You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

NBA draft lottery set to put Magic future into sharper focus

Orlando Sentinel logoOrlando Sentinel 6/22/2021 Roy Parry, Orlando Sentinel
Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham during an NCAA Tournament game against Oregon State at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on March 21, 2021. © Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America/TNS Oklahoma State's Cade Cunningham during an NCAA Tournament game against Oregon State at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on March 21, 2021.

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Orlando Magic are on the cusp of gaining further clarity about their future.

After playoff appearances in 2019 and 2020, the Magic are back in the NBA draft lottery after going 21-51 this season. Ping-Pong balls will determine when and how often they’ll pick in next month’s draft.

The lottery is set for Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN.

The last time the Magic were part of the lottery process, they received the No. 6 pick and selected Mo Bamba in 2018.

The last time the Magic were coming off a 21-win season, they won the lottery and subsequently drafted Dwight Howard No. 1 overall in 2004.

The Magic also had a 21-win season in 1991-92, won the lottery and took Shaquille O’Neal first overall.

Those picks worked out pretty well for the franchise.

The Magic once again are in position to secure a long-term cornerstone piece, and they’ll need to hit their pick correctly.

Orlando will enter Tuesday’s lottery in the third spot after finishing behind only Houston (17-55) and Detroit (20-52) in the reverse standings. Each of those teams will have a 14.0% chance of getting the No. 1 pick, a 13.4% chance for the No. 2 pick, a 12.7% chance for the No. 3 pick and an 11.9% chance for the No. 4 pick.

Orlando has a 52.1% chance of landing in the top four.

From a percentages standpoint, the Magic should wind up with two top-10 picks as they’ll get the Bulls’ first-round pick as long as it falls outside of the top four.

Chicago will enter the lottery at the No. 9 spot and the pick has better than a 70% chance to land at No. 8 or No. 9. The Bulls have a 20.2% chance of moving into the top four and keeping the pick. If that happens, the pick would convey to the Magic in 2022 and be top-three protected.

Utilizing the Bulls’ selection will be crucial for the Magic, who also have the No. 33 pick.

Orlando began its latest rebuild in late March with the trades of two-time All-Star Nikola Vucevic and fellow franchise stalwarts Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon. The moves brought back young talent — such as R.J. Hampton and Wendell Carter Jr. — and draft assets.

President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman repeatedly has expressed his excitement for the current core of young players and the new direction of the team. In his end-of-the-season media session, Weltman — who also has to hire a new head coach — said one of the previous challenges was trying to be competitive and push for playoff berths while trying to develop young players.

“For the first time since I’ve been here, I feel so much more at ease with just a path,” Weltman said. “We have a much more clearly defined path right now.”

Two other lottery scenarios to watch:

The Rockets will come in at the No. 1 spot and have a 52% chance of remaining in the top four and holding onto their pick. The Rockets cannot fall lower than fifth, but if the pick winds up at No. 5, the Thunder can swap the Heat’s pick (No. 18) for the Rockets’ pick.

The Timberwolves will enter the lottery at the No. 6 spot and have a 27.6% chance of moving into the top three and keeping their pick. Otherwise, it will convey to the Warriors.

The draft class features five highly touted players: Oklahoma State guard and Montverde Academy alum Cade Cunningham, USC center Evan Mobley, Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs, G League shooting guard Jalen Green and G League forward Jonathan Kuminga.

Cunningham, Mobley and Suggs are one-and-done college players while Green and Kuminga passed up college offers to play for the G League Ignite this past season. Cunningham, Mobley and Suggs will be 20 entering their rookie campaigns while Green will turn 20 in February and Kuminga will turn 19 on Oct. 6.

The Magic and other teams will get a chance once again to watch prospects in person when the NBA draft combine gets under way Monday in Chicago. It continues through Sunday.

AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon