Out of the top three picks expected to go in the NBA Draft, Chet Holmgren is believed to be the first choice for the Orlando Magic.
The Magic hold the No.1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Gonzaga’s Holmgren, Auburn’s Jabari Smith and Duke’s Paolo Banchero are the consensus top three prospects.
Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel said on the ProBasketballTalk Podcast, based on what he was hearing, that the Magic were most likely to draft Smith or Holmgren.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report:
“Early word among rival executives and league personnel at this week’s NBA Draft Combine suggests a strong possibility Orlando will favor Gonzaga 7-footer Chet Holmgren.”
“League figures have consistently mentioned the Magic front office’s affinity for length, particularly length on the perimeter, as a clue, they’ll target Holmgren—considered to have the most guard-like skill package of the trio and the most superstar potential.”
This would follow the Magic’s recent draft history of choosing long, athletic forwards.
Orlando president Jeff Weltman drafted Jonathan Isaac and Mo Bamba, and Magic general manager John Hammond drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo when he was with the Bucks.
Holmgren (7-foot with a 7-foot-6 wingspan) has the length advantage over Smith (6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan).
But Smith, who moves so well defending on the perimeter, is a better athlete by most traditional measures.
Still, Holmgren, tall, rail thin, skilled, smart, with a great touch and high motor, is a unique prospect.
That’s why opinion on him is so divided.
It’s scary to draft a player lacking precedent.
A unique profile can also portend greatness.
The primary question of his draft: How does Orlando feel about him?
It will certainly be interesting to see where Chet Holmgren does end up calling home.
Given the Magic’s recent draft history, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in Orlando.