Four teams remaining in the NBA Playoffs, their focus is solely on winning a championship, but for the teams who missed the playoffs, their focus was on the NBA Draft Lottery. The Orlando Magic were the big winners here as they received the first overall pick in the draft. The Magic should select Chet Holmgren.
This draft is unlike last year where there was an obvious choice of who to draft first making this a little harder on the Magic. It is safe to say the top three prospects are: Chet Holmgren from Gonzaga, Jabari Smith from Auburn and Paolo Banchero from Duke, but it will be hard to pass on Holmgren.
The Orlando Magic entered the lottery with a 14% chance of the balls bouncing their way, and that is precisely what happened. Rounding out the top five include, the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and the Detroit Pistons.
This marks the fourth time the Magic hold pick No. 1, and things go right when they draft big men. Chet Holmgren looks to be the next Shaquille O’Neal or the next Dwight Howard for this team looking to finish their rebuilding process.
Chet Holmgren’s Fit with the Magic
The guard position is currently locked up in Orlando. With Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Markelle Fults and R.J. Hampton, you can forget about them drafting another guard. Franz Wagner is coming off a great year making the All-Rookie 1st Team, so that leaves two openings for Holmgren to fill.
In a perfect world, Jonathan Isaac would be playing power forward for Orlando, but with his injuries, he should be relegated to the bench when he returns. Wendell Carter Jr. is coming off a career year averaging 15.0 points and 10.5 rebounds. His starting position is safe, but what does that mean for Holmgren?
My solution is a death lineup consisting of Anthony, Suggs, Wagner, Carter Jr. and Holmgren. I think Carter Jr. and Holmgren can coexist in the paint, and their length can present a problem for the rest of the league.
Holmgren can operate as a point-center for this team as he is not your traditional big man. Orlando should worry less about fit and draft the best available, and Holmgren is simply the best player in the draft.
Holmgren is the Best Player in the Draft
Holmgren is coming off a dominant season on the best regular-season team in college, Gonzaga. He averaged 14.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.7 blocks and shot 60.7% from the field. He is a 7’0” center who can do it all and is truly a generational prospect.
Currently sitting at 195 pounds, he is not as light as people think, but he will certainly benefit from NBA training. Playing for Gonzaga and being the No. 1 player coming out of high school, Holmgren is used to the bright lights. He will step into the Amway Center and can help the Magic to a playoff push.
It is not every day you have the opportunity to draft a player with a 7’6” wingspan who can also shoot 40% from behind the arc. Holmgren is a monster on both sides of the floor who is a proven winner.
The Orlando Magic should draft Chet Holmgren if they want to turn their franchise around.