The Orlando Magic won the highly anticipated NBA Draft lottery on Tuesday and will now have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, which is slated for June 23. out of the top five.
It’s the fourth time the Magic have won the No. 1 overall pick, second only to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the lottery era. The last time they went first draft, they selected Dwight Howard in 2004. If they can find someone as good as Howard this time around, it will be a big hit.
There’s no clear No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft, and the different candidates include a wide range of positions and skills. Some of the potential options include Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren, Duke forward Paolo Banchero, Auburn forward Jabari Smith and Purdue guard Jaden Ivey. Holmgren was Kyle Boone’s first choiceand Ivey is the highest-rated prospect on its Top 75 Big Board.
NBA Draft Lottery Results
8. Pelicans (via Lakers)
12. Thunder (via Clippers)
Here are some key takeaways from the night:
Magic could build something special
The Magic had the league’s second-worst record last season, going 22-60 as they missed the playoffs for the second straight season. While not an ideal way to spend more than seven months, all the losses paid off as they claimed the No. 1 overall pick on Tuesday night.
“The fans, the organization, it’s so exciting,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said. “There’s so much to look forward to. It’s going to be special.”
While a coach will always be optimistic about their team’s future, the Magic could really be on the verge of building something special. They had two lottery picks last season in Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner, the latter almost certainly making the All-Rookie team.
Add the likes of Markelle Fultz, Wendell Carter Jr., Jonathan Isaac (if he ever plays basketball again), Cole Anthony, Chuma Okeke, and RJ Hampton, as well as those they take at No. 1 this year, and c is a lot of young talent. There’s never a guarantee in the NBA, but the Magic could be pretty fun in a few years.
Kings jump to No. 4
There were no major surprises on Tuesday night as the lottery largely formed. Still, there was a bit of movement. Most notably, the Sacramento Kings, who had the league’s seventh-worst record last season, climbed to 4th overall.
It’s a nice little result for a team that hasn’t had much luck or success in recent years, especially since there seems to be a consensus among the top four in this class: Chet Homgren, Paolo Banchero, Jabari Smith and Jaden Ivey.
The Kings haven’t made the playoffs since 2006, which is the league’s longest drought. They clearly pushed to change that last season when they traded Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield to the Indiana Pacers for Domantas Sabonis. It didn’t work out last season, but adding another top-four pick could help them finally get back to the playoffs in the future.
Bad luck for the Blazers
After eight straight playoff appearances, the Portland Trail Blazers were back in 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 luck as they fell to seventh place.
While it wasn’t a massive fall – they had the sixth-worst record last season – they also didn’t get the big leap they were hoping for and ultimately really need to transform their squad.
After Lillard had abdominal surgery, they not only made the decision to tank, but came to the conclusion that their core wasn’t good enough. They traded CJ McCollum, Norman Powell, Larry Nance Jr. and Robert Covington, and Jusuf Nurkic is expected 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 been a big help.