The Magic are out in full force in Chicago this week for the NBA Draft Combine. While several draft prospects will be focusing on impressing scouts with their skills, many of the top picks are sitting out and participating only in the measurement and agility drills portion Friday. For scouts and front office staff, the more valuable part comes in being able to talk to and interview the top prospect for the first time.
The Magic will obviously do their homework — they also hold the 51st pick in the Draft — and look at all the players that interest them. However, Orlando can narrow its focus some and target the top prospects knowing the team will have one of the top four picks.
Fans have turned their focus to Nerlens Noel and Ben McLemore (the consensus top two picks, it would seem). In addition, Trey Burke has become a Magic fan favorite to address a point guard need. Even Victor Oladipo has become someone the Magic may look at with their top pick.
The guy left out: Georgetown's Otto Porter.
The Magic have a nice stable of power forwards and tweener forwards on the roster already. Glen Davis, Tobias Harris and Andrew Nicholson already are on the roster and Maurice Harkless seems entrenched for the moment at small forward. Porter does not quite fit the roster.
But, as I would argue, the Magic are in a position to pick the best player avaialble. Porter very well could be that guy at No. 4 on the Magic's draft board.
Porter is a tweener, and that is something that will work against him in some ways.
But something that will work for him is his ability to score. He scored 16.2 points per game on 48.0 percent shooting and 42.2 percent from beyond the arc. He also had 7.5 rebounds per game.
Porter is clearly a dynamic player and a guy that can help a team spread the floor with his shooting ability and create some offense. The Magic could use a player like him.
Finding a position for him is the issue. He will have to show he has the speed and athleticism to be a small forward or gain the strength to be a power forward. And it is not quite clear if he is a stretch-4 player. That is the issue for the teams that are considering drafting him.
Even if Porter does not fit the Magic's current roster makeup, he is a player that they have to consider drafting. That is, if drafting the best player available is their goal. If they are drafting by need, Porter likely is not an option.
With Porter though, it seems like there are better options than him in the Draft. If the Magic are looking for a shooter, Ben McLemore is better. If the Magic are looking for a rebounding power forward, Anthony Bennett is likely the better option. Porter can do both, but not nearly as good as those two individuals at those individual skills.
That is the definition of a tweener, I suppose.
If the Magic end up with the third or fourth pick, Porter will be someone the Magic will consider and weigh. It is no slam dunk that the guy the Magic want will be available when they pick. And even if he does not quite fit the roster, Porter could bring some value and be another asset for the Magic moving forward.
There is still lots of work to do before the Draft.