The NBA conducted its 2017 draft lottery on Tuesday night, revealing that the Magic will have the 6th overall pick in the NBA draft. Magic fans were also following the position of the Los Angeles Lakers pick closesly, and their top-3 positioning means they will convey two 2017 second rounders. Check out our main recap here.
Three more takeaways from the draft lottery:
Tonight was nearly a worst-case scenario
Orlando had the potential to jump into the top 3 if the ping pong balls bounced their way, as well as the potential to get a 2019 first round pick from the Lakers if they fell out of the top 4. Instead, the Magic got neither.
The only way it could have shaken out worse would have been if two teams jumped the Magic instead of one, pushing them all the way down to 7th. Fortunately they averted that disaster, but Orlando fans probably won’t be happy with the final result.
The Magic have a handful of guards and wings to choose among
After the top couple picks, the draft is stacked with a bevy of guards and forwards to choose among. The Magic will have some options, in other words. They could choose to take their next point guard if they’re ready to move on from Elfrid Payton, looking at players like De’Aaron Fox or Dennis Smith, if they’re on the board.
They could also choose from a handful of wings, many of whom project as athletic talents, albeit with questionable shooting ability coming out of college. Guys like Josh Jackson and Jayson Tatum fall into this category, though the natural concern is worrying whether they can fit on an already space-challenged team, and whether they’ll conflict with Gordon’s playing time should either end up playing up into a power forward type of position.
There’s other options too. Malik Monk is right in the Magic’s range as well, and he might be the best shooter in the top-10. On the other hand, if the Magic decide he’s not the best available player, they may look elsewhere despite the potential fit. There are a lot of questions up in the air, especially with the GM position yet to be filled.
The last win of the season didn’t affect much
Immediately, there was plenty of outcry over the Magic’s poor draft results, blaming the final win of the season against Detroit, which positioned the Sixers ahead of the Magic after their tiebreaker.
First, trying to retroactively judge those results after the lottery is revealed is unwise. It would be silly to freak out if the Sixers moved up from their 4th spot and the Magic didn’t, just like it would have been silly to praise the Magic for winning if they’d moved up from 5th.
Still, if we’re going to play the hindsight game, it turns out it didn’t end up mattering much anyway. If they Magic had the 4th-best odds, they’d only be drafting 5th instead of 6th, and the Sixers would still be 3rd. That’s because it wasn’t the Sixers own pick that moved up.
Instead, it was the Kings’ pick, which moved up from 8th to 3rd. Philly owned swap-rights on the better of the two, so the Sixers claimed that one, moving Sacramento back to 5th.
In other words, the Magic didn’t lose the lottery because they won the last game of the season..not that that’s a good way to evaluate it, anyway.