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SB Nation Mock Expansion Draft: Orlando Magic protected players

August 9th, 2017 at 1:25 PM
Aggregated By Sports Media 101

Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

For SB Nation NBA’s first summer theme day, we were tasked with selecting eight players on the current Orlando Magic roster to protect in an expansion draft.

With a new mix of young talent, and veterans, the Magic could face some tough decisions should this actually happen. There’s seemingly no right or wrong answer to who to protect because you simply do not know what a player could be at the end of a long-term contract, or how a player in their first few years could develop.

When the email first came across about selecting players, I immediately picked eight in my head. I thought I had the best eight and was set for smooth sailing.

That simply was not the case.

After taking multiple things into consideration â?? age, contract, standing within the league and skill set â?? I was able to select eight players and feel confident about the eight that I picked.

The Locks

From the start it was clear two players were locks no matter what: Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Issac.

At only 21, and heading into his fourth season, Gordon has shown flashes of being a special player on both ends of the floor. After trying to play the three for much of last season, and seeing inconsistent production, Gordon began finding a real comfort level playing the four at the tail end of the season.

After the acquisition of Terrence Ross at the trade deadline, Gordon saw his per-game numbers jump considerably at his natural four spot. In the Magic’s final 24 games, Gordon averaged 16.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game, while shooting 50.3 percent from the field. Only Gordon’s assists (1.9 pre All-Star) and three-point shooting percentage â?? 29.2 before the All-Star break, and 28 percent after â?? decreased over the final 24 games.

Gordon is eligible for, what will likely be a hefty contract extension, and has shown flashes of being able to become the next face of the franchise for the Magic.

The other clear lock, Jonathan Isaac, is in much the same boat as Gordon. At 19, and getting ready to enter his first season in the NBA, Isaac is a player you can’t …

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Tags: Aaron Gordon, Arron Afflalo, D.J. Augustin, Elfrid Payton, Jonathan Isaac, Jonathon Simmons, Khem Birch, Marreese Speights, Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, Shelvin Mack, Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors, We imagined how an NBA expansion draft would look today, Wesley Iwundu

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