Will Orlando Magic fans be happy if they draft Collin Sexton?

(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
(Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images) /

It feels like the Orlando Magic will actually draft a point guard this year, but will the fanbase be happy if his name is Collin Sexton?

The Orlando Magic might be coming off another poor season, but the right pick in the 2018 NBA Draft will make all of that losing feel a lot more worthwhile.

From the moment they were paired with the sixth pick, there have been all manner of players who appeared to be the right choice for the team to take, for all manner of reasons.

Initially, point guard Trae Young seemed the obvious choice, and for a minute there it looked like this might be a routine decision for the organization. Make no mistake, a straightforward choice is exactly what this team needs after watching former lottery picks like Elfrid Payton and Mario Hezonja fail to amount to much.

Then there was a change of thinking, at least in the minds of many people in charge of mock drafts and therefore “in the know.” Suddenly a big man was exactly what the Magic required to continue to grow.

While on paper there looks to be some potentially great ones available in this draft, it didn’t totally make sense for Orlando to go in this direction.

After all, the Magic have restricted free agent forward Aaron Gordon; another forward/small-ball center in Jonathan Isaac coming off a short but promising rookie season; and immovable object Bismack Biyombo already on the roster.

More from NBA Draft

Throw in Nikola Vucevic and the intriguing Khem Birch, and it was difficult to see what sense this made. Then again, many people’s way of thinking around draft day is to take the best player available and figure the rest out later.

Given the needs of teams above them, it appeared conceivable that players like Mo Bamba and Marvin Bagley III would still be available — two potentially can’t miss type of prospects.

Then Wendell Carter Jr, a player shooting up draft boards in much the same way Isaac did last season, looks like a player at least worth considering. His skill-set would unquestionably add another layer of versatility to the roster.

All of a sudden, Young to the Atlanta Hawks with the third pick gained some traction, and it seemed more likely that the Magic would lean towards taking who they thought was the best big man left when they were on the clock.

Enter a Woj grenade (Woj bombs are saved for league-wide news and he is sure to unload his fair share come draft night):

As the above video of ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski shows, the team is having a hard time deciding on taking one of Young and Collin Sexton. Not everybody was happy by this news.

But if Young is gone by the time the Magic are picking, or indeed if both are still available and the team goes with Sexton, would the fanbase be happy with the organization for making that decision?

While Young has a kind of excitability and edge-of-your-seat offensive skill-set, there is still much to like about Sexton — so much so that fans should not be overly concerned if this is the direction the team goes in.

Defensive play isn’t lauded in the same way scoring is, but there’s also no doubt Sexton is the better defender of the two players.

More from Hoops Habit

Combined with Isaac and Birch/Biyombo, the Magic have the potential to be great on that end of the court in time.

They have also added a head coach this offseason in Steve Clifford, who will get the best out of players on that end of the court.

It may be a stretch to say he turned Kemba Walker into an All-Star. Like Young, his offensive game was impressive out of college, but he did help improve his fundamentals and defending.

Could he have the same impact on Sexton? When you consider the way Sexton approaches and plays the game of basketball, that would be an exciting mix.

It is absolutely crazy to say that Sexton is going to be the next Russell Westbrook or anything close to it, but there is also something to love about the intensity Sexton plays with. It’s the kind of maniacal enthusiasm when he is driving to the rim that at least mirror’s Westbrook’s in desire and explosiveness.

Couldn’t the Magic use a player with that kind of intensity? As it stands, who is the one player on their roster who riles them up the most with attitude and style of play?

Gordon? He’s getting there, but isn’t always outwardly emotional. Jonathon Simmons? That’s what the Magic thought they might get with him, but it didn’t pan out in that way.

So while Trae Young is the more consistent shooter and as of now better offensive player of the two, Sexton has the temperament to light a fire under the franchise.

Sexton shot 33.6 percent from deep during his lone season with Alabama, while Young managed to connect on 36 percent of his attempts from 3-point range while in Oklahoma.

Young figures to be the better shooter over the course of their careers, but the mechanical way in which Sexton shoots can be altered. This could lead to an uptick in 3-point shooting and efficiency.

So with a desire to win, a better defensive reputation at this point than Young (which admittedly would not be hard) and the ability to improve offensively, what’s not to like?

Collin Sexton may not have the potential star power or ability to sell jerseys that Trae Young has. He most certainly does not possess the offensive firepower either.

Next: 2018 NBA Mock Draft - Final edition

But if he does end up wearing the pinstriped blue of the Orlando Magic, there are many reasons to feel optimistic about what he can bring to the team.