The Orlando Magic has made headlines before the NBA Draft even commences, hiring Scott Skiles to begin the turnaround that has been years in the making. With a collection of young, first-round talent in recent drafts, the Magic expected this jump to have already happened under former head coach Jacque Vaughn, who was fired during this past season.
But Orlando is here again in the forefront of the draft, selecting No. 5 on June 25 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. On the secondary market, tickets to the NBA Draft have an average price of $94.91, with a get-in price of $38. Orlando fans wanting to watch the franchise change in front of their eyes can use Hipmunk.com for flights to and from Orlando. To finish an NBA destination vacation in June, hotels in Brooklyn starting from $42 a night can be reserved through Hipmunk as well.
The Magic already have Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris, who were selected 16th and 19th, respectively, in the 2011 NBA Draft; the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 draft Victor Oladipo; and the No. 4 and No. 10 picks in 2014, Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton.
Add the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft and Skiles must be excited to be able to work with such a young group that can be molded to his liking. With that being said, let’s analyze a few options the Magic can roll with in the first round.
Willie Cauley-Stein | Kentucky | Center | Junior | 7’ | 242 lbs.
Cauley-Stein would be the perfect center pairing with the offensively-minded Vucevic. With Vucevic averaging 19.3 points per game and 10.9 rebounds last year, WCS can be the Magic’s defensive anchor for the next decade. The NCAA’s Defensive Player of the Year has the amazing ability to come out and contest guards, while being able to go body-to-body with any of the league’s big men. In today’s NBA, this is almost a necessary quality from top-of-the-line defenders.
Kristaps Porzingis | Latvia | Power Forward | 6’11”, 220 lbs.
Porzingis is this year’s European mystery in the top half of the draft. Porzingis is rumored to be going anywhere from No. 4 to No. 10, but he’ll bring his silky shooting touch wherever he lands. At nearly 7’ tall, the fluid Latvian will create all sorts of spacing with his perimeter game. As with most international prospects, Porzingis will have to add weight as well, not to mention become acclimated to an American lifestyle, which he appears ready for.
Justise Winslow | Duke | Forward | Freshman | 6’6”, 225 lbs.
The consummate winner will be tough to pass up if he’s still on the board. Winslow has won at every level and will immediately make the team better by ways of his basketball IQ and general unselfishness. Winslow has the ability to put personal stats aside and do what’s best for the team on every play. His ability to fit into any situation is underrated, and may be one of the best two-way players in the top-10 of the Draft.