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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Magic Predraft Profile: Former Leesburg standout/Alabama defenseman Keon Ellis

The Orlando Magic, No. 1, No. 32, and No. 35 picks in the NBA Draft, will have several chances to add to their roster on June 23.

With the start of renovations in March 2021, Magic already has significant young talent. At Orlando, nine first-round picks since 2017 have signed contracts for the 2022-23 season.

However, the Magic have clear needs after finishing the 2021–22 season with a 22–60 record.

Based on the lineup, Orlando needs a 3-and-D wing/forward — with an emphasis on a solid three-point shot — that is well sized and long for his position. The Magic may also use another big/center, depending on what happens to Mo Bamba’s limited leeway.

Taking a step forward in their pre-draft evaluations during the mid-May NBA draft in Chicago, the Magic is inviting prospects to pre-draft practice.

This story is part of a series about players the Magic interviewed or worked with in Orlando:

Keon Ellis (Alabama);

Height: 6 feet 5 | Weight: 167 pounds | Age: 22 | Wingspan: 6 ft 8 1/2

2021-22 season averages: 12.1 points (43.9% from the field – 57.9% on doubles, 36.6% on triples), 6.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.8 assists.

Connection: Worked for Magic June 14th.

Note: The fact that a player trains with a team does not mean that he is a draft target. Just because a team isn’t drafting prospects doesn’t mean they won’t draft them either. Six pre-draft prospects are allowed on the court at the same time and are not allowed on the court with NBA players. Some players have requested feedback from NBA teams before the June 1 deadline. College players had to decide whether they would stay in the draft or opt out and retain all remaining college rights.

Buzz: Ellis, a former 3-star player, had a successful basketball career in Central Florida. He played for the Eustice before moving to Leesburg for his junior season, winning back-to-back class 6A state titles in 2017 and 2018. Ellis played in the Southwest Florida junior college program for two seasons before joining Alabama in 2020. He was named to the Southeast Conference All-Defensive Team last season.

intelligence report: A tenacious defender with the ball due to his size, length, lateral speed and fast hands. Good finisher at the ring. Can complete via contact or via defenders. Effective shooter from behind the arc. Also, the threat of shooting comes from the screens. He moves well off the ball and rebounds well in attack. He needs to improve as a playmaker and self-creator in attack, but his age leaves doubts that he will make a significant leap in any area. I’ll have to work on his handles. Getting stronger would have helped him when he was assigned to guard the big wings.

fit: The Magic are full of young defensemen (Cole Anthony, Devin Cannady, Markelle Fultz, R. J. Hampton and Jalen Suggs), so it would be hard for Ellis to get playing time if he was in Orlando. He is expected to be taken at the end of the second round or go undrafted.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Hobie Price at khprice@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.

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