As the Mo Bamba era came to an end, we will all remember his final moment as a Magic player. Bamba's verbal and somewhat physical confrontation with Austin Rivers closed out a lackluster run for the former sixth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Bamba never played up to the hype and seemed to play his way out of the rotation often. Despite a promising finish at the end of last season, Bamba could not lock down a spot in this year's rotation and so the Magic moved him to the Lakers at the deadline on Thursday. Orlando signed Bamba to a two-year deal last season at an affordable salary and that made him easy to move.
So with Bamba gone, let's look back at all first round picks by the Orlando Magic and rank them by tiers based on production while in Orlando.
Tier 1: Star player
Tier 2: Starter or solid role player who produced or produces on a nightly basis
Tier 3: Role player that never developed(or has yet to develop) and/or hampered by injuries
Tier 4: No impact in any role
Tier placement is based only on the impact the player had in Orlando or the player they were traded for.
Paolo Banchero(2022)- He's got that "it" thing and will be an all-star and the face the franchise has needed
Franz Wagner(2021)- I admit I am hyping a bit here but I think Wagner is a borderline all-star and will be a starter in league for a dozen years
Dwight Howard(2004)- Became the best big man in the league during his time in Orlando and led team to NBA Finals
Jameer Nelson(2004)- A Denver pick but traded to Magic for a 1st the following year and was a solid starter for a decade in Orlando
Chris Weber(1993)- Became Penny Hardaway in the trade and gave the Magic one of the best 1-2 combos in the game
Shaquille O'Neal(1992)- If he only had stayed, how many titles would the team have won?
Nick Anderson(1989)- Yes, I place Anderson here because he played a decade, most as a starter and was team's first ever pick and was productive in his role throughout
Cole Anthony(2020)- Will not likely become an all-star but reliable and steady for a 15th overall pick
Aaron Gordon(2014)- Was solid but never became the start many expected him to be
Victor Oladipo(2013)- Spent three seasons and produced during his time but moved in Ibaka deal
JJ Reddick(2007)- Solid shooter in Orlando but flourished after he left
Mike Miller(2000)- Won Rookie of the Year but then moved in deal to get Gordon Giriceck and Drew Gooden
Dennis Scott(1990)- Solid and reliable and played a perfect role for that young Magic team
Jalen Suggs(2021)- There is time here and he remains promising and already has become a solid on-ball defender
Mario Herzonia(2015)- Never became the shooter/player people thought as the fifth pick in 2015
Michael Doleac(1998)- Classic backup center
Chuma Okeke(2019)- Can't get healthy
Mo Bamba(2018)- See above
Jonathan Isaac(2017)- He could be tier 3 but has missed so much time and no guarantee he will get back to level he was before
Domantas Sabonis(2016)- He is a solid player but the Magic traded him and Victor Oladipo for Serge Ibaka and that didn't work out
Dario Saric(2014)- He was the team's second first round pick and traded for Elfrid Payton who had a few moments but not enough
Andrew Nicholson(2012)- Lackluster time in Orlando but felt he could have been better
Daniel Orton(2011)- 29th pick and played 16 games in two seasons in Orlando
Courtney Lee(2008)- Missed the layup in the finals and dealt later for Rafer Alston and Tony Battie
Fran Vazquez(2005)- What else needs to be said
Reese Gaines(2003)- Played 38 forgetful games in Orlando but traded with Juwan Howard, Ty Lue and Tracy McGrady to Houston for Stevie Francis, Kelvin Cato and Cuttino Mobley as the John Weisbrod era got underway.
Chris Borchardt(2002)- Dealt on draft night for Ryan Humphrey-who played three dozen games before being traded at deadline for Gordon Giricek and Drew Gooden
Steven Hunter(2001)- It was bad, really bad
Keon Clark(1998)- Second of three first round pick that year and traded six months later in deal for the pick that became Keyon Dooling
Matt Harpring(1998)- Played one-year plus and eventually dealt for Andrew DeClerq
Johnny Taylor(1997)- Played 54 career games and 12 were with the Magic
Brian Evans(1996)- Not much here
David Vaughn(1995)- Really not much here
Brooks Thompson(1994)- Classic guard that didn't belong in the NBA
Bison Dele(1991)- For those who remember...oh boy!
Final note: Wrigley's Double Mint gum remains the most popular gum flavor sold in the US