The 2019-20 season for the Orlando Magic gets underway on Wednesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The reigning Southeast Division champions have a lineup that looks largely the same as last season, but with a couple of notable changes.
Anticipated for Wednesday’s opener is the Orlando regular-season debut of guard Markelle Fultz. Fultz was acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers last season, but did not appear in a regular season game.
A 6-foot-4 guard from Washington, Fultz was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft when he was taken by Philadelphia. In six preseason games for the Magic, Fultz averaged 6.7 points, four assists and 1.8 steals.
Before he makes his Orlando debut, here’s a look back at all the No. 1 overall picks to be property of the Magic...
Shaquille O’Neal, C (1992-96)
In their 30-year history, the Magic have had the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft three times. The first time it happened was 1992 and Orlando used that pick on LSU center Shaquille O’Neal. In four seasons with the Magic, O’Neal made the All-Star Game every season and took the franchise to new heights. As a member of the Magic, O’Neal averaged 27.2 points, 12.5 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and shot 58 percent from the field.
In his third season in the NBA, O’Neal won his first of two scoring titles, averaging 29.3 points while leading the Magic to their first NBA Finals appearance. The following season, O’Neal led Orlando to what remains its only 60-win season. O’Neal still holds franchise records for blocks per game, player efficiency rating and win shares per 48 minutes.
Chris Webber, F (1993)
Chris Webber never played a game for the Magic, but deserves a mention being that he was Orlando’s No. 1 selection in 1993. That night, Webber was traded to the Golden State Warriors for guard and No. 3 overall pick Anfernee Hardaway. Webber would edge out Hardaway for Rookie of the Year and play in five All-Star Games, but the addition of Hardaway helped take Orlando to the next level.
Patrick Ewing, C (2001-02)
Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing will always be known for his 15 seasons with the New York Knicks, but many may forget that Ewing’s final season was spent in Orlando. An 11-time All-Star with New York, Ewing played in 65 games for the Magic during the 2001-02 season. Ewing averaged six points and four rebounds for Orlando. His best performance with Orlando was a 22-point, 15-rebound effort in a thrilling 93-92 win over the Phoenix Suns. It was one of just two double-doubles for Ewing as a member of the Magic.
Dwight Howard, C (2004-12)
The No. 1 pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Dwight Howard would spend eight seasons with the Magic and leave as arguably the greatest player in franchise history. Over the course of his Orlando tenure, Howard led the NBA in rebounding four times, blocked shots twice and field goal percentage once. Howard remains the franchise’s all-time leader in total points, rebounds, blocks, free throws and minutes. Howard remains the only player in league history to win three straight NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards.
The Magic reached the playoffs in each of Howard’s final six seasons, which remains a franchise record for consecutive playoff appearances. In 2009, Howard led Orlando to the NBA Finals for just the second time in franchise history. Over his first seven seasons in Orlando, Howard missed a grand total of seven games.
Markelle Flutz, G (2019-present)
What Markelle Fultz can bring the Magic remains to be seen. In less than two full seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, Fultz appeared in just 33 games and averaged 7.7 points on better than 41 percent shooting. The good news is that Fultz’s assist-to-turnover ratio was better than 2.6.