The Orlando Magic once again dipped into the University of Michigan pipeline, selecting Caleb Houstan at No. 32 in the second round of Thursday’s NBA draft.
The Magic had several Wolverines in their organization last season.
Franz Wagner, who the Magic chose at No. 8 in last year’s draft, Moe Wagner and Ignas Brazdeikis were former Michigan players on Orlando’s 2021-22 roster. Brazdeikis was on a two-way contract. Former Wolverine center Jon Teske, who went undrafted in 2020, has played for Orlando’s G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic the last two seasons.
“We had Caleb in early in the process,” Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman told the Orlando Sentinel Thursday evening. “He can be a very capable shooter. He has a very team-oriented outlook. He guards. He does a lot of little things that don’t show up in the box score — he’s ahead of the ball, he’s the first one back defensively, he’ll box out a guy so his teammate can get the ball. He’s just a very smart, sound player who quietly does winning things. That’s kind of his personality, too.”
Here’s a quick analysis of Houstan’s strengths, areas he can improve and his fit in Orlando.
Caleb Houstan (Michigan)
Height: 6-foot-8 | Weight: 205 pounds | Age: 19 | Wingspan: N/A
2021-22 averages: 10.1 points (38.4% from the field — 42.6% on 2s, 35.5% on 3s), 4 rebounds and 1.4 assists.
The buzz: Houstan, a 2021 McDonald’s All-American, was a consensus former 5-star coming out of Montverde Academy. He was teammates with Scottie Barnes, Cade Cunningham, Moses Moody, Day’Ron Sharpe and Jalen Duren during his time with the Eagles. After three years at Montverde, Houstan graduated early and reclassified to the 2021 recruiting class, where he was ranked as the No. 11 high school prospect by 247Sports. Houstan, who scored in double figures 17 times, started in all 34 of Michigan’s games before the Wolverines fell to Villanova in the NCAA tournament’s Sweet Sixteen. He was one of the bigger mysteries in this draft class after declining his invitation to the mid-May draft combine, leading to speculation he had a preferred landing spot or was promised by a team.
Scouting report: Could become a high-level shooter. Thrived in catch-and-shoot and spot-up situations. Showed his range extended beyond the arc and glimpses of movement shooting coming off handoffs — a staple of coach Jamahl Mosley’s offense. Has longer arms, which he uses to help contain ball handlers on the perimeter and make good contests. Needs to improve his finishing and touch closer to the rim. Not the most explosive or quickest athlete. He’ll also need to improve as a self creator and as a pull-up shooter.
Fit: Houstan has the potential to be the kind of player who can knock down 3s and defend at a high level the Magic could use on the wings. He’s one of the younger prospects in this draft class, turning 20 in January 2023. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Magic took a more patient approach with Houstan’s development, including spending time with Lakeland.