Orlando Magic Win 2022 NBA Draft Lottery, Jabari Smith Jr. Favorite to Go No. 1

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 18, 2022

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum announces that the Orlando Magic hadwon the sixth pick during the NBA basketball draft lottery Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

The Orlando Magic were the lucky winners of the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night, giving them the top overall pick in June's NBA draft. The Oklahoma City Thunder will select second, with the Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings and Detroit Pistons rounding out the top five.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

2022 Draft Lottery is set 🍿 <a href="https://t.co/pSx1uVthPC">pic.twitter.com/pSx1uVthPC</a>

The early leader to be the top overall pick is Auburn's Jabari Smith Jr.:

Troy Machir @TroyMachir

Top 5 picks in the NBA Draft:<br>1. Magic<br>2. Thunder<br>3. Rockets<br>4. Kings<br>5. Pistons<br><br>Top 5 odds to go No. 1:<br>1. Jabari Smith +100<br>2. Chet Holmgren +160<br>3. Paolo Banchero +320<br>4. Jaden Ivey +3500<br>5. Shaedon Sharpe +6500

Bennett Durando @BennettDurando

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony drops a quick mock draft based on the lottery results:<br><br>He has Auburn’s Jabari Smith No. 1 overall to the Orlando Magic.<br><br>(Personal take: I think OKC at No. 2 is maybe the most enticing possible turnout for Jabari.)

Chris Vernon @ChrisVernonShow

Congrats to Magic fans. I think #1 pick will be Jabari Smith Jr.

Jeff Goodman @GoodmanHoops

If I’m Orlando, I’m going with Jabari Smith.

SportsTalkATL Jake @cantguardjake

The Magic should absolutely take Jabari Smith

Other likely considerations for the top overall selection are expected to be Gonzaga big man Chet Holmgren—who played with Magic guard Jalen Suggs at Minnehaha (Minneapolis) Academy—and Duke forward Paolo Banchero:

Jonathan Wasserman @NBADraftWass

Quick thoughts on lotto with mock coming...<br><br>-3 bigs seem to fit well in Orlando. I'd go Paolo but guess is Jabari<br><br>-Love Chet in OKC. Would love to see him + Giddey. Strong guard play + freedom to experiment seems good for Chet<br><br>Fox + Ivey is fun but obv they'd need shooting

Tom Haberstroh @tomhaberstroh

Can’t spell Chet Holmgren without “Orlando Magic.”

Dick Vitale @DickieV

If I am <a href="https://twitter.com/OrlandoMagic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OrlandoMagic</a> I would take <a href="https://twitter.com/Pp_doesit?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Pp_doesit</a> PAOLO BANCHERO # 1 as he is the most ready to make an impact in the <a href="https://twitter.com/NBA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBA</a>

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA

The Magic being in a position to take whichever big man they want out of Chet Holmgren, Jabari Smith or Paolo Banchero, along with having Wendell Carter signed long-term could mean that they move on from Mo Bamba.<br><br>Orlando can create up to $28M in cap space, along with #1 pick.

As for the Magic, they've nailed every draft for which they've held the top overall pick.

In 2014, they selected future Hall of Famer Dwight Howard at No. 1. In 1993, they selected Hall of Famer Chris Webber, though they traded him to the Golden State Warriors for Penny Hardaway—the No. 3 overall pick in that draft—and a slew of future picks.

While Hardaway's career was ultimately beset by injuries, he was still a four-time All-Star and two-time first-team All-NBA selection who helped the Magic reach the playoffs five times and the NBA Finals. He was also a much better fit with the team's franchise player at the time.

That player—and Hardaway's running mate on that Finals team—was of course the top overall pick in the 1992 draft, Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal. While all four of O'Neal's championships came after he left the Magic, he still dominated in his four years with the franchise and was a home run selection.

So the top overall pick has treated Orlando well in the past. If they nail it this year, the Magic will be in good shape with an intriguing young core centered around Suggs, Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr. and Cole Anthony.