The NBA Draft is less than two weeks away.
One recent report suggests that the Magic are looking to move up in the draft, perhaps putting them in better position to address their shooting needs.
But for now, they hold the No. 15 pick, and here are the players that the experts have them selecting in the latest round of mock drafts...
SB Nation - Aaron Nesmith
Nesmith had already established himself as the most prolific outside shooter in the draft before he endured a fractured foot that ended his season early. While teams would have liked to get more tape on him defensively, there’s no questioning he’ll immediately provide three-point shooting for whoever drafts him. Nesmith hit 52.2 percent of his three-pointers on 8.2 attempts per game, often flying around screens in head coach Jerry Stackhouse’s offense to get open. His points per possession on spot-ups, off screens, in transition, and off hands-offs all graded out as ‘excellent’, per Synergy Sports. Nesmith won’t create offense off the dribble and his defense will hope to be average (his 6’10 wingspan should help), but in a league that values knockdown shooting off movement, he should be a worth mid-first rounder.
The Ringer - Tyrese Maxey
League sources say the Magic are attempting to move up into the lottery; if they stay put, though, Maxey could potentially provide lottery value and immediately inject life as an energetic presence and hard-nosed defender. Though Markelle Fultz’s resurgence makes for a nice story, he’s still yet to prove he can reliably shoot the ball. Maxey is further along as a scorer off the dribble, which could push Fultz into his ideal role as a supercharged Shaun Livingston.
Bleacher Report - Aaron Nesmith
Some scouts see the draft’s top shooter in Nesmith, who could be a target for Orlando if a point guard doesn’t fall. He’d have a chance to play immediate minutes in a lineup that could use more wings and shot-making.
CBS Sports - Cole Anthony
The Magic need a point guard, and Anthony has tremendous upside with his scoring and shooting ability. If he improves as a playmaker, Anthony could end up being the best point guard in this draft.
USA Today - Kira Lewis Jr.
Lewis led Alabama in scoring (18.5 per game) and assists (5.2 per game) and shot 45.9% from the field, 36.6% on 3s and 80.2% from the foul line. He has a great handle and uses it well, with speed to beat defenders off the dribble.
NBC Sports - Aaron Nesmith
Even with Jonathan Isaac likely sidelined for the 2021 campaign, the Magic don’t lack for big-man depth. They need help on the perimeter, regardless of whether Evan Fournier picks up his player option. But mostly the Magic need a reboot from their stuck-in-the-8th-seed ways. If a high-upside talent slides out of the lottery, they ought to pounce regardless of position.
Snyder’s synopsis: Celtics choose Bey over Nesmith but either way they’d win out. So does Orlando in this instance. The Magic get a great shooter and playmaker in this draft.
Complex - Tyrese Maxey
Getting out of the middle one way or another should be a goal for the Magic this offseason. They’re a playoff team with a very limited ceiling at the moment, but their floor is also a little too high to be bad enough to use the tanking route to improve. This team needs more talent, plain and simple. Maybe they move on from Aaron Gordon this offseason, or maybe they find a different way to change things up, but that change is certainly needed. They are, however, certainly in a position where they can take a player that they feel is the best on the board, regardless of position, which can be a rarity this deep into the draft.
Tyrese Maxey isn’t a sure thing in the NBA, but given his skillset and the track record of guards that Kentucky has recently put into the league, this is a pick that certainly makes sense. Maxey has good length that will help him defensively and profiles as someone that will become a better shooter once he gets into the NBA, partly because of his 83 percent mark from the free throw stripe. He’s comfortable operating on the ball but should be able to share ballhandling duties with Markelle Fultz in Orlando if they were to make this pick.
Be sure to check out Aaron Goldstone’s Orlando Magic NBA Draft Q&A on Nov. 11 at @OPPMagicBlog.