Orlando is focused on Auburn's Chuma Okeke at No. 16, league source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 21, 2019
Okeke was a star power forward for the Auburn Tigers, who made the Final Four for the first time in school history this past season. He averaged 12.0 points and 6.8 rebounds while shooting just under 39% from three-point distance. Okeke suffered a season-ending ACL injury to his left knee in Auburn’s Sweet Sixteen victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Okeke led the SEC in offensive rebounds last season. He finished 2nd in steals, steal percentage, defensive box plus/minus, and box plus/minus (2nd all-time in SEC, career)— Orlando Pinstriped Post (@OPPMagicBlog) June 21, 2019
The Magic were picking outside of the lottery for the first time since they selected Andrew Nicholson with the 19th overall pick in the ’12 draft.
The organization drafted Victor Oladipo (‘13, 2nd), Aaron Gordon (‘14, 4th), Dario Saric (‘14, 12th - traded for the rights to Elfrid Payton), Mario Hezonja (‘15, 5th), Domantas Sabonis (‘16, 11th - traded along with Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova for the rights to Serge Ibaka), Jonathan Isaac (‘17, 6th), and Mohamed Bamba (‘18, 6th) with their seven lottery picks in the last six years. Of course, only Gordon, Isaac, and Bamba remain with the team.
The organization is excited about the possibility of Okeke blossoming into another piece of Orlando’s young and emerging core group of players.
Teams have found some success with the sixteenth overall pick in past drafts. NBA Hall-of-Fame point guard John Stockton was drafted 16th in 1984. Dana Barros (‘89), Chris Gatling (‘91), Metta World Peace (‘99), and Orlando’s own Nikola Vucevic (‘11) are all former 16th overall picks who have gone on to make an All-Star appearance in their careers. Hedo Turkoglu, Marreese Speights, Nick Young, Jusuf Nurkic, and Terry Rozier are all former 16th overall picks who have also carved out significant roles for themselves in the NBA at one point or another.
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