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

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Mar 16, 2013; Greensboro, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward C.J. Leslie (5) takes a shot over Miami Hurricanes forward/center Julian Gamble (45) during the semifinals of the ACC tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. Miami defeated North Carolina State 81-71. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

5) C.J. Leslie, 6’9″ Power Forward, NC State

C.J. Leslie is a player very reminiscent of Josh Smith, but he also has all the same negatives as the Atlanta Hawks combo forward. He’s not a great shooter, and he mostly gets by because he is an explosive athlete.

That said, being such renders him a naturally gifted shot blocker. He can tend to wander in games, get lazy, and sometimes he looks as though he doesn’t really want to bother to fight around screens.

That’s all of the reasons Leslie ended up being projected in the mid second round. But what that leaves out is his amazing potential. Leslie has a great knack around the basket for getting tip ins, and he finishes very hard.

C.J. is a guy who could thrive at the 4-spot and even do fringe backup minutes at the 5. He made the All-ACC team and if he shows his great athleticism he could shoot up into the first round where he belongs.

It’s difficult to say whether Hennigan would ultimately gamble on a guy with questionable work ethic and a lack of focus. It could result in grabbing a late round Tyrus Thomas or even a guy who continually teases us like Anthony Randolph.

These 6’9″ lanky forwards always seem to be the next great defender, and only a handful end up like Smith. The best case scenario is usually actually Thaddeus Young, or even Earl Clark.

That thin, wiry power forward is what teams are taking on to counter act the likes of Kevin Durant in the West, or even Carmelo and LBJ (Yeah, right) in the East. Leslie may think his best contribution is his ability to make highlight reel dunks, but J-Smoove probably thinks that too.

Fans might ooh and ahh over that, but when Ws are factored in, it’s the shot blocking and deflections that can get GMs and coaches far more excited.