2013 NBA Draft: Orlando Magic’s Rob Hennigan Needs to Look to Early Second Round For Hidden Gems

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Mar 28, 2013; Washington, D.C., USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Shane Larkin (0) dribbles in the first half against the Marquette Golden Eagles during the semifinals of the East regional of the 2013 NCAA tournament at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Magic fans familiar with Rob Hennigan knew the former Division-III NCAA hooper had a way with spotting talent. He’d helped Sam Presti create the machine that is the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Magic fans hoped his abilities as a scout would help him rebuild the Magic following the departure of franchise player and three-time defensive player of the year Dwight Howard.

Hennigan took a simple approach towards building his team: young talent on rookie contracts, a few vets (which he actively shops), expiring contracts and a thirst to acquire first-round picks.

But it’s not always first-round picks that are the most coveted. Under the new terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, GMs are even less excited about tendering three-year rookie contracts to late first-rounders.

What makes those picks from 31 onwards so valuable is that those guys receive non-guaranteed contracts. They are all fliers. And Hennigan should consider several of them.

The Magic have needs for a starting point guard as Jameer Nelson is put out to pasture, and basically any talent at any other position can be viewed as a positive. From picks 30 to 45, it’s not always about grabbing the next NBA All-Star (though it can be), but sometimes just about nabbing a guy with talent tantamount to that in the mid-first at a fraction of the salary and commitment.