Orlando Magic prepare for draft

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Orlando Magic prepare for draft

Rob Hennigan addressed the media on the day leading up to the draft.

Rob Hennigan addressed the media on the day leading up to the draft.

Photo Credit: Ty Wright

Rob Hennigan addressed the media on the day leading up to the draft.

Photo Credit: Ty Wright

Photo Credit: Ty Wright

Rob Hennigan addressed the media on the day leading up to the draft.

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ORLANDO — The Orlando Magic hold the second and 51st  overall picks in Thursday’s 2013 NBA Draft in Brooklyn, N.Y. Many have speculated about who the Magic will take with their first top ten pick since the team drafted Dwight Howard with the first overall selection back in 2004.

Orlando is coming off their worst regular season record since their introduction into the league in 1989, snapping a six-year streak of playoff berths. The team has been looking to rebuild since trading away their star center to the Lakers late last summer.

The Magic have worked out many players leading up to this years draft, including Kansas guard Ben Macklemore and Indiana guard Victor Oladipo. Orlando also hosted Indiana big man Cody Zeller this week for two days of workouts before Thursday’s draft.

“We try to be as thorough as we can and we try to do as much research as we can,” said Magic general manager Rob Hennigan about the amount of players the team have worked out. “I think at the same time the amount of guys we’ve brought in for consideration at our pick is probably indicative of the type of draft it is, it being so wide open.”

The Cleveland Cavaliers were awarded the first overall pick in this years draft, despite having a .156 chance of winning the pick during last month’s lottery. Orlando had to settle for the second overall pick even though the team had the worst record in the league, giving them a .250 chance of drawing the first pick.

“The good thing for us is that we only have to figure out what one team’s doing,” said Hennigan. “That makes it a little bit easier, but it also makes it difficult.”

Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel is projected to be the first pick taken in the draft according to Dick Vitale’s NBA Mock Draft, but many media reports have been saying that if Cleveland passes on the recently injured big man the Magic could jump on the opportunity to draft the former McDonald’s All-American.

“We’ve done a lot of research on Nerlens and based on the information we have we feel equipped to make an educated decision if the opportunity presents itself.

“We’re going to take the player that we feel is the best player for us.” added Hennigan.

It’s worth noting that Noel is coming off of knee surgery for a torn ACL which he suffered back on February 12 against the University of Florida Gators. The Magic have had a history of star players battling knee injuries in the past, including Penny Hardaway and Tracy McGrady.

Orlando could also elect to to trade the pick for a later pick and possibly receive another first round pick or player in return.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion about moving the pick, we’ve had a lot of discussion about keeping the pick,” said Hennigan about the possibilities of trading the pick. “As we’ve said all along ‘opportunistic’ is the word of the day, so we’re going to be opportunistic where we can be and we’ll consider all the options that are thrown our way,”

NBA Draft coverage begins tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN with a draft preview show, followed by the draft itself airing live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

For live updates from the Orlando Magic draft room follow Danny Morales (@Danny_Morales_) and Ty Wright (@Tru2Ty) on Twitter.