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ESPN: Magic Choosing Between Two Prospects at No. 1

It's now a two-horse race.

When the Orlando Magic snatched the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft Tuesday evening, it was understood that it would get their top choice out of three big prospects: Duke's Paolo Banchero, Gonzaga's Chet Holmgren and Auburn's Jabari Smith.

Chet Holmgren
Chet Holmgren
Chet Holmgren Jalen Suggs

However, ESPN is reporting that the league has narrowed its consensus on the top picks and that the Magic will likely choose between just two of those three prospects: Holmgren and Smith.

"This is the draft lottery of the power forwards with three very different players," Adrian Wojnarowski said on the Woj Pod. "We’ll see how this shakes out. Chet Holmgren of Gonzaga and Jabari Smith of Auburn, I think the consensus right now is those are really the two players competing for No. 1 with the Magic."

Both players appear to give the Magic a ton of potential moving forward.

Holmgren can play the four or five and could complement Wendell Carter Jr. well as a high-low combo. He also has a very strong defensive IQ that could make him one of the league's best defenders once he puts on a little more weight. He also has proven success with last year's top pick Jalen Suggs, his former high school teammate.

Smith is more NBA-ready than Holmgren and can be the exact 3-and-D player that every team in the league wants. In his lone season at Auburn, Smith averaged 16.9 points per game while shooting 42 percent from the perimeter.

Jabari Smith
Paolo Banchero

Both Holmgren and Smith can succeed with the Magic, but neither are locks to be the No. 1 pick. This means the Magic have a very interesting month of back-and-forth ahead.