Among the teams with the best odds heading into Tuesday’s draft lottery, the Magic were the only one to fall out of the top three. Orlando slipped into the fifth spot and will have a second lottery pick after receiving the No. 8 selection from the Bulls. While president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman was disappointed with the results, he said that he’s glad to finally have some clarity on next month’s draft, as Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel writes.
“I’ll look at it now as we have a lot of work to do, and we get to put a finer point on the work,” Weltman said. “So we kind of are looking just to put this day behind us and really drill down on the two picks that we have now. Knowing that we have two top-10 picks, that part of it’s very exciting.
“And then the other part is the draft, and it very seldom works out in the way that you prognosticate it. You look back on pretty much any draft, and it doesn’t go that way so it’s our job to find the players in the draft and we will. Now that we know where we’re picking and how many picks we’ll have, we’ll be able to kind of get to the next layer of that.”
There’s more from Orlando:
- In the same story, Parry suggests the team may try to package one of the selections and possibly a veteran such as Gary Harris or Terrence Ross in an effort to move up. “We always explore all options and it’ll be interesting to kind of start to engage with teams (with the Magic) having two top-10 picks,” Weltman said. “Sometimes it ends up in deals that get done and sometimes it’s a lot of close but no calls. So we’ll see how that goes but we will be busy and the busyness starts with evaluating these two draft picks.”
- Injured forward Jonathan Isaac shared some encouraging news in a recent appearance on The Sixth Man Show podcast (hat tip to Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily). Isaac missed the entire 2020/21 season with a torn ACL and there’s still not a definite timetable for him to return, but he believes he’s making progress. “I’m turning the corner,” he said. “It’s like every day I feel like I’m moving better and I can do more. I’m like a kid in the candy story wanting to run around and do so much. I feel good. I’m getting better every day.”
- In the search to replace Steve Clifford, the Magic front office wants someone with previous head-coaching experience, Marc Stein of The New York Times writes in his latest newsletter. Lakers assistant Jason Kidd and Clippers assistant Kenny Atkinson are two candidates that Stein has heard mentioned frequently.