2022 NBA draft – what should the Magic do with their 1st pick?

On June 23, the 2022 NBA Draft will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where each of the Great League franchises will try to improve their roster by selecting the right prospects. To better prepare you for this always eagerly awaited event, we thought it would be useful to focus in particular on the ten teams that will choose from the Top 10, from Orlando to Washington. We are now interested in the Magic, which present themselves this year with the pick #1. What are their options for this Draft?


For the first time since 2004 with Dwight Howard, Orlando is in love and has the precious sesame. Many young people are already in place in the workforce and have not finished their progress. The ideal for the Magic would probably be to bring the piece that best fits both the identity and the needs of the team. And to meet this demand, who better than Jabari Smith Jr. to get to Florida? The prospect from Auburn would bring his exterior shot as lethal as it is silky to a squad that is sorely lacking in it (with Jalen Suggs as chief mason who has turned 21% since Disney World this season), but also knows how to make himself useful. other side of the floor. Admittedly, Jabari Smith is a prospect still to be polished, especially at the physical level where it is still a little light, but the basics are already very solid and correspond exactly to what is missing in Mickey. His integration could be very quick in the 5 major as a strong winger to accelerate his development, with Franz Wagner and Wendell Carter Jr. in the front-court, giving Jonathan Isaac time to resume quietly on the bench after two seasons without playing. In addition, Smith will have carte blanche to send long shots. At 42% on 5.5 attempts per game in the NCAA, that’s pretty legit.

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It’s no secret that John Hammond, the GM of the Magic, loves to draft “freaks” with incredible measurements and endless arms. This model already existed in Milwaukee (notably through Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thon Maker among others) has been transposed to Florida (with Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba among others). This coupled with the fact that in general, when Orlando has the first choice, the choice very often goes towards a pivot, this eventuality brings us to Chet Holmgren and his crazy profile. A 2m13 player capable of handling the ball (almost) like a leader and sending bombs 8 meters away, he represents by far the biggest “boom or bust” of the announced top 3. His complicity with Jalen Suggs from Gonzaga College can work in his favor if the 5th pick of the 2021 Draft preaches for the parish of his former teammate. Chet’s physique is also a real question mark, but that doesn’t stop him from being a solid defender and a real control tower. If he thickens up and becomes a real all-around threat, then the Magic will have won it all, but if he’s been walked on too much in the league, then it’s going to be a nice cartridge harvested by the front office, and with a first choice, there is a ban on eating meat. Last prayer from Magic fans, that Chet Holmgren doesn’t imitate Shaq and D12 by walking off to the Lakers once he’s had enough.


Since the time they drafted in the top 10, Orlando has never been able to find the face of its franchise, and that absolutely must change so that “the Magics” are again taken seriously as in 1995 or in 2009. For that, nothing like a player with a real ego, a strong personality, a lot of self-confidence but also an overflowing talent. We therefore present to you Paolo Banchero, Mike Krzyzewski’s ultimate nugget at Duke, who carried Coach K’s last career team on his shoulders. The Italian-American already sees himself as the indisputable first choice and the best player in this Draft. He typically represents the kind of player who isn’t afraid to grab the spotlight and whose verb can appeal to reporters and basketball fans alike. In terms of charisma, he would bring a fairly substantial sex appeal to the Magic, but the guy is also talented (at least in attack). His ability to score as well as his footwork would be an asset for a team that needs attacking input. Defensively on the other hand, it could sin for the strong winger given his lack of overall involvement. Not prohibitive but all the same to work to hope to monopolize the highest place of the podium at the approach of the last straight line before Adam Silver takes over. The Magic may do a flower for the Seattle native, but nothing is less certain.

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Let’s say it without fuss, the first pick should not move from Orlando by the evening of the Draft, and it will therefore be up to the Magic to make the right choice among the members of a clearly drawn top 3 but from which no headliner seems to emerge in an obvious way. So Jabari Smith? Chet Holmgren? Paolo Banchero? Response overnight from Thursday to Friday.

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