In an effort to get to know the Magic's draft pick better, let's go back to the day he was injured @ Auburn.
The Orlando Magic drafted Auburn star Chuma Okeke 16th overall, and it's been made public that they have very little confidence that he'll be able to contribute in his rookie season. Reason being, Chuma tore his ACL while playing in this year's NCAA Tournament. Below is the explanation of where the team was, how he was playing, and his reaction to the injury.
Okeke had 20 points and 11 rebounds in Auburn's Sweet 16 game against North Carolina when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
He averaged 12 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game this past season while also leading Bruce Pearl's team in steals.
“Going down was really hard,”Okeke said. "I didn’t really think it was going to be an ACL just because I got up and started walking, and I didn’t feel any pain when I was walking, so I felt like I was going to play again in the tournament. But when I went back to the doctors, they said I wasn’t going to play, so that really hurt a lot.
His NBA Draft Outlook after the injury (via NBADraft.net): Okeke is an athletic forward with a long wingspan. He could be an ideal 3 and D player in the NBA at worst. If he improves his ability to score off the dribble, he can evolve into an NBA star. Coming off an ACL tear, teams need to see how his recovery is going in order to use their draft pick on him.
Magic President of Basketball Operations explains the pick:
“Why this pick? We believe in this player and we believe in this person,”Weltman said on Thursday night after making the selection. "He was someone we had been targeting for quite a while, and we felt he was an under-the-radar player. When he did suffer his injury in the tournament, obviously that’s going to have an impact on anyone’s draft status. But we’ve done all of our research and we’re comfortable. We feel this is just going to be a bump in the road for him, and he’s going to be an excellent player for us for several years. …