NEW YORK — The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery could have solved the Orlando Magic's overwhelming personnel problem.
The franchise needs a cornerstone player.
What's far less clear is how the Magic can acquire a player of that caliber.
Winning the first, second or third pick in the lottery probably would've fulfilled that need. Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins — the likely top-three picks — figure to become perennial All-Stars.
Instead, the Magic received the fourth and 12th overall picks.
"I think we would've liked to have gotten the highest pick possible," Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said after the ceremony ended. "I think every team in this situation would've preferred that. But we're happy with the fourth pick. We feel like we can get a good player, and we've got our work cut out for us to figure out who that is."
So how can the Magic acquire the top-level player they need?
Here's a look at some possibilities:
Just because Embiid, Parker and Wiggins likely will be unavailable when the Magic pick fourth doesn't necessarily mean a future All-Star or All-Stars won't be available.
In 2005, the New Orleans Hornets selected future All-Star point guard Chris Paul fourth overall.
In 2010, the Indiana Pacers used the 10th pick to obtain future All-Star small forward Paul George.
In 2012, the Portland Trail Blazers selected future All-Star point guard Damian Lillard sixth overall.
This year, Australian point guard Dante Exum, Arizona power forward Aaron Gordon, Kentucky power forward Julius Randle, Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart and Indiana big man Noah Vonleh could be candidates for the fourth overall pick. Croatian forward Dario Saric might still be available when the Magic draft 12th.
The Magic have stockpiled some assets over the last two years.
The fourth and 12th picks are valuable commodities, but are they good enough to combine in a trade that will allow Orlando to move into the top three of this year's draft?
"To be determined," Hennigan answered. "I'm not really sure yet. I think those types of discussions and that type of clarity will come into focus here in the next four or five weeks."
As a result of the blockbuster Howard trade, Orlando also still has a protected pick on its way from the Philadelphia 76ers and a protected pick from the Los Angeles Lakers. Those future selections could be helpful to Orlando in a potential trade.
The Magic also have some players on their current roster who could entice teams. Nik Vucevic is a young center who rebounds well and has a nice mid-range jumper. Swingman Arron Afflalo had the best season of his career in 2013-14, and he'd intrigue teams who want a good shooter and an energetic defender.
Love, an All-Star power forward, reportedly has told the Minnesota Timberwolves that he plans to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season.
The theory goes that the Timberwolves will be forced to trade Love because the franchise won't risk seeing him walk away in free agency without receiving compensation
So can the Magic trade for Love?
The question isn't whether the Magic have the assets to trade for Love.
The real question is: Would Love want to re-sign with Orlando?
The answer appears to be "no."
Love is said to want to go to a contending team or to a team in a big market.
The Magic don't qualify on either count.
And the Magic won't give up assets for a player who has no intention of re-signing with them.
Because Embiid didn't attend last week's draft combine, teams don't have medical information on his back, which he injured at the end of this past season.
The teams with the top three picks will invite Embiid to their cities for physicals and interviews, but what if Embiid declines those visits?
Is it possible the teams with top-three picks would pass on him in the draft if they continue to have questions about his back?
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