The Magic made small moves on draft night, acquiring the rights to Justin Harper at No. 32 and drafting DeAndre Liggins at No. 52. Both Harper and Liggins have the potential to turn into solid players. But the fact is we just do not know what these guys will produce.
Potentially they could be rotation players … or they could be second round washouts. If that is the case, then no harm no foul — except for the loss of two future second round picks.
Generally though, and I am definitely in this boat, the Magic have received positive grades for their two selections. The consensus seems to be that Orlando got good value for picks that late in the draft and potentially picked up two potential rotation players. Harper can certainly crack a rotation with his shooting ability and the Magic need a perimeter defensive presence that Liggins may ultimately provide.
All in all, for a team that had no first round pick, it feels like the Magic did well (especially considering the team did not bring anybody in for workouts or interviews before the draft).
The consensus grade for Orlando seems to be about a B. A sampling of opinions:
Tom Ziller, SBNation: “It remains to be seen whether Harper can go all the way out to three-point range like Rashard Lewis or if he’ll be limited to 18-footers like Brandon Bass; either should help in some way. … Liggins will compete with former teammate Daniel Orton for playing time/D-League assignments. That should be fun.
“Grade: B. Can’t fault them for a lack of major action.”
Evan Dunlap, Orlando Pinstriped Post: “On the whole, Harper has far more potential than Liggins, and Orlando’s willingness to spend two future second-rounders on him attests to its genuine interest in his skill-set. The important thing here is that both players can address some of the Magic’s weaknesses, and Orlando didn’t have to ‘reach’ for either. Smith’s draft record in Orlando is spotty — with the selection of Courtney Lee in 2009 a notable exception — but he appears to have done well for his team this year. Overal Draft Grade: B+”
Chad Ford, ESPN Insider: “The Magic moved up and grabbed Harper, one of the best shooters in the draft. He has a little Rashard Lewis in his game with his ability to stretch the floor. He’s not going to be a star, but he could play a similar role to Ryan Anderson. Liggins has a shot at sticking in the league thanks to his ability to lock down opposing players on the perimeter. Grade: B”
It is pretty much a consensus. The Magic did well to get some talent for the position they were in on Draft night. Everyone expected or suspected Orlando might do more. There was some disappointment they did not. But these were the “tweaks” Otis Smith needed to make last Thursday.
I agree with the “B” grade for Orlando on draft night. Both Harper and Liggins have the potential to be very productive, but we just do not know. As much as I like the “B” grade, it is very much an incomplete. We just do not know how or if these two players will contribute. And where the Magic are, they need likely one of the two to pan out.
That is putting a lot of pressure on two second round picks. But that is the scenario they will walk into when they are introduced to the media Wednesday.
Photo via DayLife.com.