A Boring Draft Night In Orlando?

The NBA is draft is just around the corner, but Magic fans aren’t very excited about. No, it’s not because they’re discussing the selections of Jeryl Sasser, Steven Hunter, Reece Gaines or the infamous Fran Vazquez. It’s because the Magic do not have a pick in Thursday night’s 2009 NBA Draft. Memphis has Orlando’s first round pick because of the Rafer Alston trade and they lost their 2nd round pick to Oklahoma City when they acquired Rashard Lewis in a sign and trade from the Thunder. After a successful 2008 draft that brought the Magic their starting SG, promising rookie Courtney Lee, the Magic are on the outside looking in. Otis Smith has said that the Magic are going to investigate the opportunity to acquire another pick, whether it’d be a late first rounder or a second rounder.

After a successful pick (finally!) in ’08, most Magic fans would like to see their team do it again, but they’ll probably have to wait until 2010. The Magic have had, by my standards, 5 or 6 successful first round draft picks. In their first draft, the Magic took Nick Anderson and followed that up the next season by picking Dennis Scott at #4. I’m not sure 3-D was worth the 4th pick but he was a pretty good player and a deadly three point shooter. Then, of course the Magic selected Shaquille O’Neal in ’92 with the first overall pick. The next season they got the #1 pick and took Chris Webber (who they traded for picks and the rights to Penny Hardaway. They selected Mike Miller in 2000 and he wound up being Rookie of The Year. The Magic once again won the lottery and got the #1 pick in 2004. They took Franchise Center Dwight Howard. Then, last season’s selection of Courtney Lee looks like a very good pick with great value at #22. The Magic currently have just three players that they drafted themselves; Dwight Howard at #1 in 2004, JJ Redick at #11 in 2006 and Courtney Lee at #22 last year.

It’s highly unlikely that the Magic will be able to trade into the first round. They only way this is possible is if a team istrying to dump salary and gear up for the summer of LeBron (and Wade, Bosh, etc…) in 2010. Then a team might take Tony Battie or Rafer Alston because they each only have one year left on their contracts. This might be a good thing for the Magic. If they want to attempt to trade for a superstar like Chris Bosh or get involved in the bidding for him or a player of his caliber in 2010, they wouldn’t want to take on any more salary.

Trading into the second round is a much more likely scenario. The Magic have a history of wheeling and dealing in the second round. They have traded many of their second round picks before they even played a game. Players like Anderson Varejão and 2007’s only draft pick, Rayshawn Terry were almost immediately sent to other teams. In fact, Varejão landed the Magic Tony Battie. The Magic’s other sought after free agent, Marcin Gortat was a 2nd round pick of the Phoenix Suns in 2005 before being sent to Orlando for future cash considerations. Hopefully, the Magic can pull off another deal like that. As we get closer to the draft, Howardthedunk.com will have a list of potential second round picks that the Magic may look to acquire.