Mock Draft 2.0: Final mock before Thursday's 2021 NBA Draft
The Magic are in full rebuild mode now that Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon are off the team and Jamahl Mosley is coming in as their new head coach. While it's rumored that they're a strong candidate to trade up in the draft, perhaps with the Cavaliers, I'm staying put with the fifth and eighth picks if I were them. With the fifth overall pick, the Orlando Magic select Scottie Barnes out of Florida State University.
Barnes is one of the best and most versatile defenders in his class, and that on its own is very valuable in the modern NBA. His frame, fantastic defensive instincts, and ability to pass have garnered some comparisons between him and Draymond Green for good reason. If that defensive ability and passing translate to the NBA, he should already be a very serviceable role player and "glue guy." That said, if his shot begins falling, he will have serious All-Star potential.
Given Coach Mosley's history as the Mavericks' defensive coordinator, I think he'll value the defensive IQ and versatility that Barnes could bring to the team immediately upon entry. Beyond that though, I think the team will simply see him as the best player available, even over an athletic wing player like Jonathan Kuminga. That said, I think that selecting Barnes will make even more sense alongside the team's eighth overall pick.