The Orlando Magic are on the clock.
Luck was on the Magic’s side during the draft lottery, but now comes the hard part: drafting the right player.
Getting the top overall pick is only part of the battle, particularly in a draft class with no clear favorite. Nearly every mock draft has the Magic taking either Auburn’s Jabari Smith or Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren. It will be up to the Magic to choose wisely between the two, or any other prospect they’re considering.
Here are some post-lottery mock drafts showing who the experts think the Magic will select on June 23. Click on each for the full mock draft.
ESPN - Jabari Smith
The Magic are loaded with young talent on the perimeter and could very well look to the frontcourt, where much of this draft’s high-end talent is concentrated. The Magic struggled to space the floor effectively last season, and Smith is arguably the most dynamic shooter in the college game, converting 42% of his 3-pointers despite standing 6-foot-10. He’s also a highly versatile defender who plays with outstanding intensity, switching all over the floor with quick feet and impressive energy, giving the Magic the ability to play in a variety of lineup configurations with their many existing pieces. — Jonathan Givony
SB Nation - Paulo Banchero
Banchero has maintained his status as our top prospect from the very start of this draft cyclebecause of his striking combination of size and offensive skill. At 6’10, 250 pounds, Banchero has the ball handling and live dribble passing chops of a guard with multiple avenues to produce points for himself and his teammates. He already has an advanced midrange scoring package and the strength to bully defenders down low. He’s also one of the very best passers in this draft class, using his size to drop beautiful high-low dimes and the threat of his scoring to hit open teammates when defenses send two to the ball. Banchero is not an elite athlete in terms of speed or vertical explosiveness, and there are questions about how he’ll translate defensively. The three-point shot is his other big swing skill after hitting 33.8 percent of his triples at Duke. No other player in this class has a better chance to become a primary offensive option at the next level, and that’s why Banchero is our top prospect. Read our full scouting report on Banchero here. — Ricky O’Donnell
CBS Sports - Chet Holmgren
I understand the concerns about Holmgren’s slight frame — but he’s such a unique talent that I’d be uncomfortable passing on a 7-foot legitimate rim-protector who can also bounce it like a guard and reliably make 3-pointers. He’s the most talented prospect in this draft and should be selected as such. — Gary Parrish
The Athletic - Jabari Smith
This is a difficult choice, but the Magic should take Jabari Smith Jr. here over Chet Holmgren. Perhaps Holmgren has a greater upside than Smith does, but I think Smith has a better chance of reaching his upside than Holmgren does considering how Holmgren needs to add productive weight to his physique.
Smith is a superb shooter, especially for someone who is 6-10, and he projects as a plus defender who will bring agility. I know there’s positional overlap between Smith and Jonathan Isacc, but Isaac has not shown he can remain healthy. — Josh Robbins
Yahoo - Jabari Smith
Smith might be the youngest of the top three prospects. He brings a wide variety of offensive skills that can be plugged into this Magic team right away. He has the length and athleticism to defend positions 1-4 and is the best shooting big in this draft class, averaging 42% from 3-point range.
The Magic will do their due diligence on Smith and Holmgren for the No. 1 spot, but there is so much to like about what Smith brings to the table right away with his elite shooting and defensive versatility. — Krysten Peek
The Ringer - Chet Holmgren
The Magic are back at no. 1 for the first time since 2004 when they took Dwight Howard, and another franchise center could be falling into their laps. From Giannis Antetokoumpo to Jonathan Isaac, John Hammond and Jeff Weltman have a history of drafting lengthy prospects going back to their time running the Bucks. Holmgren fits the same description, looking and playing like a skinnier Rudy Gobert with athleticism and elite awareness. Holmgren would thrive next to Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner as a supporting piece around the rim, and if Isaac is able to return healthy they’d have the upside to have a formidable defense. On offense, Holmgren could serve as a lob threat who can also drain 3s and make plays off the dribble. Playing in Orlando should allow him to show even more depth on offense. — Kevin O’Connor
Sports Illustrated - Jabari Smith
Orlando struck gold on Tuesday, converting on top odds and winning the lottery for the first time since 2004, when they landed a franchise-changing player in Dwight Howard. While the broader narrative has been that the top of this draft is wide open, for most of the past six months, the vast majority of executives I’ve spoken with around the NBA consider Smith the big prize in this year’s class. The Magic will certainly do their due diligence on all of the top prospects, but for the time being, I’d operate under the assumption the pick will be Smith. His arrival might mean that Orlando, in the long run, moves on from Jonathan Isaac, whose checkered injury history makes it difficult to view him as an essential piece of the rebuild.
Smith is the youngest of the top prospects by a meaningful margin and brings a rare collection of plus attributes to the table: great positional size, elite jump shooting, modern defensive versatility and an advanced competitive mindset. Smith will have to expand his array of moves and work on getting to the rim more often, but there’s so much to like about a prospect who is polished in so many ways, yet still at a highly nascent stage of his basketball development. I’d take him at the top with confidence. — Jeremy Woo
Bleacher Report - Jabari Smith
This was a fitting year for the Magic to win the lottery, as they can finally add the franchise big man they’ve needed to pair with Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner. Smith figures to be the target for the NBA’s No. 29 offense and No. 28 three-point shooting team. He’ll give Orlando’s guards a target to kick to or feature around the post. And though it’s unclear what will happen with restricted free agent Mo Bamba, they’d pair well together because of Smith’s perimeter skills and Bamba’s shot-blocking. — Jonathan Wasserman