Orlando Magic: Darius Garland (Point guard, Vanderbilt)
Chau: Orlando has stuck to a very particular set of standards in the draft since John Hammond took over as GM in May of 2017, exclusively nabbing players with remarkable wingspans relative to their position. Length is the great equalizer, a way to widen one’s margin for error, especially on the defensive end. The Magic, in theory, are developing a floating fortress of limbs. In practice, they’re much less intriguing. All that length doesn’t mean anything if the ball can’t find its way into the right hands.
This could be the year the Magic deal less in the abstract. The heart of their problem is simple: The Magic have the most dire point guard rotation in recent NBA history. In the 6-foot-3 Garland, the team would be going against type, but they’d actually be targeting their biggest weaknesses. Garland is the best point guard prospect in the 2019 class, and a player who mirrors CJ McCollum’s growth and all his strengths and weaknesses, but on an accelerated timeline. Like CJ, he was a scrawny, 5-foot-something guard with undeniable offensive talent who grew into a 6-foot-3 frame. But unlike McCollum, Garland is doing it as an elite recruit, and he likely won’t have to spend four years at Vanderbilt.
At some point, the Magic will have to find their point guard of the future, whether it’s through throwing bags at Terry Rozier or Spencer Dinwiddie over the summer, or through the draft. Should they fall out of the top six, Garland would be worth a look.