It didn’t go quite as well as it could have, but in the end the Orlando Magic have to be happy with how the 2014 NBA Lottery went. When the balls had finished bouncing the team had come out with the fourth overall pick, and in a draft class as deep as the incoming one, there is a feeling that the pick could turn into a brilliant addition to this team. But who should the team take? There are many factors to take into consideration here, including who the three teams above them will take, but right now Orlando fans have to be feeling pretty happy. There is a feeling that the 12th pick the team also has will come in quite handy as well, but we can get to who the team will take with that pick later on.
Andrew Wiggins is the kind of player who excites the crowd and energizes a franchise.
First, congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers on snagging the top pick. They had a 1.7 percent chance of getting it, and picking first three out of the last four years is pretty amazing. Whether franchise player Kyrie Irving sticks around or not, whoever they bring in should at least have the potential to make fans forget about him pretty quickly if all goes according to plan.
Back to Orlando, though. The early murmurings are that Cleveland will take center Joel Embiid with the first pick, despite that back injury that crept up on him during the end of his collegiate career (also known as “his freshman season”). Good thing, too, as Orlando has that position sorted with Nikola Vucevic already locking down the paint for this team. He’s due a breakout campaign next year too, so look out for that.
You have to think that the Milwaukee Bucks would take Andrew Wiggins second. He has the most exciting game of any player in the draft, and that would go hand in hand with a franchise desperate to create a bit of buzz about itself. If for some reason Wiggins drops to fourth, which could happen given how deep this draft is, the Magic should take this guy. As good as he could be, he also fills a positional need too, which makes him the kind of player to try to lock up. In Victor Oladipo, this team has it’s supposed point guard of the future, and as mentioned Vucevic is the center for this team. So really a forward/wing man is the big need here, and boy does Wiggins fit that description.
Failing that though, Julius Randle is another who intrigues. The power forward has a chance to be the best player in this draft potentially. Then again, so do about eight other players. Nevertheless it is fair to say his game is at a near NBA ready level too, a big plus for teams looking to plug a rookie straight into the rotation. He averaged a double-double on a Kentucky team full of NBA ready players too, and that should not be overlooked. Yet there is still another direction the Magic could take their precious pick.
Victor Oladipo had a great rookie year, and for some he was the rookie of the year, despite the fact he didn’t win that award. He is, however, a shooting guard by nature, having played that position in college. Orlando had ideas of turning him into a point guard, and while that experiment hasn’t been a complete flop, Oladipo has struggled to adapt to the rigours of being the floor general. This is nothing against his skill as a player at all, rather an experiment that didn’t hit a home run the first time round.
So perhaps Orlando could draft a true point guard to pair with Oladipo in the backcourt to form a potentially deadly and athletic combo. Dante Exum would appear to be the point guard most feel will go highest, but in reality he is an untested commodity. Better to let some team lower down the draft take a chance on him and reap and potential benefits. Yes, Exum may well be the best, but is he even a true point guard himself?
is probably the next best guard available in a draft with surprisingly few, but his second year in college was smeared by some incidents–kicking a chair, walking off the court and visible tantrums. He would appear a more compact DeMarcus Cousins
, all the potential in the world, but an attitude that may turn many teams off them.
Which leads us to Tyler Ennis
. Not a name you would have heard a ton so far, and certainly not a player many project to be a top five pick. However, he did replace reigning rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams
at Syracuse and made people forget about MCW pretty quick. His game-winning shot in February against Pittsburgh got him noticed even among some of the more casual fans. As a more ‘true’ point guard he seems to understand the position and what it entails extremely well, and although his ceiling might not be crazy high, he could actually be a pretty safe pick.
Ultimately the Magic would be wise to pick a forward/big if they get the chance to. They don’t need a center as we have found out, but an explosive wing player could really propel this team into new heights. The point guard theory is interesting, and don’t be surprised if it comes to be, but there remains too much talent to pass up with the high possibility that one of either Wiggins, Randle or Parker can offer. Assuming that is the way this team goes, there will be in place an extremely exciting core going into next year. This doesn’t even take into account the useful fourteenth pick the team has, a topic we will return to soon.