The NBA Draft Lottery takes place tonight at 8:30 PM on ESPN and the Orlando Magic will once again be sending their good luck charm, Pat Williams, in hopes of securing the top overall spot. However, it’s my opinion that the team would be better served leaving Mr. Williams at home – and sending Hedo Turkoglu in his place.
The Magic do not – and should not – want to win the top pick. The basic theory is obviously that with the top choice, they can have the pick of the litter. The reality though, is having that top pick will severely limit the flexibility of the Magic moving forward. Here’s why:
- The number one overall pick is virtually untradeable. The last time the number one overall pick was traded was the infamous Webber-Hardaway trade 20 years ago that united Shaq and Penny in Orlando. The haul for the Magic in that trade? The #3 overall pick and three future first rounders. Those trades just don’t happen anymore, especially with the value of picks skyrocketing under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
- Hennigan wants to trade. Assuming the Magic don’t get the #1 pick (25% odds at 1, 21.5% at 2, 17.7% at 3), which the odds say they wont, Magic GM Rob Hennigan is likely to be open to trades. In what is characterized as a “weaker” draft, and with a roster still in complete flux, it makes too much sense to not shop for greater value. Say a team like Portland at #10 falls in love with Victor Oladipo and wants to move up… Would they take one of Orlando’s bad contracts to swap places? Would they move someone like Meyers Leonard? What if the Wizards fall in love with Otto Porter? They have a ton of cap space and might be willing to absorb a bad contract to secure their pick. The difficult part in any trade is matching up the moving salaries, meaning future picks are often the trade bait. The Magic wouldn’t want to receive any player not on a rookie or expiring contract.
- Many teams have multiple picks. Cleveland owns 3* (lotto determined) and 19, Phoenix owns 4 and 30, Minnesota owns 9 and 26, OKC owns 12 and 29, Utah owns 14 and 21 and ATL owns 17 and 18. Trade partners are out there and aren’t limited to just these teams.
- It’s expensive. Over the life of the 4-year rookie deal, the difference between the #1 pick and the #3 pick is $4.7M, the difference between #1 and #4 (which is the lowest the Magic can pick) is $6.6M. You can see the full rookie salary scale for any Magic pick here.
With the 206 pounder Nerlens Noel injured and Ben McLemore filled with plenty of question marks, the Magic should rooting for Pat Williams to have a rare stroke of bad luck. The excitement of a number one overall pick may excite the base, but for a team undergoing a 100% complete rebuild – flexibility is the key to the process. So Mr. Williams, please understand that I say this with the best of intentions – I hope you fail tonight.
Here are notes from day 2 of the NBA Draft combine.
- On Thursday night, the Orlando Magic were expected to interview Kansas guard Ben McLemore. McLemore, who we profiled here, could wind up being the top overall pick.
- According to Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel, the Magic also interviewed Pittsburgh big man Steven Adams. Adams, who is just 19, is a native of New Zealand. He averaged 7.2 points and 6.3 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per game for the Panthers last season. Adams measured in at 7’0 with a wingspan of 7’4 Thursday.
- The Magic met with Victor Oladipo, another surefire lottery pick, Thursday. You can read our profile of Oladipo here. Oladipo impressed many with a vertical leap of 42 inches.
- The Magic also met with Georgetown swingman Otto Porter. Porter averaged 16.2 points per game on 48.0/77.7/42.2% for the Hoyas last season to go along with 7.5 rebounds per game. Porter measure in at 6’8.5 in shoes and had a 7’1.5 wingspan. Porter was the 2013 Big East Player of the Year.
- Former Miami Hurricane point guard and Orlando native Shane Larkin had the second-highest vertical leap of all time, jumping 44 inches.
- The Magic are also expected to interview Gonzaga big man Kelly Olynyk Friday. Olynyk averaged 17.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game last season. He shot 62.9/30.0/77.6%. Olynyk measured in at 7’0 in shoes, weighed 234 lbs. and had a wingspan of 6.9.75.
Follow Andrew on twitter here.
We now have the official NBA Draft Combine measurements for all participants. The top targets for the Magic and at the top of the draft provided little surprise.
|Name||Height w/ Shoes||LBS||Wingspan||Reach||Body Fat||Hand Length||Hand Width|
|Trey Burke||6′ 1.25”||187||6′ 5.5”||8′ 1.5”||6.9||8.25||8.75|
|Ben McLemore||6′ 4.75”||189||6′ 7.75”||8′ 4.5”||5||8.75||9.5|
|Nerlens Noel||6′ 11.75”||206||7′ 3.75”||9′ 2”||4.2||9.5||10|
|Victor Oladipo||6′ 4.25”||213||6′ 9.25”||8′ 4.5”||6.6||8.75||9.25|
|Alex Len||N/A||N/A||7′ 3.5”||N/A||6.4||9||10.75|
|Otto Porter Jr.||6′ 8.5”||198||7′ 1.5”||8′ 9.5”||6.7||8.75||9.25|
For Noel, the instant comparison for him will always be Anthony Davis. Davis measured last year at 6’10.5″ with shoes and had a longer wingspan at 7’5.5″, but a shorter standing reach at 9 foot. The number that stands out for Noel is the rail-thin 206 pound weight. It’s important to keep in mind that he has been recovering for surgery, with seven more months to go. However, Davis weighed in at 222 last year and Dwight Howard weighed in at 240 when he was drafted.
For Burke, the instant comparison is Damian Lillard, but a better height comparison would be Ty Lawson. Lillard measured last year at 6.2.75″ with shoes with a 6’7.75″ wingspan. Ty Lawson, drafted in 2009, measured at 6′ 0.5″ with shoes and a tiny 6′ 0.75″ wingspan.
McLemore and Oladipo will get the Bradley Beal comparison. Beal measured last year at 6’4.75″ with shoes and a 6’8″ wingspan and 8’3″ standing reach. Another notable player who measures at 6′ 4.75″, Dwyane Wade. Though Wade has a 6’10.75″ wingspan and 8’6″ standing reach.
Otto Porter is shorter than Moe Harkless, though he is wingier and reachier. Harkless measured last year at 6′ 8.75″ with a 7′ wingspan and 8′ 6.5″ standing reach.
Full list of every measurement after the jump: read more…
With Rob Hennigan and his entire crew in Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine (to include Head Coach Jacque Vaughn), the franchise is undergoing scouting for their first draft with the freshly gutted roster. The exact pick for the Magic will not be determined until next Tuesday’s Draft Lottery. The team has the best odds to win the Lottery (25%) but they can pick no later than 4th overall. The team also owns a 2nd round pick, number 51 overall.
Some of the names you hear linked to Orlando in the next few months may sound strange, but keep in mind that the draft process is fluid. Teams will trade up, trade down and trade active players with picks attached. Where teams are today is not necessarily where they will be come Draft Night.
Unofficial Player Measurements via Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports:
Nerlens Noel – 6’11 3/4″ with shoes, 7’9″ with hair – he had been listed previously at 6’11″
Ben McLemore – 6’3″ without shoes – he had been listed previously at 6’5″
Victor Oladipo – 6’4 1/4″ with shoes – he had been listed previously at 6’4″
Trey Burke - 6’1 1/4″ with shoes, 6’5 1/2″ wingspan
The following players have been reported as having interviews so far with the Magic: Lehigh Guard C.J. McCollum (projected lottery), Texas PG Myck Kabongo (projected 2nd round), Colorado F Andre Roberson (projected late 2nd round and working out with PF’s).
McCollum is a proven scorer who teams will hope can play point guard and despite only playing 12 games his senior year of college, he is rising fast up team’s draft boards. The most likely scenario for McCollum to end up in Orlando would be if Orlando traded down or acquired another lottery pick.
“At 6-3, he is considered more of a combo guard and, like Curry, is a great scorer, although not in the same class as a shooter.” -Fran Fraschilla via ESPN Insider
“McCollum will have a little more of an adjustment in changing roles, like a shortstop moving over to play third base [Re: SG toPG]. If he can handle running a team of veteran NBA players as a rookie, it will be a major accomplishment. In that regard, though success may happen a little sooner for Burke, McCollum has serious potential.” -Fran Fraschilla via ESPN Insider
After being shut out of the Rookie of the Year voting by the media, there was hope that the leagues coaches would come to their senses and that Maurice Harkless would at least make 2nd team All-Rookie. That didn’t happen. Harkless was beat out in the final voting by Kyle Singler and Tyler Zeller, though Harkless did receive one first place vote.
Harkless finished the season with 8.2 ppg and 4.4 rpg on 46.1 FG% in 26 minutes per game. Post All-Star break, he put up 13.4 ppg and 5.3 rpg. Singler put up 8.8 ppg and 4 rpg and Zeller scored 7.9 ppg and grabbed 5.7 rpg. A more important note here is that ZERO GM’s in the league would make a straight up trade today that sent Harkless out and brought either Singler or Zeller in.
2012-13 NBA ALL-ROOKIE FIRST TEAM
Player Team First (2 pt) Second (1 Pt) Total
Damian Lillard Portland 29 - 58
Bradley Beal Washington 28 1 57
Anthony Davis New Orleans 28 1 57
Dion Waiters Cleveland 21 8 50
Harrison Barnes Golden State 18 11 47
2012-13 NBA ALL-ROOKIE SECOND TEAM
Player Team First (2 pt) Second (1 Pt) Total
Andre Drummond Detroit 10 15 35
Jonas Valanciunas Toronto 6 19 31
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Charlotte 3 23 29
Kyle Singler Detroit 1 15 17
Tyler Zeller Cleveland 3 9 15
Other players receiving votes, with point totals (first place votes in parentheses):
Maurice Harkless, Orlando, 14 (1); Alexey Shved, Minnesota, 14 (1); Chris Copeland, New York, 9 (1); Brian Roberts, New Orleans, 5; Andrew Nicholson, Orlando, 4; Jae Crowder, Dallas, 1; Festus Ezeli, Golden State, 1; Draymond Green, Golden State, 1; John Jenkins, Atlanta, 1; Terrence Jones, Houston, 1; Pablo Prigioni, New York, 1; Terrence Ross, Toronto, 1; Jeff Taylor, Charlotte, 1.
Orlando Magic executive Rob Hennigan was recognized by his peers Thursday. Orlando’s first year general manager finished 10th in Executive of the Year Voting. Hennigan received one first place vote and two second places votes.
The award is viewed by some as more prestigious than others because the executives themselves select the winner. Denver’s Masai Ujiri, who helped the Nuggets to a 57-25 record this year, was the overwhelming winner, earning 59 total points. Clippers executive Gary Sacks earned 28 points, finishing second (you can see the complete voting after the jump).
Despite having the league’s worst record at 20-62, Hennigan obviously has the Magic going in the right direction. He had to deal with trading Dwight Howard and managed to collect assets from several teams, including promising young players Nikola Vucevic and Maurice Harkless from the Philadelphia 76ers, veteran Arron Afflalo from the Denver Nuggets and in a separate trade, second-year forward Tobias Harris from the Milwaukee Bucks. Harris led the team in scoring after joining the Magic.
Jameer Nelson will present Runway To Hope with a check for $25,000 at their 2013 Spring Fashion Soiree fundraiser on Saturday, May 11 . Nelson will also support the organization at their annual fundraiser serving as a “celebrity escort” during the fashion show. The event will be hosted by USA Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas and The Twilight Saga actress Ashley Greene.
“I love to help kids, and being a professional athlete allows me to see different places in the world, providing me with the resources to reach out and help kids from all walks of life,” said Nelson. “The NeJame family has always been great to my family and me, and I believe in their organization, Runway To Hope. We all hope one day we can find a cure for childhood cancer and all other forms of cancer. I am humbled to be a part of this event, which is for a great cause.”
Nelson’s donation to Runway To Hope is made possible through the 2012-13 Rich and Helen DeVos Community Enrichment Award. Each year, the Orlando Magic honors a player who has dedicated his efforts off the court for the purpose of enhancing others’ lives at the annual Orlando Magic Youth Foundation Black Tie and Tennies Gala. In addition to receiving the award, the player is granted $50,000 from the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation to donate to the charity of his choice. Nelson will donate the other $25,000 to another organization in Central Florida later this summer. read more…
In his latest Mock Draft update, Chad Ford of ESPN dropped a rather interesting nugget in his analysis of who the Magic would select.
According to sources, Orlando had its heart set on Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart until he broke its heart when he decided to stay in college. While the Magic need just about everything, point guard might be their biggest area of need. So, does Orlando roll the dice on Trey Burke or do they go after Noel, who gives the Magic something else they desperately need (shot blocking)? The Magic were tied for 24th in the league in blocked shots and could use an athlete in the paint next to Nikola Vucevic. While there will be a solid argument for Burke here, high-ceiling players like Noel are hard to come by.
While there was widespread speculation that Marcus Smart was in the running for the overall top pick, this is the first time it has been publicly reported that the Orlando Magic had their “heart set” on taking Smart. It also shows that people around the league are becoming more and more open to the possibility that Burke could go to the Magic, even if they win the lottery and pick first overall.
Oklahoma City Thunder: You are looking live at Rob Hennigan’s favorite dream: He falls into a deep sleep and envisions a Kevin Durant, a Russell Westbrook, a James Harden and a Serge Ibaka falling into Magic uniforms at the end of a rainbow. As a former Okie exec, he’s Thunderstruck.
OKC is a team that Hennigan wants the Magic to be when they grow up, but that kind of draft luck is an aberration. Still, a guy can dream, can’t he?
The returning players’ diminished roles weren’t necessarily by design: Nelson and Davis missed a combined 74 games due to injuries, and an injury-riddled Türkoğlu fell out of the rotation for good following a league-mandated suspension of 20 games for violating its drug policy. Nonetheless, the large portion of minutes that the newcomers played attests to the franchise’s new direction.
If the Orlando Magic win the No. 1 overall pick and select Noel, he will likely sit the entire season. The Magic will focus on the continuing development of their young core and will (probably) own a top lottery pick next season. 2014 would be Noel’s rookie season, as the Magic would allow him to take as long as he needs to fully recover. Noel would face unreal comparisons. His two predecessors–Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard–dominated in their stints in Orlando and fans will expect the same of the freshman out of Kentucky.
According to Joe Kotoch of Sheridan Hoops, the Orlando Magic “covet” Kansas guard Ben McLemore.
With Kentucky center Nerlens Noel’s injury troubles, the trade of J.J. Redick and a potential future trade of Arron Afflalo, McLemore’s positional need and shooting ability would make a nice fit alongside Maurice Harkless on the wing.
Kotoch claims “sources” say both the Magic and the New Orleans would be “strongly inclined” to trade the top pick should they win the lottery because both teams have young centers in Nikola Vucevic and Anthony Davis.
Kotoch goes on to call Michigan guard Trey Burke and Indiana wing Victor Oladipo “fallback options.”
Follow Andrew on twitter here
Despite having 70% of the league’s rookies on their roster, the Orlando Magic did not receive a single vote in this years Rookie of the Year voting. The Magic had five rookies on their roster in Moe Harkless, Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O’Quinn, Doron Lamb and DeQuan Jones. Portland rookie PG Damian Lillard was the unaninmous winner, receiving all 121 first place votes.
2012-13 KIA NBA ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD VOTING RESULTS
Rookie, Team 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Damian Lillard, Portland 121 – – 605
Anthony Davis, New Orleans – 96 18 306
Bradley Beal, Washington – 14 52 94
Andre Drummond, Detroit – 5 21 36
Dion Waiters, Cleveland – 2 15 21
Harrison Barnes, Golden State – 1 5 8
Chris Copeland, New York – 2 2 8
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Charlotte – – 3 3
Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto – – 2 2
John Jenkins, Atlanta – – 1 1
It’s hard to really argue too much with the 1st through 3rd place winners, but to have John Jenkins receive even a single vote is a joke. Here is how the Magic rookies stacked up against the competition.
Harkless: 76 games played, 59 games started, 8.2 ppg and 4.4 rpg on 46.1 FG% in 26 mpg - Post All-Star, 13.4 ppg and 5.3 rpg
Nicholson: 75 games played, 7.8 ppg and 3.4 rpg, 52.7 FG% in only 16.7 mpg
Copeland: 56 games played, 8.7 ppg and 2.1 rpg, 47.9 FG% in only 15.4 mpg
MKG: 77 games started, 9 ppg and 5.8 rpg, 45.8 FG% in 26 mpg
Valanciunas: 62 games played, 57 games started, 8.9 ppg and 6 rpg, 55.6 FG% in only 23.9 mpg
Jenkins: 61 games played, 2 games started. 6.1 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 44.6 FG% in only 14.8 mpg
The only player on that list that could potentially be above Harkless would be Kidd-Gilchrist and even that is probably a toss-up. In the end, whether you finish 6th, 7th or N/A in the ROY voting makes absolutely zero difference. However, it’s a shame that people around the league didn’t take notice of the growth, performance and potential that Moe Harkless exuded throughout the year. There is still hope for the NBA All-Rookie Team, which is voted on by the leagues coaches rather than the media.