Plenty of Choices for the Magic
We are just hours away from the 2017 NBA Draft and for the Orlando Magic, there appears to be two clear cut options for the number 6 overall pick. The first option would be to find a replacement for Elfrid Payton at the point guard position. The second option would be to target the best available player that is still on the board. Now based on most mock drafts the two players that fit that bill are either North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr. or Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac.
First, let’s take a look at why Dennis Smith Jr. would be an ideal pick for Orlando. For starters, he is an explosive point guard who plays above the rim. In fact, Smith tied the highest vertical ever recorded at the NBA combine. Smith’s 48-inch vertical is one of the main reasons why he won’t last long on draft night. Smith’s explosiveness has some scouts even comparing his game to Russell Westbrook. For the Magic, Smith would be the type of playmaker that they have been missing. With the Wolfpack last season Smith had no problem filling the stat sheet. The point guard averaged over 18 points to go along with 6 dimes and 4 boards a game.
Now the other clear cut favorite for the Magic to take is forward Jonathan Isaac. The 19-year-old made the ACC All-Freshman team during his lone season at FSU, and appears to have the most upside out of any player in the draft. With so much potential, Isaac has been called a mini Kevin Durant, as he has all of the tools to become an All-Star. Basically he has guard skills as a 6’10 forward. This makes Isaac a matchup nightmare that can hurt you from inside and out. Isaac will also help with floor spacing as defenders will have to respect his outside shooting ability. He hit 34% from beyond the arc while averaging 12 points a game for the Seminoles. Another thing to consider about Isaac is that he had a rather late growth spurt, and may still be growing. I predict that many teams will be kicking themselves for not taking a chance on Isaac has he appears destined for stardom.
Of course there is always the possibility that both of these players are off the board when the Magic pick. If that’s the case, then anything is possible, including a draft night trade. Now one thing that Orlando really needs to do is to avoid reaching for a player just because they fill a need. Too many teams have done this only to see a player that was still available turn into a star. Either way, Thursday night is shaping up to franchise altering for the Magic.