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Who Should the Orlando Magic Draft?

The Orlando Magic have two lottery picks in the 2014 NBA Draft. Cody Taylor explores what Orlando should do on draft night.

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The Orlando Magic enter next week’s draft as one of a few teams that have at least two first-round picks, and the Magic have plenty of options as June 26 approaches. As it’s been stated before, the Magic are in a position where they could potentially trade up or down in the draft. Or, the team could stand pat with the No. 4 and No. 12 picks and draft players who could fill in some holes.

One of Orlando’s biggest needs seems to be at the point guard position, as the Magic have been linked to Australian point guard Dante Exum and Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart. The Magic may be in the market for a point guard because Jameer Nelson’s contract is only partially guaranteed for next season and the Victor-Oladipo-at-point-guard experiment was met with mixed results. The Magic are also rumored to covet a big man with one of their two lottery picks. Reports have surfaced recently that the Magic were really impressed with Noah Vonleh’s workout and now hold him high on their board, which could mean Orlando goes with a big man at No. 4 and a point guard at No. 12.

We learned this week that projected top-three pick Joel Embiid needs surgery to repair a bone in his right foot and will likely be sidelined for four-to-six months. There was a lot of uncertainty in the air as far as who would get drafted first overall, but Embiid’s injury will really throw a wrench in the first few picks. Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of Embiid’s broken foot is Exum. A lot of experts had Exum falling to the Magic at the fourth pick, but now some have Exum going as high as the second pick to the Milwaukee Bucks. It was thought that some combination of Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Embiid would make up the top three selections, but now the top three could be Wiggins, Exum and Parker.

Prior to the news on Embiid’s injury, the Magic may have been looking to take Exum with the fourth pick and a big man with the 12th pick. Now that it seems unlikely that Exum will be on the board at number four, Embiid’s injury could enable the Magic to seriously consider Vonleh with that pick and then look at a point guard with their second first-round pick. There may be a number of talented point guards on the board at No. 12, including Elfrid Payton and Tyler Ennis.

With Exum likely off of the board at the fourth pick, the Magic could target Smart, Embiid or Vonleh. The Magic brought Smart in for two workouts and were rumored to be very high on him prior to those workouts. The word was that if Smart had not returned to school last season, Orlando would have taken him second overall. Following Smart’s workouts in Orlando, the Magic reportedly have moved on from him after a sub-par showing.

Embiid’s foot injury will most definitely move him down the board, but the question is exactly how far down will he fall? Embiid hasn’t been playing basketball for that long and has already suffered a back injury, a knee injury and this latest setback with his foot. As Alex Kennedy pointed out in Thursday’s PM report, how will Embiid’s body react once he adds more weight and starts playing against NBA-sized players? Knowing his injury history, the Magic may not want to gamble with health concerns at this point in their rebuild. Given how deep this draft is, the Magic may choose to pass on Embiid.

That leaves Indiana power forward Vonleh. The Magic are said to be very impressed with him following his workout and the idea of pairing Vonleh up with center Nikola Vucevic has the Magic seriously considering the Hoosiers product. Teams are impressed with Vonleh because he rebounds well, his work ethic is second to none, his wingspan measures 7’4 and his hands are the second-largest in combine history. The Magic’s best bet at the fourth pick appears to be Vonleh, unless a miracle happens and one of the projected top three fall into their lap.

Adding frontcourt depth in Vonleh will allow the Magic to consider their options at No. 12. At this point, general manager Rob Hennigan will decide if he wants to take the best player available, or if he wants to address the point guard position. Hennigan has long been described as a guy who will stockpile assets, and a take-the-best-player approach would fit that criteria. At No. 12, the best player available could be Michigan’s Nik Stauskas. The Magic finished this season tied for 19th in the NBA in team three-point percentage and could look to Stauskas to help improve the team in this area. Stauskas is viewed as one of the best shooters in the class and he proved in his sophomore year that he is more than a shooter as he showed the ability to handle the ball and get to the rim.

Kentucky guard James Young is another player who could be available to the Magic at the 12th pick. Young helped his draft stock in this year’s national championship game, despite being overshadowed by Julius Randle. Young proved in the NCAA Tournament that he is a capable scorer, something that could intrigue the Magic. Young could especially be an option should the Magic decide to trade away Arron Afflalo either on draft night or during the summer. Afflalo was mentioned in many rumors at the trade deadline, and should continue to be linked to rumors in the upcoming offseason.

Perhaps the most-pressing need for the Magic is at the point guard position. At No. 12, it’ll be highly unlikely that Smart is available so it would likely come down to Payton. The Magic’s draft could be determined by which point guard they like the most after Exum. If the Magic view Payton as guy with higher potential than Smart then that would allow them to take Vonleh at the fourth pick and Payton at the 12th pick. The Magic are said to be high on Payton following his workout out with the team. Payton possesses all of the qualities needed in a point guard: quickness, size, length, good handling and passing skills. His shooting ability leaves much to be desired, but something that can be improved on over time. Adding Payton to the backcourt with Oladipo would certainly prove to be a problem on the defensive side for opposing teams. With Vonleh and Payton, the Magic might have the players who fill needs and ultimately become cornerstones for the franchise going forward.

Cody Taylor is an NBA writer in his fourth season with Basketball Insiders, covering the NBA and NCAA out of Orlando and Miami.

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NBA Draft Results 2021: Complete List of First & Second Round Picks

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The 2021 NBA Draft unfolded live at the Barclays Center earlier tonight and it did not disappoint!

60 college standouts were selected in total; each will be gunning for a big rookie year once the new season gets underway on October 19.

(Image courtesy of Associated Press)

The Detroit Pistons did exactly what their fanbase asked for when they opted to draft Oklahoma States’s Cade Cunningham, with the first overall pick.

It may not have been much of a surprise to see the Pistons exit the Barclays Center, NY, with the freshman All-American (and -10000 betting favorite) in the bag, but that won’t dampen the excitement in Detroit! Cunningham averaged 20.1 points, 3.5 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game for Oklahoma, so expectations are high for the young point guard, who will now be tasked with bringing the glory days back to a Motor City that hasn’t tasted championship gold since 2004.

The Houston Rockets took shooting guard Jalen Green from G League Ignite with the No.2 overall pick, before the Cleveland Cavaliers vouched for Evan Mobley, a forward out of USC, at No.3.

A complete list of picks from rounds 1 & 2 is featured below. A more detailed draft analysis and grades will follow shortly.

Round 1

 
Pick Team Player College
1. Detroit Pistons Cade Cunningham Oklahoma State
2. Houston Rockets Jalen Green G League Ignite
3. Cleveland Cavaliers Evan Mobley USC
4. Toronto Raptors Scottie Barnes Florida State
5. Orlando Magic Jalen Suggs Gonzaga
6. Oklahoma City Thunder Josh Giddey Adelaide 36ers, NBL
7. Golden State Warriors (from Minnesota) Jonathan Kuminga G League Ignite
8. Orlando Magic (from Chicago) Franz Wagner Michigan
9. Sacramento Kings Davion Mitchel Baylor
10. Memphis Grizzlies (from New Orleans) Ziaire Williams Stanford
11. Charlotte Hornets James Bouknight UConn
12. San Antonio Spurs Josh Primo Alabama
13. Indiana Pacers Chris Duarte Oregon
14. Golden State Warriors Moses Moody Arkansas
15. Washington Wizards Corey Kispert Gonzaga
16. Houston Rockets (from OKC) Alperen Sengün Beşiktaş, Turkey
17. New Orleans Pelicans (from Memphis) Trey Murphy Virginia
18. Oklahoma City Thunder Tre Mann Florida
19. Charlotte Hornets (from New York) Kai Jones Texas
20. Atlanta Hawks Jalen Johnson Duke
21. LA Clippers (from New York) Keon Johnson Tennesee
22. Indiana Pacers (from Lakers, Wizards) Isaiah Jackson Kentucky
23. Houston Rockets Usman Garuba Real Madrid, Spain
24. Houston Rockets Josh Christopher Arizona State
25. New York Knicks (from Clippers) Quentin Grimes Houston
26. Denver Nuggets Nah’Shon Lee Hyland VCU
27. Brooklyn Nets Cam Thomas LSU
28. Philadelphia 76ers Jaden Springer Tennessee
29. Brooklyn Nets (from Phoenix) Day’Ron Sharpe North Carolina
30. Memphis Grizzlies (from Utah) Santi Aldama Loyola (Maryland)

Round 2

 
Pick Team Player College
31. Washington Wizards (from Bucks, Pacers) Isaiah Todd G League Ignite
32. New York Knicks Jeremiah Robinson Earl Villanova
33. LA Clippers (from Orlando) Jason Preston Ohio
34. Oklahoma City Thunder Rokas Jokubaitis FC Barcelona/ Lithuania
35. New Orleans Pelicans Herbert Jones Alabama
36. Oklahoma City Thunder Miles McBride West Virginia
37. Charlotte Hornets (from Detroit) JT Thor Auburn
38. Chicago Bulls Ayo Dosunmu Illinois
39. Sacramento Kings Neemias Queta Utah State
40. Memphis Grizzlies (from New Orleans) Jared Butler Baylor
41. San Antonio Spurs Joe Weskamp Iowa
42. Detroit Pistons Isaiah Livers Michigan
43. New Orleans Pelicans Greg Brown III Texas
44. Brooklyn Nets Kessler Edwards Pepperdine
45. Boston Celtics Juhann Begarin Paris basketball
46. Toronto Raptors Dalanao Banton Nebraska
47. Toronto Raptors David Johnson Louisville
48. Atlanta Hawks Sharife Cooper Auburn
49. Brooklyn Nets Marcus Zegarowski Creighton
50. Philadelphia 76ers Filip Petrusev MegaBasket, Serbia
51. Memphis Grizzlies Brandon Boston Jr. Kentucky
52. Detroit Pistons Luka Garza Iowa
53. Philadelphia 76ers Charles Bassey Western Kentucky
54. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana) Sandro Mamukelashvili Seton Hall
55. Oklahoma City Thunder Aaron Wiggins Maryland
56. Charlotte Hornets Balsa Koprivica Florida State
57. Detroit Pistons (from Charlotte) Scottie Lewis Florida
58. New York Knicks Balsa Koprivica Texas
59. Brooklyn Nets Raiquan Gray Florida State
60. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana) Georgios Kalaitzakis Panathinaikos, Greece

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NBA Trade Rumors: Jazz considering trade offers for Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles, Royce O’Neale, and No. 30 pick of the 2021 NBA Draft

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Per one interesting announcement from Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Utah Jazz are open to trading forward Bojan Bogdanovic, forward-guard Joe Ingles, small forward Royce O’Neale, and the No. 30 pick of the 2021 NBA Draft. Fischer stated, “The Utah Jazz are known to be one of the few teams actually searching to move playoff-tested talent. Retaining Mike Conley is an offseason priority, sources said, and the Jazz have held numerous discussions with teams around the league about offloading salary to create for Conley in free agency.” Point guard Mike Conley is set to become a free agent this offseason. Though, general manager Justin Zanik will aim to re-sign the 33-year-old guard in the coming weeks. Conley earned $34.5 million in the 2020-21 season.

“League personnel most often mention Joe Ingles as the Jazz wing to watch, and Bojan Bogdanovic and Royce O’Neale are also considered available for trade as Utah narrows its focus towards building a contender around Donovan Mitchel. The Jazz are also open to discuss trading their No. 30 pick, sources said.” In the 2020-21 season, in 72 games played, Bogdanovic averaged 17 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game. On May 1, 2021, in the team’s 106-102 victory over the Toronto Raptors, the six-foot-seven Croatian scored a season-high 34 points, shooting 12-for-22, and he finished his performance with four rebounds and four assists as well. On July 7, 2019, he signed a four-year, $73 million contract with the Jazz.

In 67 games played last season, Ingles averaged 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game. The six-foot-eight forward is set to earn $14 million in the 2021-22 season. Plus, among the mentioned players, Royce O’Neale has contributed the least. In 71 games played last season, he averaged seven points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. On January 19, 2020, the forward signed a four-year, $36 million extension with the team. He will earn $8.6 million next season. According to The Athletic, in the team’s seventh workout for draft prospects, they viewed Quentin Grimes, David Duke, Matt Mitchell, and a few other players. In the first round, if the team chooses not to draft any of the players they are holding workouts for, the organization will trade the No. 30 pick.

Just for a reminder, retrieved from Spotrac, the 2021-22 NBA luxury tax threshold is $136,606,000. Utah’s active roster cap is $133,284,695, the maximum cap is $112,414,000, and the current cap space is $72,990,215. Furthermore, center Rudy Gobert currently has the highest guaranteed contract on the team. On December 20, 2020, Gobert signed a five-year, $205 million extension with the organization. Gobert is set to earn $35.3 million in the coming season, whereas Donovan Mitchell will earn $28.1 million. Gobert and Mitchell combined consume 47.6 percent of the team’s salary cap. For the upcoming 2021-22 season, the Jazz have a guaranteed total of $129,719,453. Based on the team’s future outlook, the Jazz will have to make a trade or two in order to retain their star players. This should go without saying.

NBA Analysis Network reported a few days ago that a potential Jazz-Knicks trade target is Bojan Bogdanovic. Greg Patuto proposed the Knicks receiving Bogdanovic, while the Jazz would receive Kevin Knox II, and the Nos. 19 and No. 32 picks of the 2021 NBA Draft. Now, this could still happen at some point during this draft week, but then again, sports bettors and fans alike understand that these news reports could be just rumors. The most intelligent, unforthcoming general managers know not to leave bread crumb trails for the media, especially leading into the offseason. They will do everything necessary to protect their foolproof plans.

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2021 NBA Draft Best Bets Analysis for the Player Draft Position Market

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The 2021 NBA Draft is scheduled for Thursday, June 29 at 8:00 p.m. (EST). The draft will be televised on ESPN and ABC. The location of the draft is at the Nets’ Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Nonetheless, although ABC is indeed airing the draft this year, they are only televising the first round. This is the first NBA draft to be held in the month of July since the 1947 Basketball Association of America (BAA) Draft.

Of course, that league went on to become the National Basketball Association (NBA). For NBA Draft betting, there are plenty of sports books available for American gamblers. The best sports books include Bovada, DraftKings, MyBookie, FanDuel, and BetUS. For NBA Draft Futures, Bovada, DraftKings and BetGM are reasonable options. Additionally, there are multiple betting apps in existence nowadays that are accessible and easy to use, such as from BetUS, Bovada, BetOnline and Intertops.

No. 1 Pick: Cade Cunningham (-8000)

Cade Cunningham is the front-runner for the first overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft. He is the Big 12 Player of the Year (2021) and consensus first-team All-American (2021). On November 25, 2020, in his college debut, the 19-year-old native Texan earned 21 points and 10 rebounds in the Oklahoma State Cowboys’ 75-68 victory over the UT Arlington Mavericks. On February 27, 2021, he posted a college career-high of 40 points and 11 rebounds, in a 94-90 overtime win over the Oklahoma Sooners. In 27 games played, the six-foot-eight guard averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 40 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

On the RSCI Top 100, he also ranked first above all other recruits. With a total of 544 points, Cunningham led the Big 12 in scoring during the 2020-21 season. When asked about how he felt concerning the probability of his No. 1 selection in the draft, he said, “If I am able to go in there and be the No. 1 pick, I’m going to try to carry that same swag in how I walk on the court and make the most out of it and wear the red, white, and blue for sure.” Detroit Pistons general manager Troy Weaver also compared Cunningham to Grant Hill, the No. 3 pick out of Duke from the 1994 NBA Draft.

Reported by CBS Sports, the Houston Rockets are interested in trading up to pick Cunningham. According to Shams Charania of Stadium, the Detroit Pistons and Rockets are negotiating a possible trade. This is considering the fact that Houston also has the Nos. 23 and 24 picks of this draft, too. The sports reporter for The Athletic and Stadium stated, “The Houston Rockets have the No. 2 overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft, but I’m told they’re aggressively pursuing Detroit’s No. 1 overall pick. The Rockets have done extensive research on presumptive No. 1 overall pick Cade Cunningham.” If the organization is serious about trading up, they’ll do everything in their power to make it happen.

 

No. 2 Pick: Jalen Green (+200)

Jalen Green has the highest odds of being selected second in the draft. According to NBA.com mock drafts and various oddsmakers, his draft position is still most appealing to the Houston Rockets, especially if the Pistons are unwilling to make a trade. Green is a six-foot-six shooting guard from the NBA G League. On March 8, 2021, while playing for the NBA G League Ignite in the first round of the playoffs, the 19-year-old shooting guard finished his performance with a season-high of 30 points, seven assists and five rebounds, in the 127-102 defeat versus the Raptors 905. In 15 games played in the 2020-21 season, Green averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 32 minutes played per game.

Per one report from Kelly Iko of The Athletic, the Houston staff writer stated, “USC’s Evan Mobley has been discussed in some circles, as well as Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs, but smart money would be on the Rockets taking the 19-year-old out of the G League’s Ignite on draft night.” He reaffirmed his position and main point a bout head coach Stephen Silas’ likeness to flexible guards by stating, “It’s well known that head coach Stephen Silas has an affinity for versatile guards, and Green has been said to have the highest upside in his class, from a scoring, explosive and star standpoint.” The California-born athlete could fit in nicely with the Rockets.

No. 3 Pick: Evan Mobley (-200)

Evan Mobley has the best odds for the third overall pick of the draft. Mobley is the seven-foot tall forward/center Pac-12 Player of the Year (2021) and consensus second-team All-American (2021) from the USC Trojans. On March 11, 2021, in the team’s 91-85 double overtime win against the Utah Utes in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals, Mobley scored a career-high 26 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks. In 33 games played in the 2020-21 season for the Trojans, Mobley averaged 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and a field goal percentage of 57.8 percent. The Trojans made it to the Elite Eight after concluding their season schedule with the second-most wins (25) in program history. According to the RSCI Top 100, the 20-year-old player was ranked third on the list.

Since Anthony Davis from the Southeastern Conference in 2012, he is the only other player to win the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman Player of the Year all in the same year. Mobley told the media on Friday, “I feel like as a modern-day NBA big, you have to be able to shoot, guard multiple positions, stretch the floor, and put the ball on the floor a little bit.” He later said in the interview, “I think I’ll be a generational player that no one has really seen before. That’s what I’m aspiring to be, and I’m just going to keep working and staying in the gym until I get there.” The Cleveland Cavaliers are in position to draft Mobley, but teams like the Toronto Raptors and Orlando Magic could trade up to pursue the player on draft night.

Player Draft Position

The top 10 most common picks of this draft are Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Scottie Barnes, Jonathan Kuminga, James Bouknight, Davion Mitchell, Keon Johnson and Franz Wagner. However, Josh Giddey could be the dark horse for the New Orleans Pelicans, considering they have the tenth pick of the draft. To add to that observation, The Ringer mock draft is showing Corey Kispert at the No. 10 spot. Kispert’s draft value lies within his perimeter shooting. In the 2020-21 season, the six-foot-seven Gonzaga forward shot 44 percent from beyond the arc. He also led the West Coast Conference in three-point field goal attempts (207) and shots made (91) last season.

Furthermore, Charles Bassey has options showing Over 38.5 (-105) and Under 38.5 (-125). Daishan Nix has a draft position presenting Over 50.5 (-125) and Under 50.5 (-105). Plus, David Johnson’s position betting odds show Over 45.5 (-120) and Under 45.5 (-110). A few bettors are predicting Jalen Johnson will go Under 12.5 (+150) in the draft. He has +10000 odds of being selected fifth overall in the draft. Yahoo Sports mock draft writers are predicting Ziaire Williams will get drafted at No. 14 by the Golden State Warriors. Though, the consensus favorite for the No. 14 spot is Oregon’s Chris Duarte. Moreover, Bleacher Report has the Warriors drafting Moses Moody at No. 7. The first-team All-SEC (2021) and SEC Freshman of the Year (2021) has +175 odds of being selected in the top 10 of the draft.

  • All table odds were retrieved from Bovada

Exact Order – Top 4 Pick Odds

In the first round of the draft, the favored exact order is Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley and Jalen Suggs. The current odds are listed at -120. Another realistic possibility is Evan Mobley getting selected before Jalen Green. The exact order odds for this scenario are +600. While the Rockets seem to show the most interest in Green, the organization could pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. Bettors should not assume anything. The Rockets may go after Cunningham, if the opportunity presents itself and trades occur the night of the draft. Moreover, there is also a chance that Suggs could get picked before Mobley.

The odds for that outcome are also +600. The Cavaliers could use another aggressive defender and solid play-maker. Suggs specializes in pick-and-roll situations, so this is something for the Cavs to consider in the long run. In 30 games played, he averaged 14.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and shot 50.3 percent from the field. As a Gonzaga Bulldog, the 20-year-old guard also won a state championship in his freshman season. Having said all of this, fans need to lower their expectations before the draft. There are times these mock drafts and player interviews are not what they seem.

Regarding NBA Draft betting sites, e.g. FanDuel, DraftKings and BetUS, bettors can bet on the top three or four picks in order, the first player to be drafted by position, a specific player being drafted by a certain team and the Over/Under player number in the draft. As for placing bets before or during the season, the choices to bet on assists, rebounds and points per game are other notable opportunities to keep in mind. Not to mention, NBA Finals prop bets, the Finals MVP winner and regular season MVP winner are other options as well. The 2022 NBA Finals is scheduled to begin in June of next year.

 

 

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