Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley, left, stands with NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum after Tatum announced that the Magic have won the first pick in the 2022 NBA draft during the NBA basketball draft lottery Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Orlando Magic Land the First Overall Pick in the 2022 NBA Draft

The Orlando Magic were awarded the first overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft last night. Entering the night, the Magic had a 14% chance at securing the number one spot, tied with the Houston Rockets and the Detroit Pistons. After going 22-60 this season, Orlando finished second-to-last in the league.

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First-Overall Pick History

The Orlando Magic have a long and successful history of first-overall picks. In 1993, just four years into their founding, they selected center Chris Webber, who won Rookie of the Year and was a three-time All NBA Second Team player. They would secure the top pick the year after, selecting Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal. In 2004, Orlando would be awarded the first overall pick again, selecting yet another big man, three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard.

Current State of the Orlando Magic

The Magic are currently in a rebuilding phase, and this pick can help fast-forward their trajectory. With young up-and-coming players like Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr. and Jonathan Isaac already in the mix, a first-overall draft pick will give this team a big boost in their depth chart.

Possible Targets

This NBA draft class has a strong selection of power forwards. According to ESPN’s latest rankings, Gonzaga freshman Chet Holmgren is the top-ranked prospect in the draft. He averaged 14.1 points per game and just under 27 minutes per game. Auburn freshman Jabari Smith is second in ESPN’s rankings. He averaged just under 17 points per game and 29 minutes. Paolo Banchero is number three on ESPN’s list. The Duke freshman put up 17.2 points per game and played 33 minutes per game this season.

Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman says that they do not plan on trading the pick.

The Magic will be on the clock on Thursday, June 23rd at 8:00pm. The Oklahoma City Thunder will have the second selection followed by the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and the Detroit Pistons rounding out the top five.

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