Orlando Magic Mock Draft

Media Mock Drafts: Who Will the Orlando Magic Take at No. 1 in the 2022 NBA Draft?

Dan Savage
Director of Digital News

ORLANDO – One of the most anticipated days on the NBA calendar is rapidly approaching.  

In just over two weeks a new pool of young talent will enter the league through the 2022 NBA Draft, which takes place on Thursday, June 23.  With them will come excitement and expectations from fanbases across the association. 

While no one can predict exactly how the draft will fall, we do know that it all starts with the Orlando Magic, who hold the prized No. 1 overall pick and will set the tone for the night.  

Magic President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman and his staff have been working tirelessly, not just since acquiring the first overall selection during the draft lottery, but instead, over the course of years, stockpiling information and intel to help them build a complete picture of every prospect in the draft pool. 

Over the course of the last few weeks, they’ve interviewed and hosted workouts for players with draft projections up and down the board as they prepare for a year where they hold picks No. 1, 32, and 35 overall. 

With some of those workouts still yet to take place, it’s hard to imagine that Orlando’s front office has etched its first overall selection in stone, but that hasn’t stopped us from scouring the internet and taking a look at what the media has mocked to the Magic.

Take a look at what they’re saying: 

The Athletic: Jabari Smith – "Smith is my favorite prospect in the class because he possesses the combination of skills that are most in-demand in the current NBA. He’s an elite shooter who made 42 percent from 3 in 2021-22 while also possessing enough athleticism and shot-creation ability to get to his pull-up jumper. I see him as an efficient 20-plus point-per-game scorer and a versatile defender who can switch across multiple positions." - Sam Vecenie | Read More

Bleacher Report: Jabari Smith – "The Magic could be pulled three different directions atop this draft. This front office has an affinity for length—see its previous selections of Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba—which won't make it easy to overlook Chet Holmgren. This offense, the league's only attack lacking a 17-point scorer, needs a focal point, which could be an argument for Paolo Banchero. And yet, Jabari Smith seems the likeliest selection here." - Zach Buckley | Read More

CBS Sports: Chet Holmgren – "I understand the concerns about Holmgren's slight frame — but he's such a unique talent that I'd be uncomfortable passing on a 7-foot legitimate rim-protector who can also bounce it like a guard and reliably make 3-pointers. He's the most talented prospect in this draft and should be selected as such." - Gary Parrish | Read More 

ESPN: Jabari Smith – "Most NBA teams are operating under the assumption that Smith will end up hearing his name called here, as he fits both the front office and coaching staff's philosophy for what they look for in a prospect. He is also an outstanding fit for a Magic team that badly struggled to space the floor effectively last season. Smith was arguably the most dynamic shooter in college, converting 42% of his 3-pointers despite standing 6-foot-10." - Jonathan Givony | Read More  

FOX Sports: Jabari Smith – "He’s not the player ready to help you the most now, but in five years, the 6-foot-10 Smith could be putting up Chris Bosh numbers in Orlando. The Magic front office under John Hammond has prioritized length in recent years (Jalen Suggs, Mo Bamba, Jonathan Isaac)." - Jason McIntyre | Read More

Rookie Wire: Chet Holmgren – "Orlando has often taken the best-player-available approach and that is unlikely to change now. They value those prospects with tremendous upside, which could point to Holmgren. He is viewed as perhaps the player with the most room to grow among Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith Jr." - Cody Taylor | Read More

The Ringer: Chet Holmgren – "From Giannis Antetokoumpo to Jonathan Isaac, John Hammond and Jeff Weltman have a history of drafting lengthy prospects going back to their time running the Bucks. Holmgren fits the same description, looking and playing like a skinnier Rudy Gobert with athleticism and elite awareness." - Kevin O'Connor Read More 

SB Nation: Paolo Banchero – "Banchero has maintained his status as our top prospect from the very start of this draft cycle because of his striking combination of size and offensive skill. At 6’10, 250 pounds, Banchero has the ball handling and live dribble passing chops of a guard with multiple avenues to produce points for himself and his teammates." - Ricky O'Donnell | Read More

SI: Jabari Smith – "Nailing the first overall pick in this year’s draft is a must for the Orlando Magic, especially since they already have a ton of talented, youthful pieces in place on their roster. Adding a player like Jabari Smith Jr. who not only has star-like potential on both ends of the floor, but fills an immediate scoring void on the wing is something the Magic must consider." - Brett Siegel | Read More

USA Today: Chet Holmgren – "Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren could play with his former high school and AAU teammate, Jalen Suggs, on the Magic. Although he is one of the most polarizing prospects in this class because he is so skinny, there is little doubt that Holmgren has elite upside. With a 7-foot-6 wingspan, he has the length that Orlando’s front office typically values, and he is a top-tier rim protector who can swallow his opponents alive in the paint. He had little trouble scoring near the basket, and he was also one of the most productive 3-point shooters when in transition on the trailer." - Bryan Kalbrosky | Read More 

Yahoo! Sports: Jabari Smith – "Smith is still the safest option at No. 1 and has interviewed incredibly well for teams at the top. He's not the consensus overall top pick in the draft, but his upside is incredible with his 3-point shooting (averaging 42% from deep) and his footwork in the paint." - Krysten Peek | Read More