NBA Mock Draft — Here is were things get interesting.
After Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins, and Jabari Parker are off the board, no one is really sure which direction the draft heads in as the second tier of prospects is among us, putting Orlando in a situation where options are an abundance. Of course, there are few holes on this roster, making the decision a bit easier. Like last year, many expect the Magic to go guard here, especially with Marcus Smart, a player the coveted in last years draft, available. There’s also the international man of mystery in Dante Exum who fits the billing. Though few know much about him due to his overseas play, there is a large following of draft elitist who think Exum could be as good as the Wiggins-Embiid-Parker trio. Either pick would be the point guard of the future for Orlando. The difficult part is choosing which guy they want to roll with.
Here is the collection of the latest mock drafts from around the NBA pertaining to the Orlando Magic and the number four overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.
NBA Draft Net – G Dante Exum (Australia)
My NBA Draft – G Dante Exum (Australia)
Basketball Insiders (Steven Kyler) – G Marcus Smart (OK State)
Draft Express (Jonathan Givony) – G Marcus Smart (OK State)
While many may be surprised to see Orlando pass up on Dante Exum, the Magic have reportedly had Marcus Smart very high up on their draft board for the better part of two seasons now. Smart is the more NBA ready of the two, and is less of an enigma with his better established body of work. Smart and Oladipo would form one of the best defensive backcourts in the NBA potentially, and give the team all kinds of lineup-flexibility. Exum will be working out for Orlando in the coming days, which will be interesting to track.
Bright Side of the Sun – G Marcus Smart (OK State)
I’ve had the Magic getting Smart since October and I’m not going to change it (sassy). Smart is the general that the Magic need, and although the long and athletic backcourt duo of Victor Oladipo and Dante Exum sounds enticing, the Magic need a leader. They have a great group of young talent after this draft, and now it’s time to come through and win. Smart is the guy you take for that, not Exum.
Yahoo! Sports (Marc J. Spears) – G Dante Exum (Australia)
While Exum is the frontrunner, Orlando is also looking at Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh, Julius Randle and Marcus Smart.
Bleacher Report (Donald Wood) – G Dante Exum (Australia)
While the Orlando Magic will likely miss out on the three top prospects in the draft, the raw talent of Australian guard Dante Exum will be a welcome addition to a backcourt that already has Victor Oladipo.
CBS Sports (Matt Moore) – F Julius Randle (Kentucky)
Will Randle’s foot injury legitimately hold him back? That’s going to be the question going forward. We’ll assume for the moment that the problem is not severe. And while the Magic are high on Exum, I can’t get past how good Randle and Vucevic could be as a combination. Size, skill, and muscle, the Magic could grind teams down and have the athleticism to get out in transition as well. If he falls, don’t be shocked if he slips all the way to the teens, possibly Denver.
CBS Sports (Gary Parrish) – G Dante Exum (Australia)
Exum is the biggest mystery of the lottery. But at this point he’s probably too talented for a franchise in big need of a point guard to pass on
CBS Sports (Zach Harper) – G Dante Exum (Australia)
By taking Exum with the fourth pick, the Orlando Magic would be putting him next to Victor Oladipo in the backcourt and creating a guard tandem with destructive defensive capabilities. If both guys end up being solid shooters and playmakers in the half court, they’ll be challenging John Wall and Bradley Beal for backcourt of the future. This is a risk though because it’s assumed Rob Pelinka (Exum’s agent) is trying to get him to the Lakers and the Lakers only.
ESPN Insiders (Jeff Goodman) – G Dante Exum (Australia)
Rob Hennigan is one of the few general managers to have seen the athletic Aussie guard thrive at the U19 World Championships last summer. However, he is also a fan of another point guard in Marcus Smart. At the end of the day, Exum’s upside will be too much to pass up.
ESPN Insiders (Chad Ford) – F Noah Vonleh (Indiana)
We’ve consistently had the Magic taking a point guard at No. 4. They’ve been high on both Exum and Marcus Smart all year. Smart already has come in for a workout, and Exum is scheduled to arrive next week for his. But the Magic might end up opting to go another route.
The team really needs a power forward and Vonleh looks like a great fit next to Nikola Vucevic on the front line. His shot blocking on the defensive end plus his ability to stretch the floor on the other end is a perfect complement to Vucevic. With the several interesting point guards likely to be available at No. 12, the Magic might be able to get the best of both worlds.