Magic still evaluating all options with No. 1 pick

ORLANDO, Fla. — College basketball season ended nearly three months in the past, the NBA draft lottery was greater than a month in the past and the draft itself is later this week.

Seems like the method needs to be winding down.

Orlando Magic president Jeff Weltman sees it otherwise.

“I let you know, it is still early within the course of,” Weltman stated Monday.

Translated: The Magic have not determined but what they will do on Thursday night time when the draft rolls round and so they have the No. 1 pick. Other groups have known as to gauge what the asking value could be in the event that they need to commerce for that choice, and the Magic have evaluated all the highest candidates.

But Weltman sees no cause to determine something earlier than it is completely essential, particularly given the chance that Orlando has by holding this No. 1 pick.

“Dialogue is all the time ongoing,” Weltman stated. “But most significantly, we get to do what we wish. That’s the actual profit of getting the No. 1 pick.”

The high candidates for the pick are well-known: Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. labored out for Orlando earlier this month, (*1*)Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren met with the Magic

for a number of days final week and Duke’s Paolo Banchero has been understanding with former Magic guard Mike Miller.

Holmgren stated he got here away satisfied that “nice individuals” are main the Magic.

“They’ve bought a imaginative and prescient for what they’re attempting to place collectively in Orlando,” Holmgren stated.

Weltman would not say that these are the one three candidates Orlando would take into account at No. 1.

“It’s confirmed that there are a variety of proficient gamers on the high of this draft, that is for positive,” Weltman stated.

This is the fourth time that Orlando will likely be making the No. 1 pick. The Magic took Shaquille O’Neal with the highest choice in 1992. Chris Webber was the No. 1 pick by Orlando in 1993, and he bought traded that very same night time for Penny Hardaway and a bundle of future picks that had been ultimately become Vince Carter and, later, Miller. And in 2004, the Magic chosen Dwight Howard with the primary pick.

The No. 1 pick on Thursday will be part of a younger core in Orlando that already consists of 2017 high pick Markelle Fultz, a pair of top-eight picks from the 2021 draft in Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs, and Cole Anthony — the No. 15 pick within the 2020 draft.

Orlando additionally has the No. 6 picks from the 2017 and 2018 draft, Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba. It’s doable that when subsequent season begins Orlando may have as many as six lottery picks, 9 top-16 alternatives and 12 first-rounders on its roster.

This is all a part of the problem for the Magic — who even have the No. 32 and No. 35 picks this yr — going into Thursday: Finding extra youth that matches with the present core, discovering methods to be higher subsequent season and sustainably higher for years to return.

“We do need to get higher, however not on the expense of speeding again to mediocrity,” Weltman stated. “And we do need to have one thing sustainable. But it’s a must to elevate the usual to do this. You cannot simply keep on the basement degree, , interminably. So these are conversations that we’re having, which gamers do this for us.”

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