With the Orlando Magic basically needing to build around Victor Oladipo, Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic, their two lottery picks in the 2014 NBA Draft will go a long way in helping them at least compete in a majority of their games.
Expected to get a top three pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, many predict the Magic to go with Joel Embiid, the seven-footer from Kansas. However, the player that Orlando would benefit the most from selecting isn’t Embiid or even Duke‘s Jabari Parker; it’s the Kentucky Wildcats‘ Julius Randle.
Randle has taken a backseat to a lot of the top freshmen in the country just because of the enormous amount of talent around him.
Remember, Randle also faced some of the best forwards in the country game after game. The SEC boasted three fantastic forwards in LSU‘s Johnny O’Bryant III, Tennessee‘s Jarnell Stokes and Florida‘s Patric Young, who Randle faced seven different times in total. One thing that Randle showed this season was that he could continue to improve and contribute to a team that’s still growing, just like the Magic are now.
Now we get to his stats. Randle averaged a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double, as well as approximately 3.5 offensive rebounds per game, all while playing in one of the most difficult leagues in the country. Say what you will about the SEC being full of average teams, but there were three SEC teams in the Sweet 16 and there are a lot of SEC players’ names that will be called on draft day.
Orlando doesn’t need to draft a player who is going to be the go-to guy; the Magic are only going to start winning games once they get a good team together. Randle would be the perfect fit for a growing Magic squad, and he should be available when Orlando picks. The future is bright for the Magic, and Randle could make it even brighter.