I've noticed that while we have talked circles around the #5 and #8 picks, there's not been a lot of discussion about who to take with the Magic's high 2nd Rd Pick.
I know what you're thinking: This FO doesn't care about 2nd Rd picks, having repeatedly dumped them for basically nothing in return. This FO has also stated that they don't want to bring in too many rookies at a time. Put together, this make it seem pretty unlikely that the Magic keep this pick.
This seems to be a deeper draft than usual, with multiple late 1st Rd talents possibly slipping into the 2nd round. Unlike later 2nd rd picks, a pick in the 30-35 range is actually quite useful. It's getting potentially 1st rd talent on uber-cheap, non-guaranteed contracts. A team can lock down a 2nd Rd pick for multiple seasons on deals that look like footnotes to the cap sheet.
Given those factors, and with the understanding that it's entirely possible the Magic may spend both their lotto picks to move up and "get their guy" from someone like the Cavs...let's talk about the #33 pick!
Here I'd like to toss out some of my picks for the #33 spot, depending on who's available.
First, let's make clear that there are a lot of names of guys who have seemingly slid down draft boards over the last couple weeks who would be in a similar spot as Cole Anthony was last year -- a quality talent that fell, so you snap them up without much worry/thought, because talent is talent. I'm bouncing around 4-5 different Mock Drafts and seeing who's down in the low-20's, who will probably be taken, so I don't want to run through them again. If they slide, they are gonna be taken pretty quickly in the 2nd round & these are also guys that have been talked about quite a bit on this forum. This includes guys like Jaden Springer, Jared Butler, Tre Mann, Miles McBride, etc. If one of them slips and is available, you probably just take them and figure the rest out later.
Without going over those more "known" names, I wanna toss out a few other players that I like for the #33 pick, should they be available. These are not in any particular order:
The official youngest player in the draft, Primo has actually be shooting up draft boards over the last couple weeks. He's may be a part of the group listed above who will go in the 1st Rd, but I figured some people may not have seen his name before since up until recently.
Primo is a 6'5" tall, 6'9" wingspan, 190 lb guard out of Alabama. He's certainly an off-guard, as he lacks a PG's mentality, putting up a dreadful 0.8 assists per 1.4 TOs in his lone college season. That said, the dude is a flat out shot-maker. He shot 38%3PT on 4 attempts per game, and 75%FT, but those numbers don't really show how many difficult and NBA-range shots the kid was able to put up & make. With his length and motor, he's also shown flashes of being a strong defender, too.
Now, Primo seems like a strong candidate for the Magic specifically because of his age -- he won't be 19 until December! The Magic could draft him, sign him to a long-term 2nd Rd deal, then stick him in the G-League for the year to develop and get reps. This allows the FO to avoid having too many rookies on the NBA roster, while essentially giving them a "free rookie" in 2022-23. Most draft boards tend to talk about Primo as essentially a "next year 1st rd talent" who just got into the draft super early. If the Magic want to push on that pick, and Primo drops, he'd be a perfect candidate to allow them to acquire more talent without flooding the roster with rookies.
Grimes has worked his way up into the 1st round on some boards, but not others. He did this by absolutely showing out during the Combine Scrims, showing off the 3nD skills folks knew he had, but also displaying a bit more ball handling and pull up game that folks didn't think he had.
He's 6'5" tall, with a 6'8" wingspan, and a stout 205 lb. His frame looks like it could hold a bit more size, too, so it's likely that his role on the floor is to float between Guard and Wing. Grimes shot a great 40%3PT on a blistering 8(!) attempts per game, while playing solid, albeit not elite, defense. He is a quintessential 3nD wing and a guy who probably will be in NBA rotations for the next decade to fill that role. He may feel like a "boring" pick in that way, but the Magic could certainly do worse than him. He'd likely be the best shooter on the roster from Day 1, baring the Magic selecting Corey Kispert with one of their top picks.
I've been on the Miles McBride train for a while, and was quite bummed with everyone else seemed to figure it out and he moved up draft boards, dashing my hopes of getting him at #33. Welp, luckily I found another PG prospect that seems worth nabbing to provide some long-term depth at the position.
Preston looks like an undercover Ball Brother. He's got good size for a PG at 6'4" tall, with a 6'8" wingspan, 180 pounds, and seriously...look up a picture of him, it's uncanny. But more than just looking like a Ball brother physically, his game is also surprisingly similar. He put up a well-rounded 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists (and only 3 TOs) per game last season, creating a ton of value running the PnR, making 3/4 court hit-ahead passes in transition, and shows some potential logo-range on his shot (39%3PT on 4 3PAs). He plays with a smooth pace, is crafty & creative with the ball, and just seems to know what he's doing at all times.
The downsides are basically what you'd expect when you ask yourself "why wouldn't this guy be higher?" -- he's a below average athlete who also doesn't have great defensive technique. Despite his great shooting numbers overall, his pull up shooting is poor, which limits how much pressure he can put on defenses. I suspect that he can improve that aspect of his game, but the defense is tougher. He's a high IQ guy, but even if he maxes out his physical abilities, he's probably going to continue to be picked on by defenses.
Still, he's a legit exciting, high-skill, good shooting PG in a position the Magic still need depth at...I think he might be near the top of my list in terms of quality + fit.
The forgotten about G-League Ignite prospect who didn't jump off the page, but put up decent numbers against grown men. Yet another Long Forward, Todd is a 6'9" tall, 7'1" wingspan, 210 lb player who has yet to really put it all together. Right now he's little more than a long defender who can hit spot up 3s, but he can hit them - he shot 36%3PT on 3 attempts per game against grown men, and shot 82%FT (though he didn't get to the line much). His lack of physicality in the gleague seems like a potential limiting factor, as he shyed away from contact or even getting inside, limiting his rebounding and ability to draw fouls.
That said, he's still only 19 years old and has shows flashes of higher upside than you normally get at this point in the draft. It's a running joke about how the Magic want all the Long Forwards they can find, but if their plan is to keep doing that until they "hit" on one of them, Todd fits that mold to a tee.
Who You Got?
Ok...so there are some of the guys I like in that range. I left off a few I had talked about before (such as Joe Wieskamp & Jeremiah Robinson-Earl) because I just kind of found other prospects that I liked more, or who I felt had better potential upside. If you think they shouldn't be discarded, let me know!
Is there anyone else down in the 2nd Rd that you like? Share who they are in the comments!