The Orlando Magic learned Tuesday that they will own the sixth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft as a result of the Draft Lottery. That result was the most likely outcome based on the odds; Orlando entered Tuesday with a 35.95 percent chance of picking sixth, with the next most-likely outcome being fifth at 26.15.
As a result of a 2013 trade with the Brooklyn Nets, the Boston Celtics—who earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference in 2017—won the lottery and will select first. The Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers round out the top three picks.
The Lakers news comes as a blow to the Magic and their fans, who were surely hoping L.A. would drop out of the top three. Had that outcome transpired, Orlando would own the Lakers’ first-round pick in 2019 with no protections, due to the Dwight Howard trade in 2012. Instead, the Magic will receive the Lakers’ second-round choice in 2017—the 33rd overall pick—as well as their second-round choice in 2019.
Orlando finds itself in a tough spot: there’s no surefire franchise-caliber player available in the sixth-pick range, meaning whomever it selects will likely fill in some gaps rather than anchor the team. While the Magic could indeed find a terrific player in that spot, the more likely result is the team will need to look elsewhere for a superstar as it hopes to return itself to NBA relevance following a playoff drought which now spans a franchise-worst five seasons.
Barring any trades, the Magic will pick sixth, 25th, 33rd, and 35th overall in the NBA Draft.