Orlando Magic News & Notes: Smart Pick?
ESPN’s Chad Ford released his first mock draft. Ford has the Magic selecting Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart with the second overall pick:
The Orlando Magic have promising young players at the 3, 4 and 5. While they could certainly upgrade there (and might if Noel is available), I expect them to take a backcourt player at No. 2. Jameer Nelson is 31 and starting to slow down. Adding a dominant player like Smart would upgrade the position immensely. While Smart has his weaknesses (his jump shot is shaky and he needs to tighten up his handle), he’s strong, has a great motor and toughness, is a beast defensively and brings the leadership a young rudderless team like the Magic desperately needs.
Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post touched on Smart here.
As we near completion of Year 1 of Orlando’s rebuild, the Magic have done a good job of collecting young talent of varying levels of potential. Nikola Vucevic was an absolute steal as an elite rebounder in the Dwight Howard-Andrew Bynum deal; Maurice Harkless has come on strong over the past 10 games, showing a tantalizing mix of athleticism and versatility; and Tobias Harris has taken full advantage of the playing time afforded to him since being acquired from Milwaukee. The Magic have established a culture of character, hard work and effort (necessary in a rebuild), but lack a motor for their offense, which struggles to shoot efficiently (49 percent team eFG%) and doesn’t get easy scoring opportunities (23rd in corner 3-point attempts and 29th in FTA rate).
J.J. Redick isn’t the only one facing his old team Wednesday night. Watch former Bucks forward Tobias Harris talk about facing his old team here.
The problem with Hedo staying is the osmosis of apathy. This occurs when younger players are surrounded by less-than stellar examples for the way to behave in the NBA. Think of the anti-Kevin Garnett or simply an older Michael Beasley. The Magic are the sixth-youngest team in the league this year, and they’re likely to get even younger when they trim the fat on the roster and acquire talent the Sam Presti way: in the draft.
The Magic are last in two sets of power rankings. First we have NBA.com’s John Schuhmann’s rankings:
The Magic have held four of their last five opponents under a point per possession, which is pretty amazing. They haven’t won any of those games, but why be picky? Offense (92.5 points scored per 100 possessions in that stretch) is obviously the problem and Tobias Harris might want to stay inside the arc. He has five double-doubles in his last six games, but has missed 17 of his last 18 3-point attempts.
Their offense is just dreadful. Which is to be expected, but it’s still hard to watch.
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