Shaq an easy choice as best draft pick in Magic history

Howard is the only player the Magic have drafted straight out of high school. The selection of Howard was nothing short of genius for the Magic front office because most NBA experts thought the Magic made a huge mistake in not taking Emeka Okafor out of UConn as the top pick. The Magic made all those experts look silly. Howard’s impact was immediate. He averaged 12 points and 10 rebounds in his first season and kept getting better, becoming a force in the NBA. His game constantly evolved and he was named NBA defensive player of the year three straight seasons (2009-11). Howard, like Shaq, eventually led the Magic to the NBA Finals, where the team lost to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in 2009. Howard still holds Magic all-time records in more than 15 categories, including most career points (11,435), rebounds (8,072), blocks (1,344) and minutes played (22,471). He played all 82 games in each of his first four years as a pro. Howard, like Shaq, was also part of a bit of an ugly breakup with the Magic. He was traded to the Lakers in 2012 in a crazy four-team deal. He played one year in L.A. before moving on and he had stints with the Rockets, Hawks, Hornets and Wizards before returning to the Lakers last season, where he finally got his first NBA title ring. He is still currently active in the league and plays for…

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