The Orlando Magic learned Tuesday they'll pick fourth in the 2014 NBA Draft, which event will take place on June 27th. Given that news, we thought it appropriate to offer this look back at the five most recent players selected at that spot. We acknowledge every Draft class is different and the players below do not necessarily reflect the star caliber of whomever Orlando ultimately chooses in June.
Player: Tyreke Evans
Team: Sacramento Kings
Rookie stats: 20.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.5 steals, 52.9 percent True Shooting
Career stats: 16.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 51.7 percent True Shooting
Notes: Evans took home Rookie of the Year honors after joining Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James as the only first-year players to average 20 points, five rebounds, and five assits per game. His scoring average has dropped in each subsequent season, perhaps due to playing the first four years of his career for a dysfunctional Kings franchise or, less charitably, a game that hasn't quite translated to NBA success.
Player: Wesley Johnson
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
Rookie stats: Nine points, three rebounds, 1.9 assists, 49.1 percent True Shooting
Career stats: 8.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 48 percent True Shooting
Notes: A phenomenal player in his three collegiate seasons--including a final campaign at Syracuse during which he averaged 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds--Johnson lasted only two seasons in Minnesota before it had to deal a future first-round Draft pick as the cost of unloading him via trade. Johnson entered the league at age 23 and had a low ceiling for a high-lotto selection. With the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2013/14 season--his third team in four years--Johnson stroked 36.9 percent of his three-pointers, a new career-best. To stick in the NBA, he'll need to maintain or exceed that level of long-range accuracy, enabling him to play smallball power forward on a situational basis.
Player: Tristan Thompson
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Rookie stats: 8.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 46.9 percent True Shooting
Career stats: 10.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 51 percent True Shooting
Notes: Some NBA fans regard Thompson as the guy Cleveland picked ahead of the bigger, burlier Jonas Valanciunas, but the Texas product has developed into a decent NBA player in his own right. Though still less efficient than the ideal power forward, Thompson has at least proven he can rebound well for his position.
Player: Dion Waiters
Team: Cleveland Cavaliers
Rookie stats: 14.7 points, three assists, 49.2 percent True Shooting
Career stats: 15.3 points, three assists, 50 percent True Shooting
Notes: Having picked point guard Kyrie Irving first overall just a year earlier, Cleveland probably didn't need a small, ball-dominant two-guard with the fourth pick in 2012, but that's what it selected anyway. Waiters can get hot off the bench in a hurry, but is just as likely to shoot his team out of a game as he is to shoot it into one.
Player: Cody Zeller
Team: Charlotte Bobcats
Rookie stats: Six points, 4.3 rebounds, 49.8 percent True Shooting
Notes: Zeller anchored Indiana's offense as a center throughout his stellar NCAA career, and thus faced a difficult transition to a smaller role at power forward in his first NBA campaign. Though his overall numbers look so-so, a glance at his splits suggests he figured out the game as his first professional season wore on: in 29 appearances after the All-Star Break, Victor Oladipo's former college teammate averaged 7.7 points and 4.8 boards per game on 58.1 percent True Shooting.
Player: Dennis Scott
Team: Orlando Magic
Rookie stats: 15.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 50.9 percent True Shooting
Career stats: 12.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 53 percent True Shooting
Notes: Scott enjoyed a 12-year NBA career, playing seven of those seasons with the Magic. Before teaming with Shaquille O'Neal to form a lethal inside-out duo which helped guide the Magic to two Eastern Conference Finals and one NBA Finals, Scott ranked second on Orlando in scoring for two consecutive seasons. The Magic honored the Georgia Tech standout during one game in their 25th anniversary season.