Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily discusses the Magic and how they can't rebuild through the draft:<..."/> Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily discusses the Magic and how they can't rebuild through the draft:<..."/>

Orlando Magic News & Notes: Evaluating The Team


Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily discusses the Magic and how they can’t rebuild through the draft:

"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."

Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel breaks down Hedo Turkoglu:

"Constructive criticism: Along with Gilbert Arenas, Turkoglu must have a bounce-back year for the Magic to become a serious threat. When the Magic brought him back, they hoped he could become a factor as he did when the club reached the NBA Finals in 2009. He had a miserable first-round series against Atlanta. He said he slumped in Toronto and Phoenix because he didn’t have the ball in his versatile hands, but continued to be strangely erratic. He turned the ball over too much, and Stan Van Gundy had to implore him to shoot at times."

Van Gundy is also evaluated:

"But while Van Gundy made some valuable tactical decisions — for example, his play call at the end of Game 6 left J.J. Redick with a wide-open shot — the fact remains that the Magic didn’t get over the hump and advance out of the first round. Finally, even Smith, the general manager, felt at least on one occasion — an early season loss to the Toronto Raptors — that Van Gundy was getting too frustrated with his players. Van Gundy made a genuine effort to improve, but it’s fair to ask whether Van Gundy needs to continue to make further improvements in that area."

Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post grades Jason Richardson:

"To wit: Richardson drove to the basket less with the Magic than as a Sun, and consequently his foul-drawing rate plummeted almost 33 percent. His decreased accuracy on long two-pointers (34.4 percent to 33.3 percent) and threes (41.9 percent to 38.4 percent) also led to his decline. I’m more interested in the shot mix than the accuracy.So: did he drive less because he just didn’t feel like it, or was it Van Gundy’s offense that neutered him? This is a question I’ll grapple with for a while and never answer satisfactorily."

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports has some news about the Lakers’ hire of Mike Brown and how it relates to the Magic:

"Yet, Jerry Buss is turning these Lakers over to Jim, and that’s the reason sources say he conducted the search with his father and general manager Mitch Kupchak assisting him. Now, Jim Buss has two guys in the franchise: Brown and Andrew Bynum(notes). In fact, Buss has made something clear within the Lakers, sources say: Bynum is untouchable in trade talks.For now, this could include a sign-and-deal for the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard(notes). The Lakers are Howard’s preference, but they don’t have salary cap space to sign him. They’ll need a deal that includes Bynum to the Magic, but there are those seriously doubting Jim Buss’ desire to make such a trade. After all, Bynum was Jim Buss’ discovery, his pet project and believes Bynum will ultimately resonate as the son’s personal Lakers legacy."

Rossman-Reich also discusses Jameer Nelson:

"This may or may not have been a factor in Orlando’s failures in 2011. I would argue it had more to do with a lack of a sure perimeter scorer who could break down defenses one on one and instantly generate offense. This is part of Nelson’s role and he struggled with it at times — his 2.7 shots per rim at the game were his lowest since 2007 according to HoopData.While Nelson’s assists were up to a career-best 6.0 per game and 33.7 percent assist rate, you got the feeling nobody was really satisfied with his effort. There was always something more Nelson could do even though his assists were up and his scoring was up from 2010 — although it was nowhere near the 16.7 points per game on 50 percent shooting he posted when he made the All Star team in 2009."

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and ESPN 1080’s Magic Insider ( Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).