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It’s way to early to say who the Orlando Magic will take with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, but using history as a guide, Gonzaga center Chet Holmgren may be their man.
The tandem of Magic head of basketball operations Jeff Weltman and GM John Hammond have been big on bigs, dating back to their days together with the Milwaukee Bucks. And not just any bigs. We’re talking tall, lanky and fairly athletic guys with some versatility.
The list includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, drafted by the Bucks when Hammond and Weltman were running things. It also includes Jonathan Isaac in Orlando.
Of course, no one is expecting Holmgren to be The Next Giannis, or probably anything close. But Holmgren does have size (7-foot-0) and great length. He can disrupt shots at one end and hit 3-pointers at the other.
This was all written about by Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, via Hoops Wire.
“There’s little consensus of how the top three choices will unfold between Orlando, Oklahoma City (drafting No. 2) and Houston (No. 3), but most NBA figures believe those picks will be some order of Smith, Holmgren and Duke forward Paolo Banchero,” Fischer wrote. “Yet 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.”
Holmgren undoubtedly will need to put on more weight. As it stands, he sort of looks like the world’s tallest lamp post.
But he could turn out to be a Kristaps Porzingis-type, minus all the injuries. If so, that may be as good as it gets in this draft — expected to be full of really nice prospects, but perhaps no major stars.