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Orlando Magic preparing to make first overall pick in 2022 NBA Draft

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The Orlando Magic will make the first overall pick in the NBA draft Thursday for the first time since drafting Dwight Howard in 2014.

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Thursday could be another step in the right direction for the franchise, building a strong roster, and hopefully, a group that can make it past the first round of the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2010.

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Many of the experts expert the Magic to select Jabari Smith out of Auburn University.

Smith is a 6′10″ forward who can also shoot well from distance with a 42 percent three-point shooting percentage.

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The Magic might surprise the experts by choosing Paolo Banchero out of Duke University.

Banchero and Smith’s statistics are practically identical, but analysts say Smith offers more versatility on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.

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The Magic had two other picks to make in the draft Thursday night but traded their 35th selection to the Los Angeles Lakers for a 2028 second-round draft pick and some cash.

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