Last year was…a letdown. The roster, coaching, and being in the weak Eastern Conference made a lot of Magic fans optimistic for a new season to begin because it seemed like it was finally time to make the playoffs again. Those optimistic fans were instead gifted a 29-53 finish, another questionable trade, and a fired General Manager. That last fact is the only one fans are truly happy about, as Rob Hennigan had great ideas that never came to fruition. So now we find ourselves looking at another new year. New GM, a coach with one year under his belt in O-Town (and a better understanding of this roster), and a couple of new draft picks.
- Jonathan Issac, F, Florida State
The Magic surprised very few with this pick, as he was slotted to be picked here in many mock drafts. The long, athletic Issac stands at 6’11” and weighs just barely over 200 pounds. Only playing one season with the Seminoles, Issac did not have the stats you would expect from a 6th overall pick. He would be classified as a player drafted on his potential. A defensive-minded player like Jonathan should make an immediate impact on the struggling defensive team that Orlando is. Shooting the ball I feel as if he is slept on. He shot 34.8% from beyond the arc and just about 60% inside. Mechanics will be addressed and screen-and-pops will be introduced to him by (most likely) the pop master Nikola Vucevic. Speaking of Vucevic, his tenure as a Magic big man is most likely through. The big issue is: what will we get in return? To be continued….
- Wesley Iwundu, SG, Kansas State
One of the few 4-year players in the draft, Iwundu has been compared to Kent Bazemore (take that however you please). At 6’7” (with a 7’ wingspan!), 195 lbs, Iwundu might be the first second-round pick to see actual playing time since KYLE O’QUINN in 2012 ( I’m not counting Stephen Zimmerman because he was a garbage time only guy). Let that sink in. He is another player that excels on the defensive end and struggles shooting the ball. You throw him in with a second unit where his role is to be a distraction on offense and a shutdown defender on defense, you got yourself more than you could have asked for.
Just like being a Jags fan, it is hard to be optimistic with all the previous letdowns. Here is to hoping those letdowns are overcome and things begin to click.