The Orlando Magic won the much-anticipated NBA sweepstakes Tuesday and will now take the top spot in the 2022 NBA Draft, scheduled for June 23. Of the top five.
This is the fourth time the Magic has won the #1 pick overall, and it’s second only to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the lottery era. The last time they drafted first, they chose Dwight Howard in 2004. If they could get someone as good as Howard this time around it would be a huge success.
There is no clear #1 overall pick in this year’s draft, and the diverse candidates include a wide range of positions and skills. Some of the potential options include Gonzaga’s big man Chet Holmgren, Duke’s forward Paulo Banchero, Auburn forward Jabari Smith and Purdue goalkeeper Jaden Ivey. Holmgren was Kyle Boone’s number one choice Top 75 big plate.And Ivy is the highest rated potential customer on their site
NBA Draft Lottery Results
7. Trail Blazers
8. Pelicans (via the Lakers)
12. Thunder (via Clippers)
Here are some key takeaways from the night:
Magic can build something special
The Magic had the second-worst record in the league last season, going 22-60 as they missed the playoffs for the second consecutive season. While this isn’t an ideal way to spend more than seven months, all the losers paid off as they won first place in the overall pick on Tuesday night.
“The fans, the organization, are very exciting,” said Magic coach Jamal Mosley. “There is so much to look forward to. It will be special.”
While the coach is always optimistic about his team’s future, the magic really can be about building something special. They had lottery picks last season in Galen Suggs and Franz Wagner, the latter almost certain to be on the All-Rookie.
Add the likes of Markelle Fultz and Wendell Carter Jr. And Jonathan Isaac (if he plays basketball again), Cole Anthony, Chuma Okeke, and RJ Hampton, as well as this year’s No. 1 spot, that’s a lot of young talent. There are no guarantees in the NBA, but magic can be a lot of fun in a few years.
Kings jump to 4th place
There weren’t any big surprises on Tuesday night, as the sweepstakes got off to a big start. However, there was a bit of movement. Most notably, the Sacramento Kings, who set the seventh-worst record in the league last season, jumped to fourth overall.
That’s a nice little result for a team that hasn’t had much luck or success in recent years – especially considering that there seems to be a consensus among the top four in this category: Chet Homgren, Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith and Jaden Ivey.
The Kings have not played the playoffs since 2006, the longest drought in the league. They made a clear push to change that last season by exchanging Therese Halliburton and Buddy Heald with the Indiana Pacers for Dumantas Sabonis. It didn’t work last season, but adding another pick out of the top four could finally help them return to the playoffs in the future.
No luck for the blazer
After eight straight playoff games, the Portland Trail Blazers returned to the lottery for the first time since 2012, when they drafted Damian Lillard. He was present as their representative on Tuesday, but was unable to bring them any luck, as they fell to seventh place.
While that wasn’t a massive drop – they had the sixth worst record last season – they also didn’t get the big jump they had hoped for, and in the end they really needed to change their squad.
After Lillard had abdominal surgery, they not only made the decision to undergo tanks, but came to the conclusion that their heart wasn’t good enough. They exchanged CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, Larry Nance Jr. and Robert Covington, and Jusuf Nurkic is slated to be a free agent. It’s going to be a busy summer for the club as they try to rebuild around Lillard, and jumping into the top three or four in the lottery would have helped a lot.