The Orlando Magic had the NBA’s worst record last season, giving them the best odds at the number one pick. However, as is usually the case, the Magic did not land the top pick and will instead select second.
Earlier in the process, it looked like Kentucky center Nerelens Noel was the obvious choice to be selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the top pick, leaving the Magic to presumably choose one of three players – Michigan point guard Trey Burke, Kansas wing Ben McLemore and Indiana swingman Victor Oladipo.
If the Cavaliers do indeed surprise many by selecting Maryland center Alex Len, the Magic would surely be interested in drafting Noel.
In the SCIC mock draft, Orlando won’t get a shot at Noel, because the Cavaliers did indeed select him with the top pick.
The Magic don’t seem enamored with Burke and would probably rather acquired a point guard in another way, like trading for Clippers backup Eric Bledsoe or using assets to get back into the late lottery to select a player like Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum or Syracuse’s Michael-Carter Williams.
That leaves the Magic to decide between McLemore and Oladipo. Oladipo may turn out to be the better overall player, but the Magic have a wing in Maurice Harkless who looks like he could develop into a very good defender.
That’s why I think the Magic instead go with McLemore, taking offense and upside over what Oladipo brings to the table.
The Pick: Ben McLemore, SG, Kansas, 6’4.75, 189.2 lbs.
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