If the 2014 NBA draft were to happen today, then the Magic’s pick acquired from the New York Knicks would be 13th overall, according to NBADraft.net. This would give the Magic two lottery selections, enabling them to make some serious headway in the rebuilding process.
Who are the best options for the Magic at that 13th overall spot?
Tyler Ennis: Syracuse, Freshman Point Guard
At 6’2” and 180 pounds, Tyler Ennis is a special point guard, especially for only being 19 years old. Ennis is one of the most poised and pure freshman point guards you’ll ever see in college basketball.
He’s not the most athletic player, but the kid has led the undefeated, top-ranked Syracuse Orange while averaging 12 points, 5.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game. He also has an eye-caching 4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, shoots nearly 40 percent from long range and averages 2.3 steals per game.
Depending on who the Magic take with their top-five selection, Ennis could potentially be just what the Magic need.
With Jameer Nelson aging and constantly being on the injured list, Ennis could step in right away and take over point guard duties, which would also allow Victor Oladipo to stay at his more natural position on the wing.
Doug McDermott: Creighton, Senior Small Forward
Doug McDermott is all but a lock for the Naismith National College Player of the Year Award, averaging 25.3 points and 7.2 boards, while shooting 50 percent from the field, 43 percent from three and 89 percent from the charity stripe. Coming in at 6’8” and 225 pounds, the guy can flat-out score.
You don’t just slide into the 18th spot on the all-time NCAA scoring list without being able to ball a little bit.
The knock on him always will be his lack of quickness and athleticism, but he makes up for it with his basketball IQ. He’ll be a Kyle Korver-type player in the NBA, except with the ability to seriously put that ball on the floor and go around defenders.
He should have a long NBA career, relying on his shooting and scoring abilities. For the Magic, he would fill the desperate need of an outside shooter. Think almost like what Hedo Turkoglu did in his prime for the Magic, except McDermott is an even better shooter and overall scorer.
Rodney Hood: Duke, Sophomore Small Forward
Rodney Hood is another scary offensive weapon in this draft.
At 6’8” and 215 pounds, the lengthy guard possesses great size for the position and has a huge offensive arsenal. Don’t leave him open, because he’s shooting a blazing 45 percent from deep this season, but don’t crowd him too much either, as he’ll go right around you and attack the basket.
The Magic would benefit greatly from having Hood, giving them a big-time scorer (averaging 16.5 PPG) who can finish in a multitude of ways, helping the Magic offense that ranks 24th in the NBA in points per game. He would also provide that outside shooting presence that the Magic are lacking.
Depending on who Orlando takes with its top-five pick, Hood could either come in and start at small forward, providing an immediate shooting upgrade over Tobias Harris, or come in and provide an excellent scoring presence off the bench.
Kyle Anderson: UCLA, Sophomore Point Guard/Small Forward
Kyle Anderson’s stat line is flat-out ridiculous.
The 20-year-old literally does everything, averaging 15 points, 8.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Although he’s not a great athlete, he possesses arguably the best court vision of any player in the country.
He has the ability to play any position on the court besides center, but at 6’9” and 235 pounds, he is Magic Johnson-like at the point guard spot. He’s a wizard on offense and also a very good rebounder. He’s greatly improved his three-point range this season, shooting 50 percent, and has a very solid mid-range game.
For the Magic, he would provide an outstanding and unique playmaker at the guard spot. If you put him at the point guard spot and combine him with whomever they pick with their top-five selection, the future could become bright very quickly in Orlando.
Now let's count down the top five players the Orlando Magic should target with their own, destined-to-be top-five draft pick.