Romeo Langford, Kevin Porter Jr. are all-or-nothing bets for Orlando Magic

BLOOMINGTON, IN - MARCH 02: Romeo Langford #0 of the Indiana Hoosiers shoots a free throw during the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Assembly Hall on March 2, 2019 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
BLOOMINGTON, IN - MARCH 02: Romeo Langford #0 of the Indiana Hoosiers shoots a free throw during the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Assembly Hall on March 2, 2019 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic need perimeter creation and there may be few guys better at that than Romeo Langford and Kevin Porter Jr. in this draft.

Romeo Langford can move with a sudden burst to the basket. He is able to get to the basket and explode to the rim or stop on a dime to set up his jumper. Langford has all the skill and ability of one of the best players in the league.

Kevin Porter Jr. can make the game seem slow. The way he breaks a defense down and sets himself up comes with an ease that only the very best players seem to possess.

There are few players in this NBA Draft class that possess the raw talent both Langford and Porter Jr. displayed in their seasons in college. In their best flashes, they were the unquestioned best players on the floor able to score at will and toy with defenses.

These are two players on talent alone that should not sniff anywhere outside of the Lottery. They are supreme scorers who can break down defenses. The exact thing the Orlando Magic would need to jumpstart their team and solve so many of the problems that plagued them during the playoffs.

Yet, both these players find themselves going in the late lottery if not falling out of the lottery. And that only raises questions about their effectiveness in translating their scoring to the NBA. They become not so much uber-talented scorers and creators but risks.

They become all-or-nothing propositions.

Finding out how to make the most of them would seem to be the most difficult part as there seems little cushion for them to fall if they do not succeed as that primary creator.

Both Langford and Porter had disappointing freshman seasons in college. Injuries slowed them down and kept them from realizing their full potential. And left NBA scouts trying to figure out how best to use these players.

Langford finished averaging 16.5 points per game for the Indiana Hoosiers, shooting 44.8 percent from the floor. He played most of the year with an injury to his shooting right hand. That might explain part of why he made only 27.2 percent of his 3-pointers.

Not a lot of that mattered with how Langford was able to explode to the rim. No one will question Langford’s ability to get into the lane and draw the defense to him. He was able to do that throughout his time in college, averaging a few assists per game.

But Langford was a high-usage player, with a 26.1 percent usage rate according to Sports-Reference. Indiana put the ball in his hands and let him go to work. That was the best way for him to be effective.

That was the only way for him to be effective.

His injury certainly affected his jumper throughout the year. He was could get his own shot off the dribble, but he was not much of a 3-point shooter. He does not project as much of a spot-up shooter.

That might be the case even if his hand injury was at least part of the cause. But there were still plenty of times where his shot was flat and lacked any arc. His makes knuckle-balled there way in. There were a lot of mechanical problems with his shot.

Langford shot 72.2 percent from the foul line, so his shot should improve with health. And he was a gifted scorer. In one outburst in February, Langford found his scoring groove and Indiana made a late push to make the NCAA Tournament.

It was still hard to call his scoring efficient. He needed the ball in his hands and was simply there to put the ball in the basket and drive. It was hard to get him to do a whole lot more.

Porter found himself in much the same boat with the USC Trojans.

He struggled a whole lot more, averaging 9.5 points per game and shooting a more robust 56.1 percent effective field goal percentage in 21 games. His game reminds people a lot of James Harden because the two are both left-handed. But there is something there too.

Porter is a much more accomplished shooter and smoother player on the perimeter. He could weave in and out of the paint and keep defenders off balance to set up his jumper.

It is unclear if he can be a spot-up threat at the NBA level and his 52.2 percent free throw percentage is not going to inspire confidence that his shooting will translate to the NBA.

There was a lot of flash to Porter’s freshman year at USC. He could put up big scoring games, but he was just as likely to shoot himself out of the game and not work to get others involved. He had the ball in his hands a lot — 23.3 percent usage rate according to Sports-Reference.

The talent is unquestionably there for both players. The question then is really about whether they can find their fit in the NBA. If they cannot be ball-dominant stars, what else can they add to the team?

Langford’s jumper is the biggest question mark. He should improve and his shot mechanics can get fixed. The hand injury was a big impediment throughout the season for his growth offensively. He did not show all he could do.

And even still, his ability to get to the basket was impressive. He was a constant threat to get to the rim and he can get separation for his mid-range jumper, which is probably better than he showed at Indiana.

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But that still leaves the question of how he would work off the ball. Unless he is much better than everyone expects, it is hard to imagine him working as the top guy in any offense in the NBA. Maybe as a sixth man as a creator to start with.

Porter could fill that role a little bit better as a shooter and driver. But there are still even questions about how he fits into an offense. His decisionmaking at USC came under plenty of question too as the Trojans failed to make the NCAA Tournament. Just like the Hoosiers did.

Porter often keys in on setting up his own shot. He is not much of a passer or playmaker and he is not as great getting to the basket. Certainly not like Langford. Porter works to set up his own shot from the mid-range most of all.

It says something about their ability to lead teams to wins that they struggled on that front. It is hard imagining them occupying a primary role in any offense in the NBA.

Neither player is known for their defense. That is a part of their game they will have to develop further. Neither Langford nor Porter is that physically imposing or athletically an outlier.

And that is the biggest mystery about them heading into the draft. Taking them could mean the Magic get their perimeter creator and scorer they have been desperate for so long to find. But it could also mean they get a ball-dominant shooter who produces inefficiently and does not contribute much to the team as currently constructed and cannot take the team to new heights.

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That is the risk of going after these kinds of players. They fit a need if they hit. If they do not, it could be hard to play them outside of minimized bench roles.