Draft picks: 1st round (4th, 12th overall)
By Jim Brighters, NBA Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Orlando Magic are in a great position to make significant improvement thanks to two lottery picks in this year's draft.
The Magic have decent young talent, but no superstars. That should change with the fourth pick.
Orlando needs help at point guard. Jameer Nelson is aging and has lost some of his effectiveness. That opens the door for the Magic to take Australian combo guard Dante Exum.
He has the star potential Orlando desperately needs and would make an interesting backcourt with last year's No. 2 overall pick, Victor Oladipo. The two are both versatile and could be tough to defend since either can play both positions.
At No. 12, the Magic could get tricky and take Croatia's Dario Saric. He may not be coming over to play in the U.S. this upcoming season, but his skill set is off the charts.
If Orlando wants more immediate impact, it could probably do well to draft some bulk. Nikola Vucevic, when healthy, is a double-double machine, but the power forward spot was manned mostly by slightly taller small forwards.
Problem is, unless Kentucky's Julius Randle slides more dramatically than expected because of a foot issue, there isn't a suitable talent for this draft slot. Adreian Payne might make sense, but he's a stretch four, which is what the Magic have basically been using. Payne is bigger than Tobias Harris, or Moe Harkless, so he would be an upgrade.
Every team can use shooting, so Michigan's Nick Stauskas, Duke's Rodney Hood, or Kentucky's James Young are always options.
Players Under Contract: G Jameer Nelson; G Arron Afflalo; G Victor Oladipo; F Jason Maxiell; F Moe Harkless; C Nikola Vucevic; F Tobias Harris; F Andrew Nicholson; G Ronnie Price; G Doron Lamb; C Kyle O'Quinn
Free Agents: G E'Twaun Moore
Recent Draft History: 2013: Victor Oladipo (2), Romero Osby (51)
2012: Andrew Nicholson (19), Kyle O'Quinn (49)
2011: DeAndre Liggins (53)
2010: Daniel Orton (29), Stanley Robinson (59)
2009: No picks
2008: Courtney Lee (22)
06/18 16:46:53 ET