NBA.com scribe Scott Howard-Cooper posted his latest 2014 NBA mock Draft on Friday, and his picks for the Orlando Magic haven't changed since the first mock Draft he posted after the NBA Draft Lottery in May. Indeed, Howard-Cooper still believes the Magic will select Dante Exum fourth overall and Rodney Hood with the 12th pick.
Exum, 18, is renowned for his size, speed, and ability to create for himself off the dribble at point guard. The Australian dynamo first gained international attention in the 2013 FIBA U19 Championship for Men, during which tournament he posted averages of 18.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.7 steals per game.
Given the questions about whether point guard is his natural position and about the level of competition he's faced in his career to date, Exum might be a risky pick, says Howard-Cooper, who suggests the Magic could instead pick a power forward such as Julius Randle or Noah Vonleh fourth overall.
Hood, meanwhile, averaged 16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game for Duke following a transfer from Mississippi State. The 21-year-old shot 46.4 percent from the floor overall, including 42 percent on 4.8 three-point tries per game, as a Blue Devil. As a team, Orlando shot just 35.3 percent on three-pointers in the 2013/14 season, ranking 19th in the league, so it's easy to understand why Howard-Cooper believes Orlando will look to upgrade with a player of Hood's caliber.
Tyler Ennis could also be in play for the Magic here, Howard-Cooper says, but only if they pass on Exum at no. 4.
Orlando Pinstriped Post readers ranked Exum and Hood fourth and 14th, respectively, on the Community Big Board.