NBA Draft: Who Should the Orlando Magic Take with the No. 4 Pick?
At first glance, the Orlando Magic appear like any other dysfunctional team at the bottom of the standings: a flawed unit with no recognizable players and an arena filled with uncertain fans wondering when the team will turn things around.
However when you start to delve deeper and evaluate the franchise, you see there’s actually a surprising amount of potential for a group that compiled a 23-59 record last season.
From the double-double machine Nikola Vucevic, to the surprisingly stellar rookie in Victor Oladipo, it seems the Magic may only be a few moves away from returning to the postseason for the first time in 3 years.
But in order to do so, it’s imperative the Magic make the right decision in the upcoming draft and find a prospect that can become a franchise cornerstone – not a franchise killer.
With that in mind, here’s a few prospects Orlando should keep on their radar with the draft inching closer.
Julius Randle, Kentucky, PF
The Magic need as much help as they can get on the offensive end, ranking 25th in points per game and second-to-last in offensive rating.
Choosing a low post scorer like Julius Randle makes perfect sense for the team, especially if offense is of management’s utmost importance at the moment.
The only issue with Randle has to be his lackluster defensive skills, as he’s notorious for being a mediocre rim protector and often struggles blocking shots inside due to his short wingspan.
Noah Vonleh, Indiana, PF/C
Noah Vonleh may be more of a long term project, but no big man other than Joel Embiid has more upside to offer than the former Hoosier.
Sporting a menacing 7’4″ wingspan and weighing in at nearly 250 pounds, he has the physical tools to dominate inside at the next level both offensively and defensively.
Pairing Vonleh and Vucevic in the frontcourt would form a menacing one-two punch, as Vonleh can become the team’s go-to option for defense inside and spread the floor more effectively by utilizing his fluid three point stroke.
Dante Exum, Australia, PG/SG
With veteran Jameer Nelson on the decline and Victor Oladipo appearing unfit to play the point guard position full-time, Orlando needs a floor general more than ever.
6’6″ combo guard Dante Exum could be just what the team needs, possessing great passing ability and killer speed which allows him to drive the lanes like a cheetah and find open teammates with ease.
With Exum and Oladipo manning the backcourt, Orlando’s perimeter defense would terrify opponents on a nightly basis and create one of the best young defensive duos in the league for years to come.
Follow Evan Caulfield on Twitter @fieldhoops