In the next steps in the Orlando Magic’s offseason improvements after naming Steve Clifford as the organization’s next head coach, the club entered the 2018 NBA Draft with many options on the table as to who they may select. The Magic ended up selecting Texas center Mohamed Bamba as the 6th pick overall in the draft.
The 7-foot-1, 225-pound center was a defensive juggernaut for the Longhorns last season, averaging 3.7 blocks per game. Bamba’s offensive game was solid but could use improvement heading into his rookie campaign with Orlando, as the Magic will need the former Texas big man to contribute on both ends.
Bamba last season for the Longhorns averaged 12.9 points per game and also nabbed 10.4 rebounds a contest. Orlando’s hopes are they can pair up Bamba with power forward Aaron Gordon, to form one of the top young frontcourts in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.
Orlando’s offseason started with the firing of former head coach Frank Vogel and the Magic from there went on a long coaching search, which landed them Clifford, who previously was the lead man for the Charlotte Hornets. The Magic also had two other picks in the NBA Draft, as they selected Melvin Frazier Jr. (No. 35) and traded for Justin Jackson, who ended up being the No. 43rd pick in the draft.
The highflying Frazier becomes a solid pickup for a Magic team in need of another athletic wing that can score. Frazier averaged 15.9 points per game, 5.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists this past season for Tulane University while shooting 55.6 percent from the floor. His size at 6-foot-6, 200 pounds is a good pickup for Orlando.
Jackson, who played at small forward last season for Maryland, averaged 9.8 points per game, 8.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists for the Terrapins in just 11 games. Jackson’s season was cut short due to a torn labrum injury he sustained.