Mock Draft: In Search of Magic

The Orlando Magic are in quite the place this offseason. They completed the most successful run the team has experienced since 2012, they also possess some of the brightest young talents in the NBA with the likes of Jonathan Issac, Aaron Gordon, Markelle Fultz (currently injured), and Mohammed “Mo” Bamba. Many fans are feeling the hype and hoping that it translates to wins and consecutive playoff runs. The team is stocked full of Defensive Prowess, Length, and Athleticism; Orlando, although with many promising young players, are missing shooters.

That leads us to our Mock Draft (2-player type up) for the Orlando Magic:

Priority: Shooting / Floor Spacing / Length

Draft Picks: 16 & 46

Draft Prospect Breakdown: Underrated Shooters

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Kevin Porter Jr. 6'5 1/2"  213 Lbs (USC SG/SF)

Watching highlight footage on Kevin Porter Jr. was eye-opening. This young man can fly, showing off incredibly athletic dunks (in-game) and demonstrates a blistering shot. While playing only 21 games at USC (starting four of those games) he shot over 40% from beyond the arc, while shooting 47% from the field which rivals some of the best scorers at SG in the NBA. Namely, Devin Booker, CJ McCollum, and Klay Thompson. Porter Jr. would fit into the Orlando Magic offense and would prove his value in that he has a full arsenal of shot-creating moves, and can score on one-on-one situations, proven during his time at USC.

However, Porter Jr. has shown some flaws in his game. His free throw shooting is a bit of a question mark, as he shot a measly 52.2% from the charity stripe which is concerning for a shooting guard in the NBA. He did, however, shoot under 50 free throws during his time at USC so this number may change exponentially with a bigger sample size. Kevin’s defense is also a struggle for the young guard, upon reviewing highlight footage it seemed that his energy on defense was not always present, when it was he sometimes made incorrect reads and reacted late on many plays. It seems as though Kevin sometimes thinks a play is developing in a certain fashion but his judgment is incorrect, or sometimes premature. I do believe that with Steve Clifford at the helm these defensive lapses that plague Porter Jr.’s play will be short-lived. 

Concerns did arise with Kevin as he was suspended for personal conduct, which limited his time on the court as a Trojan. While there may be character concerns in regards to this young man, it appears that he has grown from the incident and is willing to do what it takes to become an NBA Player.

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Rui Hachimura 6’8” 230 Lbs (Gonzaga SF/PF)

Hachimura fits the prototypical Weltman player. He is Long at 6’8” with a wingspan over 7’. With this length, it is not hard to imagine that defensive schemes that Clifford can draw up, especially in what we’d call the defense death lineup featuring AG, JI, Rui, Bamba. During his time at Gonzaga, the big man did show his developing perimeter game. While only putting up 36 three-point shots during his Junior year he did score on 41.7% of those attempts. Proving that the long ball is a part of his arsenal and he is not afraid to shoot it. Rui averaged 19.7 Pts per game on a scorching 59.1 FG%. As a player who committed 3 years to Gonzaga Hachimura has steadily improved during his time in college while maturing simultaneously. 

Some problems arise when you take a look at his assist to turnover ratio. Rui has more turnovers (120) than assists (81) during his three years at Gonzaga, but at a deeper glance one can see that during his last year as a Bulldog he averaged 1.5 Assists to 1.8 Turnovers which still leads to a negative ratio, but it does show improvement. Those statistical categories do have the potential to improve in the NBA as the player I.Q. and tailored programs for his development would hopefully mitigate those issues. 

The Orlando Magic have a lot to ask themselves this offseason. Do they go for an established Point Guard in Free Agency? The likes of D’Angelo Russell or do they draft one with a high ceiling and continue the team development hoping to get back a healthy Mareklle Fultz for next season? Do they let Vooch walk and make Bamba the center for the future? All of those decisions start on draft night and extend through the summer, but regardless of those decisions, these are two guys that Orlando should look long and hard at for there draft-night selections.

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