2018 NBA Mock Draft: What if Memphis wins the lottery?

BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Rawle Alkins
BOISE, ID - MARCH 15: Rawle Alkins /
25 of 30
ncaa tournament, Oklahoma, Rhode Island
NORMAN, OK – MARCH 2: Oklahoma Sooners guard Trae Young /

6. player. 38. . G. Oklahoma. Trae Young

In one of many explorations sure to be written about Young between now and June, not to mention the dozens already penned, JZ Mazlish wrote at The Stepien this week that how one ranks Young depends on, “how likely his upside is, how acceptable his defense could be, and how much to weigh upside in the draft.” The Magic, at this spot, and this precarious moment in their perpetual rebuild, should bet on him.

Orlando rose this season from 18th to 12th in assists per 100 possessions, but they were the third-worst team in the league in 3-point efficiency. Those fluctuations were due to a lack of talent as well as inconsistent game-planning. After years of rebuilding, it appears the Magic may have just Aaron Gordon to show for it, and he is due a new contract this summer, before Orlando has really had time to plan for their future. A new coach will be an important part of Orlando’s blueprint going forward, but the way they will play is still in question. Young would clear up those questions.

The freshman was dynamite the first half of the year as well as the final two games of the season, but there was much to be discouraged by in between. It will be a major bet for whichever team selects Young.

But with an entirely new decision-making team in place since Gordon was drafted, a scheme ready to be molded around Young’s passing and shooting, and low expectations, it could be a match that benefits both team and player.