The Orlando Magic had the 15th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft and selected North Carolina guard Cole Anthony on Wednesday night virtually from ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut. Injuries had a significant impact on the Magic in the NBA bubble. Jonathan Isaac suffered a season-ending knee injury during a seeding game and Aaron Gordon missed all of their first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks because of a hamstring injury. Orlando could be in danger of dropping out of the playoff picture, but getting a good fit through the draft could help it stay afloat.
Markelle Fultz is Orlando’s point guard of the future and will play at least one more season with Evan Fournier, who has elected to opt into his $17 million player option for 2020-21. Nikola Vucevic is a borderline All-Star center but there’s uncertainty surrounding the rest of the Magic’s roster. Isaac tore his ACL and meniscus early this year and will miss all of the upcoming season. Aaron Gordon hasn’t lived up to his lottery pick status and could be a popular trade target for teams looking to add an uber athletic big. Chuma Okeke was the No. 16 pick in last year’s draft but missed all of 2019 because of an ACL tear. The 6’8” swingman could prove to be a valuable asset for a team in flux, but the Magic will likely have to fight for their lives to make the postseason for a second year in a row.
First-round Pick Analysis
Cole Anthony, who is the son of former NBA player, Greg Anthony, is joining an Orlando Magic team that needs a playmaking, score-first point guard. Even though the Magic already have Markelle Fultz, they might lose backup veteran guard D.J. Augustin to free agency.
In his only season at North Carolina, the 6-foot-3 guard averaged 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 1.3 steals in 34.9 points per game. Anthony also shot 38 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from three-point range on 6.4 attempts per game. However, those numbers were possibly hindered by a knee injury. He will give Orlando a scoring punch that they desperately need.