Based on the latest NBA mock drafts, the one conclusion that can be made is that nobody has any idea who the Magic are really going to take.
Predictions vary widely and, in the mocks below, there are six different players that the experts have the Magic taking. In a few short hours, we will no longer have to speculate and we’ll find out who the Magic are really getting.
Until then, here is a collection of final mock drafts from around the web. As for SB Nation’s own Ricky O’Donnell, he has the Magic taking Wendell Carter Jr.
Click on each publication for the full draft. Also be sure to check out the mock draft round-up we did the night after the Draft Lottery.
ESPN - Magic select Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Teams are getting mixed signals from Orlando about their intentions at No. 6. Some feel they are picking between guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Trae Young, while others see this as a BPA situation, with Bamba and Carter strongly in the mix. ESPN Mock: https://t.co/JZ0l0l1Ksd— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 21, 2018
Teams are getting mixed signals from the Magic about their intentions here. Some sources around the league say they are picking between guards Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Trae Young and Collin Sexton, while others feel like this will be more of a best-player-available situation, with Bamba and Carter strongly in the mix.
Gilgeous-Alexander is picking up steam late, despite the fact that he hasn’t conducted a workout with any team outside of his agency’s pro day. His size, length and versatility could be very attractive this high. His offense made significant strides as the season went on, and NBA teams feel he’s only starting to scratch the surface on his potential. -- Jonathan Givony
ESPN - Magic select Michael Porter Jr.
(A mock draft showing who each team should take rather than who they will take)
Teams that got access to Porter’s medicals at an evaluation last week will have a better idea of whether long-term concern about his back surgery should knock Porter down the draft board. Assuming he checks out, Porter projects as a top-five prospect by my model because of his strong performance in AAU games as part of the Nike EYBL. I slightly favored him over AAU teammate Trae Young because of concerns over Young’s size on defense. -- Kevin Pelton
CBS Sports - Magic select Trae Young
If Michael Porter Jr. is off the board at this point, and I think he will be, I believe Orlando is ready to go and get Young. The pre-draft process can lead to a lot of groupthink (if not deception) on certain prospects. I don’t think it makes sense to let a player who was as prolific as Young drop below sixth or seventh in this draft. No prospect in this crop was as good at any one thing last season as Trae Young was at passing the ball and effectively distributing it. Then you take into consideration how good his shot is and how crafty he is around the rim. I can’t talk myself into dropping him. Orlando needs a star. Young is that. The Magic were bottom-tier in offense and 3-point shooting last season. -- Matt Norlander
Sports Illustrated - Magic select Wendell Carter Jr.
The Magic have made attempts to move up to No. 3, offering this pick and at least one future first-rounder, as SI’s Jake Fischer reported yesterday. Speculatively, that may signal a belief that neither Bamba or Jackson, the two players who best fit Orlando’s prerogative, will fall to six. While the Magic have a need for star talent and might be tempted by Michael Porter or Trae Young, Orlando can also ill-afford to whiff on this selection. There’s a school of thought that Carter is one of the safest picks in the entire draft. If the Magic are devoid of better options, it makes more sense to hit a double or triple rather than risk striking out. Orlando will likely have more opportunities to sift for a star in the next couple drafts, given their present trajectory. -- Jeremy Woo
Bleacher Report - Magic select Mo Bamba
In Mohamed Bamba, new Magic head coach Steve Clifford lands a defensive anchor to build around. It could also mean putting Nikola Vucevic on the trade block, but Orlando will worry about roster fit later on.
The Magic’s logjam up front won’t stop them from acquiring the best available talent. Bamba’s 7’10” wingspan and flashes of shooting touch fuel some of the most unique potential in the draft.
Trae Young and Collin Sexton will earn consideration here as well, but assuming the front office sees Bamba as the superior prospect, it won’t take a point guard just to fill a need. -- Jonathan Wasserman
The Ringer - Magic select Trae Young
I’m turning the card in early. You know those picks where they don’t even take the time on the clock; they just turn it in ’cause they’ve got their guy? [That’s] Trae Young. In a lot of mock drafts, it’s between Mo Bamba and Trae Young here. I don’t think it’s much of a decision. He’s what the Magic need. There are a lot of potential downsides to him, but I just think what the Magic need to get out of their six-year tailspin is scoring, excitement, and superstar potential, and that’s what Trae Young has. … I think that [new coach Steve] Clifford can scheme the defense into a point that it’s OK—the fact that [Young’s] a limited defender doesn’t worry me. I think that a Steve Clifford team can carry a Trae Young on defense. -- Kevin Clark
USA Today - Magic select Jaren Jackson Jr.
Jackson’s pro potential – length, timing, ability to stretch the floor and defensive versatility – was always evident even if not necessarily showcased at Michigan State. --USA Today staff
Sporting News - Magic select Wendell Carter Jr.
The Magic’s selection here remains one of the tougher picks to project. Not much information has flowed out of Orlando, which makes sense, as there are a number of scenarios that could go down.
The team has brought Carter in for a workout, and although one of the point guards would make sense to fill a positional need, the 6-10 center would give the Magic a frontcourt building block for the future once the contracts of Bismack Biyombo and Nikola Vucevic expire. Carter’s offensive game is an excellent fit for the modern NBA. --Chris Stone
NBA.com - Magic select Collin Sexton
Need, meet player. Sexton has been very impressive both in pre-Draft workouts and in his interviews with prospective teams. The Magic’s decade-plus chasm at the point has to end. Sexton can score with the best of them, and while his playmaking is a work in progress, he’ll likely get better at finding open guys with detailed coaching and being with better players. Defensively, there’s a reason he’s been compared with Patrick Beverley; Sexton’s give a bleep meter is high. If Young were still on the board here Orlando would have a choice to make, and maybe they’d go for Young. But if he’s off the board already, there is no choice. Take Sexton. -- David Aldridge
Yahoo - Magic select Jaren Jackson Jr.
The 6-11 Jackson has said he wants to become the next Anthony Davis. The good news? Jackson is only 18 and has tangible offensive upside (he shot 39.6 percent from three) with remarkable defensive versatility. The bad news? He doesn’t handle the ball well and has a basic arsenal of offensive moves. -- Jordan Schultz
UPROXX - Magic select Trae Young
The Magic have the league’s worst point guard situation and a startling lack of high-end offensive creation. Young would seemingly address both issues, even with all of his weaknesses. He is an underrated (and fantastic) passer and, if the shooting pops in the way that it could, Young will make the Magic look quite intelligent at this slot. -- Brad Rowland
Basketball Insiders: With four different writers making picks, the Magic take: Michael Porter Jr., Collin Sexton, and Trae Young (twice)
NBADraft.net: Wendell Carter Jr.