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The Magic Draft Black And Howard

At the NBA 2023 Draft with the picks at 6 and 11 we saw the Magic draft Black and Howard, perhaps to some surprise amongst fans and media. Before a minute has been played on court by either man there has been much grumbling and discussion about the pair. Here we take a quick look at both Jett Howard and Anthony Black.

Anthony Black

Anthony Black is a 6’7”, 19 year old guard, playing and starting in all 36 games last season, during a single year at the University of Arkansas. In those games he averaged 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2 steals. He was also part of the Team USA squad that won a gold medal at the 2022 FIBA U18 Americas Championship tournament in Tijuana, Mexico. 

This young guard is an excellent on-ball defender and a willing passer. Active hands and great reactions see him get steals, blocks and deflections. It has been said that Black prefers to set up teammates rather than create opportunities for himself. His size is an asset, a point guard with the body of a wing. The size and athleticism allows him to work around or over power defenders with ease. He’s a good finisher at the rim and seen as a playmaker in the pick-and-roll. Expect to see some drive and kick out moves.

Black is not considered to be a great three-point or free-throw shooter. Given time developing that part of the game could be a focus.

Jett Howard

Howard becomes the fourth Michigan Wolverine on the team. He is the son of Juwan Howard, who played 19 years in the NBA, was an assistant coach for Miami for 6 years and played one season (2003-04) with Orlando. For the past season Jett Howard has been coached by his dad, who is also the Wolverine’s head coach.

Jett Howard is a 6’8”, 19 year old small forward. He played and started in 29 games during his single season at the University of Michigan. In those games he averaged 14.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists, shooting 36.8% (78-212) from three-point range and 80% (60-75) from the free throw line. His figures were affected by playing through injury.

Howard’s shotmaking is said to be varied, with him being capable of making buckets from step backs, handoffs, pull ups, off a screens or in transition. His size is an advantage in getting his shot off over defenders. He’s said to be a poor rebounder and does not finish well through contact.

The Magic Draft Black And Howard

Anthony Black will wear number 0, whilst Jett Howard sports the number 13 jersey.

With the negativity and controversy around the selections (yes there were more obvious choices) it is worth remembering a couple of things.

Firstly, all mock drafts are simply the opinions of the author as to whom is the best. There is no guarantee that any pick will be a success. Secondly, the Front Office have far more access to these players than any media outlet. The Magic take into account those workout sessions held, the interviews conducted and the personality fit to the team.

It will be exciting to see both Black and Howard take the court in Summer League. Their development is certainly imperative to this team taking the next step forward in the team’s rebuilding process.