The Orlando Magic, owners of the Nos. 1, 32 and 35 picks in the NBA draft, will have multiple chances to add to their roster on June 23.
After kicking off a rebuild in March 2021, the Magic already have significant young talent. Orlando has nine players who were drafted in the first round since 2017 signed to contracts for the 2022-23 season.
Nonetheless, the Magic have clear needs after finishing 2021-22 with a 22-60 record.
As the roster stands, Orlando needs a 3-and-D wing/forward — with an emphasis on reliable 3-point shooting — who has good size and length for their position. The Magic also could use another big/center, depending on what happens with Mo Bamba’s restricted free agency.
After taking a step forward in their pre-draft evaluations during the mid-May NBA draft combine in Chicago, the Magic are hosting prospects for workouts ahead of the draft.
This story is part of a series on players the Magic either interviewed or worked out in Orlando:
Keon Ellis (Alabama);
Height: 6-foot-5 | Weight: 167 pounds | Age: 22 | Wingspan: 6-foot-8 1/2
2021-22 averages: 12.1 points (43.9% from the field — 57.9% on 2s, 36.6% on 3s), 6.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.8 assists.
Connection: Worked out for the Magic on June 14
Note: Just because a player is working out for a team doesn’t mean they’re a target to be drafted. A team not working out a prospect also doesn’t mean they won’t draft them. Six pre-draft prospects are allowed on the court at a time and aren’t allowed on the court with NBA players. Some players sought feedback from NBA teams ahead of the June 1 deadline college players had to decide whether they’ll stay in the draft or withdraw and keep any remaining collegiate eligibility.
The buzz: Ellis, a former 3-star, had a successful preps basketball career in Central Florida. He played for Eustis before transferring to Leesburg for his junior season, winning back-to-back Class 6A state titles in 2017 and ‘18. Ellis played at Florida SouthWestern, a junior college program, for two seasons before joining Alabama in 2020. He was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Defensive team this past season.
Scouting report: Tenacious on-ball defender because of his size, length, lateral quickness and quick hands. Good finisher at the rim. Can finish through contact or over defenders. An effective spot-up shooter from beyond the arc. Also a shooting threat coming off screens. Moves well off the ball and is a good offensive rebounder. Needs to improve as a playmaker and self creator offensively, but his age leaves doubt he’ll make significant leaps in either area. Will need to work on his handles. Getting stronger would help him when tasked with guarding bigger wings.
Fit: The Magic are loaded with young guards (Cole Anthony, Devin Cannady, Markelle Fultz, R.J. Hampton and Jalen Suggs), so Ellis would have a hard time getting playing time if he was in Orlando. He’s expected to be taken late in the second round or go undrafted.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.