But after the draft order was revealed, Jeff Weltman looked like he found out he won't be getting out of his timeshare contract and will be paying those fees the rest of his life.

But did anything really change for the Magic last night? Not really. The team still needs to find a star and continue to build with some of the young players currently on the roster and the team needs Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz to return and be healthy. There was never going to be a one-year plan to build a contending team. This is still a process that will take a few years. How many? No one knows.

Maybe Cade Cunningham is going to be the next LeBron James. But while Cunningham appears to be the player most agree will be the number one pick, no one believes he is a lock to be a hall of fame player.

The Magic still come away with two top eight picks. The only thing that came from last night is that the team knows there are a few players they won't get a chance to draft. Weltman indicated last night after the lottery there likely is not a scenario where the Magic would look at making a trade to move up but who knows what happens in the next five weeks.

Who could the Magic draft at five? My guess is another Jonathan, this one named Kuminga, would appear to be a name for that pick. He played in the G-League and many talent evaluators believe he might have the biggest upside(and don't we love that word hyping players for the draft) of all players in this draft. Kuminga is not yet 19 years old so the team would be another teenager to a young roster.

With the 8th pick, there will be options to find another shooter/scorer. My choice would be Gonzaga's Cory Kispert. He might be the best outside shooter in the draft. Kispert shot 44% from three the last two seasons at Gonzaga. He might be too old for the Magic by being over 22 years old. Tennessee's Keon Johnson, Michigan's Franz Wagner and Baylor's Davion Mitchell are other potential options at eight.

None of those names may blow you away but welcome to the draft these days. And I still with what I have been saying for years, I don't care who the Magic draft- just get it right.

Jeff Weltman and John Hammond need to find impact players and they need Mo Bamba to start playing better and they need two injured players to return to pre-injury form. The Magic need playmakers and will they find one or two players here?

Let me throw a few things out there the Magic could think about. If the Magic believe Jalen Suggs is the best player in the draft or Jalen Green, would you trade your two picks to Cleveland for the third pick? The Cavs don't need Suggs and they may prefer to move down with the additional pick.Or do what I suggested on Tuesday's radio show, somehow find your way into the Ben Simmons trade talks and try to acquire the complicated player and make him your star. Play Simmons at the five offensively and run offense in to him and find shooters who can help Simmons. In Orlando, Simmons would be a star with a new start and paired with Isaac would give the Magic an intriguing front line. Making a deal work for Simmons likely requires some creative trade building and maybe an additional team. Not sure what the Sixers would want from the Magic(Otto Porter's expiring contract, Mo Bamba and a first round pick won't be enough).

So another lottery has come and once again the Magic appear to have fallen short of what they wanted. Remember, the team has not improved its draft position in the lottery since 1993. But nothing has really changed after last night. The team is in a rebuilding mode and it will take a few years anyway. Oh, the team also needs a coach. Welcome to summers with the Orlando Magic.

Final note: It's been 16 years since the Magic drafted Fran Vazquez. I don't think he's coming over to play for the team.


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