NBA Draft: Looking at Every No. 1 Pick in Orlando Magic History

For the first time since 2004, the Orlando Magic own the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA Draft.

The selection could be franchise-changing for a team that has only made the playoffs three times in the past decade. So, how has owning the pick worked out for Orlando over the years?

Here’s a look at the three other times the Magic have had the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

The Magic took LSU star Shaquille O’Neal first overall in 1992

Former No. 1 NBA Draft pick Shaquille O'Neal during a game with the Orlando Magic in 1996.
Orlando Magic center Shaquille O’Neal (from left) against Alonzo Mourning during a game on Feb. 28, 1996. | Tony Ranze/AFP via Getty Images

This is probably the best selection in franchise history. The Magic took Shaquille O’Neal with the first pick in the 1992 NBA Draft. They chose him over various stars like Alonzo Mourning and Christian Laettner.

As you likely know, O’Neal spent four seasons in Orlando and led the NBA in scoring in 1994-95. He also took them to the NBA Finals that same season.

Shaq went on to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics. The Hall of Famer won four championships and three Finals MVPs, and the NBA named him its league MVP in 1999-2000.

O’Neal is in the top 10 in NBA history in career points (28,596) and blocks (2,732), and he averaged 23.7 points and 10.9 rebounds through 19 seasons.

Orlando selected Chris Webber No. 1 overall in 1993 but traded him to the Golden State Warriors

The year after they selected Shaq, the Magic took Chris Webber No. 1 in the 1993 draft. However, they then sent him to the Golden State Warriors for Penny Hardway and various draft picks that later turned into Vince Carter and Mike Miller.

Webber became a Hall of Famer, earning five All-Star selections with the Washington Bullets and Sacramento Kings. Hardaway, on the other hand, was a four-time All-Star in six seasons with the Magic, and he helped lead them to the 1995 NBA Finals with Shaq.

Dwight Howard went to the Magic with the first pick in the 2004 NBA Draft

Before 2022, the 2004 NBA Draft was the last time the Magic owned the No. 1 pick, and it paid off big time.

They selected high school phenom Dwight Howard, who earned six of his eight All-Star selections during his eight seasons in Orlando. Howard became one of the most dominant big men ever during his prime, leading the NBA in rebounding five times. He also scored as many as 22.9 points per game in 2010-11.

Dwight won three Defensive Player of the Year Awards with the Magic, and he led them to the 2009 NBA Finals. He has appeared in two more All-Star Games throughout his career with the Lakers and Houston Rockets, and he won a championship with LA in 2020.

The Magic have made the most of their No. 1 picks over the years. Hopefully, they will have similar luck in 2022.

Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference

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