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Chet Holmgren's draft odds continue to tempt after report that Magic could favor him at No. 1

For The Win logo For The Win 5/20/2022 Prince J. Grimes
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The Orlando Magic could potentially target Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren with the No. 1 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported Friday. Citing rival executives and league personnel, Fisher said the Magic’s affinity for length could lead them towards favoring the seven-footer over Jabari Smith and Paolo Banchero.

This glimpse into the potential thinking of Orlando’s front office widens the possibility that Holmgren could be the top choice ahead of the betting favorite, Smith (-145 on Tipico Sportsbook). That makes Holmgren’s +130 odds all the more enticing — there’s simply more bang for your buck there. Because of that, and given the uncertainty surrounding the selection, I’m putting my money on Holmgren if anyone.

“Yet league figures have consistently mentioned the Magic front office’s affinity for length, particularly length on the perimeter, as a clue they’ll target Holmgren—considered to have the most guard-like skill package of the trio and the most superstar potential.”

While the report is far from definitive, it’s more than enough for me to consider Holmgren a legit option to go first overall Aside from the fact that he’s an incredible talent with great upside — and already has great chemistry with the team’s top pick from last year, his high school teammate Jalen Suggs — Holmgren fits the mold of the Orlando front office’s type.

When Magic president Jeff Weltman and GM John Hammond were in Milwaukee, they drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo. In their first two drafts in Orlando, they took the lengthy Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba in consecutive years. Considering Bamba is entering restricted free agency this summer, and Orlando isn’t likely to want to pay him, Isaac and whichever new big they draft this year, it’d make sense for them to replace his size and stretch ability with someone like Holmgren.

No matter which way they go, it’s a great position to be in. They’ll be happy with whoever they end up with.

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