NBA DRAFT: Orlando Magic pick 6th -- Jonathan Isaac? Malik Monk? Dennis Smith Jr?

Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky, could go to the Orlando Magic at No. 6 in NBA Draft / Headline SurferHeadline Surfer photo illustration (above) / Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky, shown here at left, could go to the Orlando Magic at No. 6. At least that's the bold prediction of Headline Surfer. ESPN and the Bleacher Report have the Magic selecting North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr.. SI.com and the Orlando Sentinel are predicting the Magic will choose Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac. And CBS Sports sees the Magic taking Arizona power forward Lauri Markkanen with the 6th pick in the NBA Draft, which begins at 7 p.m. on ESPN. 
YouTube download / SI.com video / NBA Draft predictions.
 
By HENRY FREDERICK
Headline Surfer

ORLANDO, Fla. -- With the the 6th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic select... 

Tonight's NBA Draft is one of the most exciting in years with trade rumors that has have NY Knicks center Kristaps Porzinga going to either Boston or Phoenix. LA Clippers center DeAndre Drummond also reportedly is being shopped in a trade as is power forward LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs. For the Orlando Magic, the No. 6 pick is likely not to change the perennial lottery teams's fortunes. But still, the pick at 6 could be better than what the Magic have had to choose from in recent drafts.

Even before tonight's draft, there were several trades: 

Dwight Howard left the Orlando Magic in 2012 / Headline Surfer• Dwight Howard was traded by the Atlanta Hawks after just one season to the Charlotte Hornets, his fifth team since leaving the Orlando Magic. Charlotte also gets the No. 31 pick in the 2017 draft. Atlanta gets Marco Belinelli, Miles Plumlee and the No. 41 pick in 2017 draft. Howard was traded from the Orlando Magic in 2012 to the Los Angeles Lakers with free agency pending. Since LA, he's also played for the Houston Rockets and the Hawks before his trade earlier this week to Charlotte.

• The Boston Celtics traded the No. 1 pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. Boston gets the No. 3 pick in 2017 draft and a future first round pick in either 2018 or 2019. No. Philadelphia gets the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft.

• New Orleans Pelicans dealt Tim Frazier to the Washington Wizards for the No. 52 pick.

Tonight's draft, which begins at 7 p.m. live on ESPN, will see the Magic's pick decided by Jeff Weltman and John Hammond, president of basketball operations and GM, respectively, as new hires. The two will rely on each other's collective instincts in making the decision on the No. 6 pick.  The Magic also have three other selections: later in the first round at No. 25 and two more in the second round at numbers 33 and 35.

 "I’ve always felt that Jeff has a very keen eye for talent -- that’s obviously so important in what we do,’’ Hammond said of Weltman. "He’s always been creative in his evaluating. I can tell you that from working with him when he goes out and watches a player play – we never get them all right, but boy, Jeff gets most of them right.’’

Orlando Magic's John Hammond / Headline SurferTonight's draft, which begins at 7 p.m. live on ESPN, will see the Magic's pick decided by Jeff Weltman and John Hammond, president of basketball operations and GM, respectively, as new hires. The two will rely on each other's collective instincts in making the decision on the No. 6 pick.  The Magic also have three other selections: later in the first round at No. 25 and two more in the second round at numbers 33 and 35. 

"I’ve always felt that Jeff has a very keen eye for talent -- that’s obviously so important in what we do,’’ Hammond said of Weltman. "He’s always been creative in his evaluating. I can tell you that from working with him when he goes out and watches a player play – we never get them all right, but boy, Jeff gets most of them right.’’

With the multitude of picks, the Magic could move up and even move one of their big men and create some salary cap room.

Here are predictions by several media outlets for the draft 's first round  (not taking into account trades):

Headline Surfer: With the 6th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic will select Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky: Elfrid Payton has somewhat disappointed and Monk is a great shooter who scored 47 against a tough North Carolina team, including a key basket in the closing seconds to secure the win in December. The Magic though are more likely to select Jonathan Isaac, the Florida State forward, or Dennis Smith Jr, the NC State point guard, though Headline Surfer likes Monk, who is projected to go anywhere from 8th to 12th in the draft.

ESPN: With the 6th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Orlando Magic will select Dennis Smith Jr.,  PG, North Carolina State. "North Carolina State's Dennis Smith could provide a nice change of pace from Elfrid Payton for Orlando," said Chad Smith, ESPN's NBA insider. 

SI.com: With the 6th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Orlando Magic will select Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State. "Given the changes in the front office, the Magic could be considering a longer rebuild, and Isaac has the most intriguing long-term prospects of the names that remain," SI.com said. "His skill level, length and versatility could be game-changers as he matures physically and gains confidence. Dennis Smith and Malik Monk should also be in the mix for this spot, given Orlando’s need for scoring."

Orlando Sentinel: With the 6th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Orlando Magic will select Jonathan Isaac, F, Florida State. "Isaac fits the mold that new Magic executives Jeff Weltman and John Hammond prefer: He has length, athleticism and agility. Isaac doesn’t have an NBA-ready offensive skill, and he likely would require several seasons to develop," the Sentinel said. "Still, it seems like Isaac will get the nod over Lauri Markkanen, Malik Monk and Dennis Smith Jr."

Bleacher Report: With the 6th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Orlando Magic will select Dennis Smith Jr.,  PG, North Carolina State. "The Orlando Magic need some offensive firepower," Bleacher Report said. "Malik Monk is an option, but Dennis Smith Jr. offers both scoring and playmaking. He also gives the Magic a reason not to commit long term to Elfrid Payton, who's still averaging fewer than 13 points per game and shooting below 30 percent from three."

CBS Sports: With the 6th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Orlando Magic will select Lauri Markkanen, PF, Arizona. "Hey! I got a nickname for Markannen! Let's call him "The Whooper Swan," CBS Sports said. "Because that's Finland's national bird, and Markannen is kind of like a Finnish (Larry) Bird (this, by the way, is why I don't work in marketing). Anyway: I think Markannen could be a near-star in this league, a Dirk Nowitzki Lite. He's one of the top 3-point-shooting 7-footers in college basketball history, and was one of the most efficient scorers in all of college basketball last season. The Magic need everything. Markannen is the type of unique package you can't pass up on. He's versatile on offense, mobile on defense and has great instincts."

NBA DRAFT ORDER (1st round):
Headline Surfer Predictions...
1. Philadelphia 76ers (from Celtics via Nets): Markelle Fultz, Washington
2. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, UCLA
3. Boston Celtics (from 76ers via Kings): Jonathan Isaac, Florida State
4. Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson, Kansas (trade rumors have the Suns getting Kristaps Porzinga in a trade with the NY Knicks).
5. Sacramento Kings (from 76ers): De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky, though
6. Orlando Magic: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jayson Tatum, Duke
8. New York Knicks: Dennis Smith, NC State
9. Dallas Mavericks: Frank Ntilikina​, France
10. Sacramento Kings (from Pelicans): Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
11. Charlotte Hornets: Zach Collins, Gonzaga
12. Detroit Pistons: Donovan Mitchell, Louisville
13. Denver Nuggets: Justin Jackson, North Carolina
14. Miami Heat: Luke Kennard, Duke
15. Portland Trail Blazers: John Collins, Wake Forest
16. Chicago Bulls: Harry Giles, Duke
17. Milwaukee Bucks: Bam Adebayo, Kentucky
18. Indiana Pacers: John Collins, Wake Forest
19. Atlanta Hawks: Justin Patton, Creighton
20. Portland Trail Blazers (from Grizzlies): O.G. Anunoby, Indiana
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Terrance Ferguson, Australia
22. Brooklyn Nets (from Wizards): DJ Wilson, Michigan
23. Toronto Raptors (from Clippers): TJ Leaf, UCLA
24. Utah Jazz: Semi Ojeleye, SMU
25. Orlando Magic (from Raptors): Tony Bradley, C, North Carolina
26. Portland Trail Blazers (from Cavaliers): Anžejs Pasečņiks, Latvia
27. Brooklyn Nets (from Celtics) - Nets will reportedly trade pick to Lakers 
28. L.A. Lakers (from Rockets): Tyler Lydon, Syracuse
29. San Antonio Spurs: Jordan Bell, Oregon
30. Utah Jazz (from Warriors):  Jonah Bolden, Australia
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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards. Frederick is enrolled online at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's a third of the way though the Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation will be in March 2018.