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The Magic Would be Lucky Just to Get a Rotation Player with the 22nd Pick

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So, about the upcoming draft...

The Magic's chances of getting an impact player with the 22nd overall pick are pretty slim, to put it charitably. Ryan Schwan of Hornets247 exhaustively crunched numbers from every draft pick in the NBA from 1984 to 2005 and came up with a nifty table that outlines those picks' performance based on a letter-grade scale. Here, he describes players taken with picks 20-28:

20-28 continues the trend, with more players falling into the grades D and F(67%) though it is still possible to land a good player. The odds are that one of the players picked in this range will at least be a starter, and another one will land in a rotation. The rest? Not so good.

Indeed, 37% of all players drafted 20th-28th got a grade of "F", which Schwan defines as a player who "never developed and earned minor minutes." Additionally, the data show the Magic are equally as likely to draft a guy who will not play a single minute in the NBA than they are to draft a star (5% each).

For the record, the Magic have owned the 22nd overall pick once before in their history: 2001. They selected Jeryl Sasser, who lasted just 2 seasons in the NBA, both of them with the Magic. It's not hard to imagine why his career ended so early: his averages (2.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 30.3% FGs) are simply horrendous. And to think this guy went 6 picks ahead of Tony Parker.

Oy. I'm getting to be as bad as Buzz Killington.

However, it's not all gloom-and-doom. There haven't been many great 22nd overall picks in recent memory (you have to go back to the 1987 draft to find Reggie Lewis, the last All-Star drafted 22nd) but some players taken 23-30 have worked out okay. Just ask the Celtics (Kendrick Perkins), Lakers (Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic), Pistons (Jason Maxiell, Tayshaun Prince), and Spurs (Tony Parker), the four teams still standing this season, each of which gets key contributions from recent late-first round draft picks. Sure, the odds are decidedly against us getting anyone of that caliber, especially given the questionable draft history of Otis Smith and Dave Twardzik, but it's not impossible.

As for whom the Magic might select, I can't say for sure, but my three favorite NBA Draft sites can. Bookmark this 3QC Mock Draft Summary page for regular updates from DraftExpress, NBADraft.net, and Ridiculous Upside.