The Orlando Magic’s top picks outside the top five

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3 – Matt Harpring

Matt Harpring was selected 15th overall in 1998, ahead of eventual Magic players Pat Garrity (19th overall), Tyronn Lue (23rd overall), Al Harrington (25th overall), Rashard Lewis (32nd overall) and Rafer Alston (39th overall).

In his rookie season he made 50 appearances, 22 as a starter, averaging 8.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 22.3 minutes per game – good enough for a spot on the All-Rookie First Team during the lockout-shortened season.

Harpring was all promise heading into his sophomore year, but unfortunately he sustained a serious ankle injury four games in that kept him sidelined for the remainder of the 2000 campaign. At its culmination, he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew DeClerq in what turned out to be a regrettable piece of business.

He had a solid third and fourth year in the league, averaging 11.1 points and 4.3 rebounds for the Cavaliers and 11.8 points and 7.1 rebounds for the Philadelphia 76ers the following year, before signing with the Utah Jazz as a free agent in the summer of 2002.

The move put him in the same team as John Stockton and Karl Malone and under the tutelage of Jerry Sloan he averaged a career-high 17.6 points per game while shooting 51 percent from the field.

Utah went to the playoffs that year, where Harpring averaged 14.8 points and 5.4 rebounds in five games.

He played a further six seasons for the Jazz, the highlight of which came in 2007 when the San Antonio Spurs eliminated Harpring’s team in the Western Conference Finals before going on to win the championship.

After struggling with various injuries he retired at the end of the 2009 season.

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