The NBA Draft is coming up, which means The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. Each day, a new team will be analyzed for their past season, their team needs and targets. Today, the Orlando Magic will be evaluated.
In head coach Steve Clifford’s first season in Orlando, the Magic had a moderately successful season. The team landed the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference with a 42-40 record. Beating out division rivals Charlotte and Miami and sneaking into the playoffs, the Magic lost in five games to the eventual Eastern Conference champion Toronto Raptors. It was their first postseason appearance since 2012.
The Magic were led by Nikola Vucevic, who put up career-high points, rebounds, and assists in his contract year. Aaron Gordon had another productive season, and is a key player for Orlando going forward. Contributions form Terrance Ross, Evan Fournier and others helped the Magic make the postseason.
Retaining Vucevic and Ross will be critical for the Magic in free agency. In order for the Magic to keep progressing as a franchise, they will have to make the most out of their draft selections as well.
The Magic have two picks in the 2019 NBA Draft.
First Round: Pick No. 16
Second Round: Pick No. 46
Small forward- A wing scorer would be ideal for the Magic to pick up in this draft. Ranked 22nd in offense and with low depth at the small forward spot, this is Orlando’s biggest need.
Rebounding- Orlando ranked 25th in opponent’s defensive rebounds per game last season. A big man to grab boards would be a wise selection for the Magic, especially if Mo Bamba sees limited playing time again next season,
First Round, Pick No. 16- Keldon Johnson, Shooting Guard, Kentucky
Keldon Johnson would be an ideal selection for the Magic in the first round. While listed as a shooting guard, Johnson could play the three spot for Orlando.
In one season with Kentucky, Johnson helped lead his team to the Elite 8. He averaged 13.5 points on 46 percent shooting and 5.9 rebounds per game for the Wildcats.
Johnson is 6-foot-6, 211 pounds, and could provide a good young scorer for the Magic. He shot 38 percent from three-point last season, and would help out the 12th ranked team in that department.
Second Round, Pick No. 46: Eric Paschall, Power Forward, Villanova
With their late-second round pick, the Magic should look at taking senior big man Eric Paschall out of Villanova. Paschall played four years of college basketball, and averaged 16.5 points and 6.1 rebounds in his final year, while shooting nearly 45 percent from the field.
At 6-foot-8 and 255 pounds, Paschall isn’t a stretch four, but can still score well at his position. Over time, he could develop into a strong backup for Gordon.
Stats credited to basketball-reference.com.