After months of losing, with a firesale and a few tanking mixed in, the Orlando Magic ended up with the No. 5 picks within the 2021 NBA Draft. And Jeff Weltman seemed like he was close to crying. The Magic entered with a share of the highest odds within the draft lottery with a 14 percent chance but dropped to fifth after the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers jumped into the highest five. The Detroit Pistons, who had the second-worst record within the league at 20-52 last season, won the lottery and therefore the Cade Cunningham grand prize. The Houston Rockets got the second pick, the Cavaliers got third and therefore the Raptors got fourth.
The Magic, who had a 14.8 percent chance of taking the third pick, also receive the eighth pick from the Chicago Bulls as a part of the Nikola Vucevic trade. Two top-10 picks are swelled, but the Magic once more seem one detect of the combination during a four-player draft with Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, and Jalen Green. Perhaps Green drops a pick, or even the Magic grab Jonathan Kuminga at five, joining a young core that also includes Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz, Mo Bamba, Chuma Okeke, Cole Anthony, R.J. Hampton, and Wendell Carter Jr — all of whom are age 23 or under.
The Magic positioned themselves as best they might for the 2021 draft lottery, happening a trade deadline firesale that cleaned house, and towards the top of the season giving veterans ample time to get over injury because the losses accumulated . The Magic grabbed a share of the highest lottery odds with Houston and Detroit on the ultimate day of the regular season when the Oklahoma City Thunder upset a shorthanded l. a. Clippers team to offer the Magic sole possession of the third-worst record within the league at 21-51. The last time the Magic had the highest odds within the lottery was in 2013 once they fell to the second pick and selected Victor Oladipo. That was the primary of 4 lotteries during the last decade where the Magic finished one pick below their projected draft slot.