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Owning both the 19th pick and 49th, the Orlando Magic have a multitude of avenues the franchise could explore. However, everything starts with franchise cornerstone Dwight Howard.
Over the course of the truncated season, the Dwight Howard debacle has become a full-blown spectacle in the eyes of the media, fans and the league. Much of the reason for this madness in Orlando is that there have only truly been two dominant centers since the 1990's: Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal.
So anywhere this All-NBA talent ends up, if he is even traded, will greatly change the realm of basketball. Few players can dominate a game like Howard. There are even fewer players who can do it on a consistent basis.
However, Howard is the only player that other teams have no answer for. At least, you can slow down the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant, but how do you contain arguably the most physically-gifted player of the generation. This behemoth under the basket, simply put, can't be stopped on a regular basis.
However, Howard hasn't even reached his prime. The first overall pick in 2004 is still considered a prospect, as he is only 26.
Nonetheless, the big man still wants out, despite waiving his early-termination option earlier this year.
Due to his raw ability that will turn any dismal roster into a competitive squad, Howard will be heavily sought after in the coming months, One team who has become quite interested in adding the center is the Houston Rockets, who have made two separate trades to acquire an enticing package to present to Orlando.
Even though there are numerous suitors for Howard's talents, Orlando is unlikely to ship the big man due to hiring a new GM, Rob Hennigan formerly of the Oklahoma City Thunder, just last week.
When asked about the possibility of dealing Dwight, Hennigan had this to say.
“I don’t want to comment on that,” Hennigan said. “We’re gonna continue to evaluate everything we can and analyze all the details and the options and the scenarios. I don’t know the answer to that. I have communicated with Dwight. I have communicated with his representation.”
If no trades do occur and everybody stays put in the Magic organization, expect Orlando to draft with the principle of best player available, not need. Teams draft with this mindset if they have no holes on the roster or a plethora of holes.
Orlando sadly falls under the latter category.
But if you want to get into specifics, Orlando should target a backup center, a backup point guard, a small forward to replace Hedo Turkoglu in the starting lineup and a perimeter player who can create his own shot.
With the 19th and 49th pick, though, it will be slim pickings in regards to finding a serviceable role player. Swingman Moe Harkless of St. John's would be a good fit in the first-round, along with facilitator Marquis Teague of Kentucky. If Will Barton of Memphis slides in the second, Orlando would be more than thrilled to snatch him up.
In the end, though, nothing ever works out as planned on draft day, which makes this night so interesting.