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#pounditFriday, January 21, 2022

Magic president has harsh assessment of NBA GMs after Raptors’ title win

Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors managed to claim an NBA championship without a single lottery pick on the roster, the first team to do so in the lottery era. To one team president, that’s an indictment of every other NBA general manager.

Orlando Magic president Jeff Weltman said Monday that the Raptors’ lottery-free title is a sign that he and his fellow GMs “need to do a better job” at identifying talent in the NBA Draft.

It may be a touch unfair. The Raptors used former lottery picks DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas to acquire Kawhi Leonard and Marc Gasol, respectively. It also may prove something of a fluke — the league’s best players still overwhelmingly go in the lottery and are almost always a key component of a championship team. Sure, there are always hidden gems in the draft, but as this year has shown us, the lottery still rules the league.

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