The Magic had clear draft strategy: select players with long wingspans

The Magic had clear draft strategy: select players with long wingspans


The Magic had clear draft strategy: select players with long wingspans

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The Orlando Magic drafted big man Mo Bamba, who enters the NBA with one of the largest wingspans in the history of the league.

Bamba, 20, measured at 7-foot-1 with an unreal 7-foot-10 wingspan at the 2018 NBA Combine. For comparison, Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert has a 7-foot-9 wingspan and Anthony Davis has a 7-foot-5 wingspan.

His length alone will make him a valuable defender as a professional as he will always be a defensive mismatch. It will be very tough for an opposing team to get a shot over Bamba on offense.

Orlando also later selected Tulane’s Melvin Frazier and Maryland’s Justin Jackson. Frazier was measured at 6-foot-4 with a wingspan nearly 7-foot-2 and Jackson measured at 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan.

The Magic later signed undrafted free agent Kendall Stephens out of Nevada. Stephens, 23, measured at 6-foot-6 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan during the Pro Basketball Combine.

Stephens reportedly only has a summer league deal with the franchise. It’s worth mentioning they were also interested in Kelan Martin. The former Butler forward is 6-foot-7 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan.

Bamba, Frazier and Jackson and perhaps even Stephens will join Jonathan Isaac (7-foot-1 wingspan) in the frontcourt for Orlando. If he re-signs with Orlando, they also have Aaron Gordon (7-foot wingspan) and Bismack Biyombo (7-foot-6 wingspan) on their roster as well.

It’s no surprise that John Hammond, the general manager for the Magic, has drafted these players. During his time with the Milwaukee Bucks, he selected some of the longest prospects available including Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Other first-round picks in Milwaukee included lengthy prospects like Jabari Parker and Thon Maker as well. The Bucks strategized to have one of the lengthiest teams in the NBA and now the Magic are implementing a similar strategy.

When the free agency market opens on July 1st, look for Orlando to target wingspans once more and double down on the intangible body type that they clearly covet.

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