Tuck: Draft Options For The Orlando Magic
PG Dante Exum, 6’6″, 196, Australia
The only player not named Embiid, Wiggins, or Parker that could go in the top 3. Most seem to consider him the last of the elite talents in the draft. The Magic have an obvious need in the backcourt. He would be my choice, and if he was gone, then I’d take whoever was left from the other group.
PF Noah Vonleh, 6’10″, 247, Indiana
Strikes me as a player the Magic could fall in love with. Physically he has all the tools to be a great power forward someday. He’ll need a couple of years of seasoning, but he can bring a skill set to the table that is similar, and perhaps better one day, than LaMarcus Aldridge.
PF Julius Randle, 6’9″, 234, Kentucky
He is ready to contribute from day one. He’ll be a 10+ year starter in the NBA at the power forward spot and within 3 years will be a 20-10 guy annually thereafter.
**** I wouldn’t consider anyone else at the #4 pick. I am not a Marcus Smart fan. He’s a shorter, less-talented version of Tyreke Evans in my mind, and I mean that from the shooting ability, to the idea of him being a true point guard, to the mental instability. I don’t like all the flops. I don’t like the fact his favored Cowboys got beat down twice in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
PG Zach LaVine, 6’6″, 182, UCLA
Athletically he is highly gifted. He is a bit of a project, but he has the tools to be a solid starter in a few years. Because of his size, he can guard 3 spots, and being versatile is a big part of the NBA today.
PG Tyler Ennis, 6’3″, 182, Syracuse
Composed and mature. Does everything well. Tested out better athletically than most thought he would at the combine. May never be a superstar, but he’ll be a leader for your basketball team.
SF Rodney Hood, 6’9″, 208, Duke
Terrific shooter and shows a knack for scoring. Finishes in traffic. Takes advantage of being left-handed like any good lefty would. Struggles on defense, but not something that would make him unplayable in the NBA.
SF Nik Stauskas, 6’7″, 207, Michigan
Might be the best shooter in the draft. Has a great handle, so can play on and off the ball, and can play 3 positions.
SF James Young, 6’8″, 213, Kentucky
Another lefty who can score at will, off the dribble to the rim or pulling up. Terrific athlete with the length to play even a stretch-4 in smaller lineups, especially as he adds weight in his career.
SF CleAnthony Early, 6’7″, 210, Wichita State
He’ll be able to defend both forward spots. Toughness personified. Tested out well athletically easing any fears in that regard. Not a great ball-handler after spending most of his career on the block. Does have range on his jump-shot. I think he’s going to be a very good player, just never an all-star.
***** I didn’t include players that I didn’t expect to fall to the Magic at the 12th pick. Orlando doesn’t have an answer in this draft at power forward with the 12th pick, so if it isn’t addressed with the 4th selection, then obviously free agency this year or next, or next year’s draft will be needed.