The Draft is quickly approaching with about a month to go before the teams reload with young — and cheap — players. More than one general manager has called this one of the weakest draft pools they have ever seen. It is a complete mystery.
Every pick seemingly is up for grabs… and it feels like few teams are buying.
Maybe the Magic will be one of those teams. Maybe they will find a way to sneak into the first round of the draft. But it all comes down to the same problems as rebuilding the team through trades: Orlando has very little to offer. This is especially if the Magic had any thoughts of sneaking into a lottery pick.
As it stands now, Orlando has just one pick — the 53rd pick — having traded the No. 23 pick to Phoenix in the Jason Richardson/Hedo Turkoglu deal (it was then traded to Houston in the Aaron Brooks/Goran Dragic trade). It means the Magic are not likely to be players on draft night.
No one can be quite sure what Orlando will do with its pick. It is still far too early to tell. What they might get is just as questionable. As Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel notes, it is very difficult to get a contributor this late in the draft.
The Hawks took Pape Sy with the 53rd pick in 2010 and he played only three games this year. The Spurs drafted foreign prospect Nando de Colo in 2009. The Jazz went the foreign route too with the selection of Tadija Dragicevic. Portland drafted Demetris Nichols in 2007 and played him all of 18 games. In 2006, Yotam Halperin was taken by Seattle.
You get the picture. Orlando is not likely to pick up a big-time contributor in the draft. Doesn’t mean you should skip it, that diamond in the rough shows up every once in a while.
The Magic met with players at the NBA Draft Combine including Jamie Skeen of VCU according to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld. Kyler reported the Magic also met with Butler guard Shelvin Mack. Meeting seems to be all Orlando is doing right now. The workouts will come likely in June.
NBADraft.net has Orlando selecting Mississippi State’s Ravern Johnson and DraftExpress has the team selecting Andrew Goudelock, a point guard out of College of Charleston. Some possible players projected to be available around the time the Magic pick include: Demetri McCamey from Illinois, Vernon Macklin from Florida, Scotty Hopson from Tennesse, Isaiah Thomas from Washington and DeAndre Liggins from Kentucky.
Those are not bad players — McCamey and Thomas were first team all-conference caliber players. But they are not earth-shattering or game-changing either. Those guys were all stars and scorers at their respective schools and fitting into a role is much more difficult.
Orlando is likely looking for someone willing to work hard and fit into a needed role in the system — athleticism, defense, 3-point shooting, shot creation. No one player is going to solve all these problems, at least not this late in the draft.
In Orlando’s mini rebuilding project, this draft selection could be important. The Magic need some cheap options and a second round pick is a pretty cheap one. Especially if he will contribute.
Just don’t believe too much into the draft… not quite yet.
Photo via DayLife.com.