And with the 6th Pick the Magic select…
The ping pong balls have dropped, and we now know that the Orlando Magic hold the 6th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, the draft lottery did not go as planned as Orlando fell back 1 spot instead of leaping into the top 4 picks. Orlando now has to hope that they can get their hands on a difference maker at number 6. The good news is this draft is full of talented point guards, and they should be at the very least be able to find an upgrade over current starter Elfrid Payton. Let’s take a look now at some of the payers who likely be available with the 6th overall pick.
Dennis Smith Jr. PG N.C. State
Smith has to be the early favorite for the Magic as the team recently had him in for a workout. But Smith’s ties to the Magic actually start much earlier…He played for Penny Hardaway’s AAU team while in high school. During his freshman year at N.C. State Smith put up just over 18 points a game and dished out over 6 dimes a game. But it is his athleticism that makes him so valuable at the point. Smith has been known to put his team on his back at times, which was evident early this year when he led the Wolfpack past the Duke thanks to his 32 points.
De’Aaron Fox PG Kentucky
Another option for the Magic could be Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox. The 19-year-old is an intriguing prospect who has quietly been shooting up the draft boards for his ability to be a two-way player. Not only can Fox put points on the board, but he is no slouch at the defensive end. Fox may even have the edge on top prospect, Lonzo Ball as he went off for 39 points when two went head-to-head in the NCAA tournament. At 6’3” Fox is the type of playmaker that the Magic desperately need. He can also fly by opponents with his top notch speed.
Malik Monk SG Kentucky
Now if for some reason Orlando decides not to go with a point guard, they may look for some scoring with a shooting guard. One player that fits that bill is Kentucky’s Malik Monk. This former Wildcat can put up points in a hurry, including from beyond the arc. Monk shot nearly 40% from downtown last year and can score with the best of them. He also has great playmaking ability from his athleticism. If Orlando wants instant offense, then they should look long and hard at Monk.
Josh Jackson SG Kansas
If you are looking for a shooting guard with size Josh Jackson is your man. The Kansas product has all the moves on offense, and can create his own shot. Jackson is also known for his hustle as you won’t catch him taking a play off. This type of energy helps his excel at both ends of the court. Jackson has even has developed a decent 3-point shot, making even more dangerous when he is on the court.
Hamidou Diallo SG Kentucky
Now you may be asking yourself who since Hamidou Diallo never actually suited up for the Wildcats. Instead, Diallo played half a year of high school ball before enrolling at Kentucky. If he can make the jump from Kentucky to the NBA, he will become a “none and done” player just like Thon Maker is last year’s draft. What makes Diallo so special is his leaping ability. He was off the charts at the NBA combine, recording a 44.5” vertical, which is the second most in combine history.
It’s too bad Orlando didn’t have any luck at the Draft Lottery because both Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball would have looked real good in a Magic uniform. Of course those two will be long gone by the time the Magic pick. But there is still hope as Orlando is not only adding a 1st round pick, but a new general manager as well.