Most believe the Magic are looking at either Australian point guard Dante Exum, former Indiana Hoosiers’ big man Noah Vonleh and former Oklahoma State Cowboys’ point guard Marcus Smart with the fourth-overall selection in this week’s draft.
However, they have cast a pretty wide net.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, the Magic are also high on former Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns’ point guard Elfrid Payton and former Michigan Wolverines’ swingman Nik Stauskas.
Orlando is not basing their interest in a player based on a single anything. The word is that Marcus did not work out well for Orlando – twice. As much as others want to tell you the Magic loved Smart since last year, that’s just not how it worked out.
The Magic are still very high on Smart, they like Vonleh, although I think word of his workout being “stellar” is a little overstated. The Magic like Dante Exum, they are curious about Joel Embiid and they like Aaron Gordon and Julius Randle too.
Two names no one is talking about at 4 are Elfrid Payton and Nik Stauskas… both are players the Magic are really high on at the #12, but will likely both be gone at #12. There is a chance that Orlando grabs one of them at #4… or trades out of the #4 to insure they get one or both from the draft pool.
Payton put up 19.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.3 steals per game and shot 50.0% from the floor, but just 25.9% from beyond the arc and 59.0% from the free throw line. He measured in at 6’3.75 and 185 lbs. with a wingspan of 6’8. Payton is ranked by Jonathan Givony of Draft Express as the 23rd-best prospect in the draft.
Stauskas put up 17.5 points, 3.3 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game in his sophomore season. He shot 47.0% from the field, 44.2% from beyond the arc and 82.4% from the free throw line. At the NBA’s Scouting Combine, he measured in at 6’6.5 and 207 lbs. with a wingspan of 6’7.75. He is currently ranked as the 14th-overall prospect in the draft.