The NBA 2019 Draft has been & gone. Having made the playoffs the Magic weren’t a lottery team so held the 16th pick. Surprising a lot of people the Magic Front Office selected Chuma Okeke, a 6ft 8, 230 lbs forward with a 7ft wingspan.
Before we go any further I have to say that I don’t watch or follow college basketball & as the draft approaches I normally take a look online at the guys who have declared & the top prospects. This year I didn’t do that, so I won’t pretend to know much about any of the prospects other than Zion Williamson.
I didn’t have any great opinion on whom to draft. I had read a lot of fans were hoping we’d take Kevin Porter Jr, a talented shooting guard who fell to the Bucks at 20.
Who Is Chuma
Let’s take a look at Chuma Okeke & what he can bring to our team. It would appear that the Magic have a player with the potential to be the steal of the draft. He was widely touted as a top 10 pick were it not for his currently being injured with a torn ACL.
Firstly; that wingspan! Having such reach allows him to shoot over most defenders & equates to being able to make opponents shooting difficult as they have to get the ball up & over him. With the drafts of J Isaac & Mo Bamba in 2017 & 18 we all know our Front Office love wingspan.
I read that Chuma’s shot technique is excellent. In his 2 yrs of college basketball he made 38.7% of his 3-point attempts. From inside the arc he shot almost 58% & is considered to be a very good spot-up shooter.
Okeke is said to be a position-less, versatile player on both ends of the floor, very good defending in space & has a reputation of having played D well against many of those drafted this year above him. He is unselfish, moves without the ball, with good on court vision & passing technique, meaning he can weigh in with assists, move the ball if someone has a better shot & has a good sense for the game.
If not for the ACL tear, Okeke would have had an opportunity to make an immediate impact. Patience will be required as the knee injury occured on March 30th. Jeff Weltman has already said the team have no plans to rush him. Perhaps surprisingly, they do expect him to feature later in the upcoming season. This is the same approach taken with injuries to Markelle Fultz, Mo Bamba & Jonathan Isaac.
Trust In Weltham
It would appear the Magic have gained a diversely talented two-way forward who is tough, athletic & can shoot. This is a signing for the long term, not an immediate impact. He fits the ethos of our Front Office team of Jeff Weltman & John Hammond. I have faith in their judgement. Together at the Milwaukee Bucks they drafted Giannis Antetokounmpo as the 15th pick in 2013. They took Jonathan Isaac for us at 6 in 2017.
They have each pulled some good moves individually. Weltman drafted Pascal Siakam at 27th who is now an NBA champion & likely winner of this season’s Most Improved Player Award. Hammond took Malcolm Brogdon, the first player to win Rookie of the Year as a second round pick. It seems to me they know their stuff.
Now let’s see what free agency holds for us.
As always LETS GO MAGIC!