The 2010 offseason is finally here and the first step to winning the 2011 title is the NBA Draft. With a week left, Orlando Magic Daily will profile some players the Magic might be looking at.
The Basics: If you are looking for an extremely athletics wing player who can run the floor and rise up and finish, Devin Ebanks is your man. Da’Sean Butler may be getting all the headlines off the West Virginia team after his injury in the NCAA Final Four, but it was the tandem of Ebanks and Butler that led the team to the Big East Tournament title and a deep NCAA Tournament run.
Ebanks played more of an athletic power forward role for the Mountaineers. He was actually third on the team in scoring with 12.0 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game (best on the team). He shot 45.7 percent from the floor and averaged more than a steal per game.
The Good: His stats are not overwhelming by any stretch. But his pure athleticism has brought him into the first-round discussion. The dunks he threw down throughout his career are certainly NBA quality. He averaged 13.0 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game during the NCAA Tournament. He certainly played well when his team needed him to. Ebanks did not have the dominating performances players at the top of the draft might have had, but again he filled a role and led to his team’s success.
The Bad: Despite the highlights that feature Ebanks doing some very athletic things, his raw numbers fail to impress. For all the talent and potential he has and the team he was playing on, it seems like he could have made a bigger statistical impact in games.
Like most of the players we have been previewing, Ebanks is a tweener. He plays like a power forward but has the body of a small forward. Unlike the rest of those players, Ebanks’ game might be based more on the power forward skills than the small forward skill. Unlike Darington Hobson, he does not have the passing ability to work like a Hedo Turkoglu. Unlike Rashard Lewis, he does not have the 3-point shooting ability to be a true stretch-4. Ebanks shot 3 for 30 from beyond the arc. Credit him for not taking more 3-pointers than he should have, but those are not numbers Stan Van Gundy and the Magic must like.
Draft Sites Say:
NBADraft.net: “Long and lean small forward possessing a ‘smooth’ game … His wingspan is incredible and he seemingly gets his paws on every ball … Prolific rebounder (8.5 RPG). Particularly innate offensive rebounder (3 per game). … “It’s hard to say whether he’s gotten less aggressive or more unselfish … There are games where he simply doesn’t look at the basket … Seems lost offensively at the moment- as if he’s unsure what his game is.”
Final Thoughts: Ebanks has a ton of talent and has the raw potential to become a really good NBA player. But, especially coming into the draft as a sophomore, I do not know if he has the game experience to show he can play at the NBA level. The potential is certainly there. His numbers though do not back up what you feel when you see him out there.
The question about his height and where he might play in the NBA is also a big question mark for a team like the Magic. He does not really fit any of the skills Orlando requires from its players. Ebanks would certainly be a steal at No. 29 based on potential and raw talent alone. But the Magic need someone who will contribute almost immediately. Ebanks does not appear to be that guy.