Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped grades Orlando's draft:
Defense, particularly on the wing, i..."/> Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped grades Orlando's draft:
Defense, particularly on the wing, i..."/>

Orlando Magic News & Notes: More On Harper & Liggins


Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped grades Orlando’s draft:

"Defense, particularly on the wing, is something Orlando lacks. So too is athleticism. Harper’s stock-in-trade aligns with the Magic’s weaknesses, so there are certainly worse players they could have selected here. And though he’s a middling offensive player overall, averaging only 8.6 points in 31.6 minutes on 42.4 percent shooting last season, he’s at least proven to be a reliable three-point shooter off the catch. Liggins shot 34-of-78 (43.6 percent) on catch-and-shoot treys last season."

Philip Rossman-Reich of Orlando Magic Daily takes a look at Justin Harper:

"Smith said the team had Justin Harper rated in the 20s on its draft board and were surprised to see him slip into the second round. The Cavaliers made him the second pick of the second round and sent him to the Magic for two future second round picks. If Orlando truly believes this is their guy, then they certainly did their best to pick him up. He definitely fits the typical profile for a Magic power forward.Harper might also be signalling Ryan Anderson’s availability in a trade. Yeah, just because the Magic did not make a big deal Thursday night, it does not mean that a big trade is not coming up. And whether Harper can make Orlando’s roster and contribute is going to play a big role in that."

Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel discusses Harper’s potential role:

"Like Lewis, Harper shoots the ball extremely well – one scout called him the best shooter in the draft – and he has nice handles for how tall he is. At 6-foot-9, he has the size to play inside but prefers to drift around the perimeter, at least offensively.Also like Lewis, Harper doesn’t have a defined position. He’s stuck between the two forward spots, mostly because his lack of lateral quickness limits him at the three."

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel tells Harper’s story:

"Partly because he wasn’t always that great a basketball player. Harper did not make the Falling Creek Middle School team as a seventh- or eighth-grader and didn’t join his high school’s varsity team until his junior year.“I think with a lot of players you see them have success early,” Harper said. “Some become cocky. For me, it was the opposite because I wasn’t discovered until late. I’m a late bloomer. I didn’t get recognized for my abilities early in my career, so it really just motivated me to work harder and stay humble.”All that hard work paid is paying dividends. The Magic envision the 6-foot-9 Harper as someone who can play either forward position and stretch the floor with his accurate long-range shooting. They compare him to former Orlando forward Rashard Lewis."

Robbins also explains why the Magic elected Liggins:

"The Orlando Magic entered the 2011 NBA draft needing to upgrade their perimeter defense and, perhaps, their toughness.The team might have accomplished those objectives when it drafted 6-foot-6, 205-pound Kentucky shooting guard DeAndre Liggins with the 53rd overall pick.“Probably more than anything else he’s a tough kid,” said Magic General Manager Otis Smith. “He works. He’s not afraid to work. He’s one of those guys that we can throw into different situations. Probably the biggest thing about him, I think, is he can defend multiple positions."

Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie grades Orlando’s draft:

"Additions: Justin Harper, DeAndre Liggins Grade: BNeither may make an NBA impact, but this was good value for drafting position in a bad draft. Harper shot nearly 45 percent from behind the college 3-point arc last season, so he could have a place in this league, even if he’s taking Brian Cook’s(notes) place. Liggins can really move side to side and shut people down."

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger, ESPN 1080’s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com) and is the co-host of the ESPN1080.com Insiders Show Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST. 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).