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.
“We have proven now time and time again over 25 years that when we go through a transition period we come out of it quickly. And we come out of it to the extent where we are competitive at the highest levels of the NBA,’’ Martins said earlier this week while the Magic were opening an 11th Reading and Learning Center at the Rosemont Community Center in Orlando.
“The statistics bear (the quick turnaround) out,’’ Martins continued. “In my opinion, we’re setting ourselves up to be successful moving forward. And in the very near future, we’ll be in a position again to compete for a conference championship and a NBA championship. All of the moves made this year and the ones to come in the future will be done in order to build that success on the court.’’
This draft class is widely considered to be a weak one. No single player has been labeled by consensus as a perennial future all-star such as 2011 top overall pick Kyrie Irving and 2012 top overall pick Anthony Davis were when they were selected.
That said, it’s critical for the Magic to make the most of their draft opportunity — to select a player who has the best long-range potential to be an all-star.
The last first round draft prospect we’ll take a look is Indiana wing Victor Oladipo.
Oladipo has always been known as a very good defender, but expanded his game, shooting the ball much better during his junior season. The Hoosiers were ranked in the top five throughout the season, so Oladipo’s defensive exploits and improving offense were often on the national spotlight, causing his stock to soar.
The first thing that sticks out to you about Oladipo is his athleticism. He is no doubt an elite athlete, which is the main reason he is such a good defender. Unlike many college players, Oladipo consistently plays with energy and intensity on that side of the ball and has made shutting down his opponent his top priority in a Tony Allen type of way. You don’t usually see that in college basketball. Oladipo is listed at 6’5 and 210 lbs.
“With the ability to guard up to four positions at the college level, Oladipo projects to be able to defend all three perimeter positions at the NBA level, depending on matchups,” writes Walter Beeken of Draft Express. “He has the speed and quickness to cover point guards, and his athleticism, strength, and toughness should enable him to guard most small forwards as well. Coaches will likely value the flexibility Oladipo gives them on the defensive end, as they can cross-match and hide weaker defenders while putting Oladipo on the opposing team’s top perimeter threat, regardless of position.”
As I noted above, Oladipo’s defense was a known commodity and his offensive improvement is what really stood out.
After the jump, we’ll take a look at Oladipo’s junior statistics: read more…
Update 4/29: There was no surprise announcement. Smart is indeed returning to school.
It looks like Marcus Smart could be having a change of heart about leaving school early. According to NBADraft.net, Smart is considering changing his previous decision to return to Oklahoma State.
Word on the street is Marcus Smart is having second thoughts about pulling his name out of draft. Don’t be shocked if he changes his mind.
— NBADraft.net (@nbadraftnet) April 26, 2013
If Smart does indeed decide to make himself eligible for this year’s draft, he has until Sunday night (28th) at 11:59PM EST to declare. You can read the MBO profile on Marcus Smart here. If Smart is on the board, he will be HIGH on the Magic draft board.
Afflalo brought some consistency and veteran leadership to the Magic this season after being acquired in a trade in August. He scored in double digits in 55 of his 64 games and had at least 20 points 19 times. In addition to leading the Magic in scoring 24 times, Afflalo ranked 14th in the NBA in free throw percentage (85.7 percent) and 22nd in minutes played (36.0 mpg.).
No player can be totally secure in a rebuild. His stay might be determined in June’s draft if the Magic select former Kansas star shooting guard Ben McLemore. Afflalo is making about $7.5 million annually for the next three seasons — not an unmovable contract.
In addition to his cuts to the basket and his offensive put-back opportunities, Harkless started taking threes from the corners, albeit at a low percentage. And then he started making them, shooting 33.9 percent on corner triples after the All-Star Break. His growth as a three-point shooter opened driving lanes for him, particularly along the baseline. And almost overnight, Harkless became a solid, low-usage offensive player who tended to take only layups and corner threes, the two highest-value shots in the game.
Harris proved himself to be an elite scorer following the trade to Orlando. After playing just 11.6 minutes a night for the Bucks, Harris took advantage of the opportunity being presented in Orlando and ran with it. He scored in double figures in 24 of his 27 games with the Magic and led the team in scoring 10 times. He had nine 20-point games and twice hit 30 points against Washington and Milwaukee. And though he was undersized, Harris proved he could play the power forward position some with his hustle and mucle. Nine times he had at least 10 rebounds and six times he blocked at least three shots.
While Vucevic is getting noticed, he’s not considered totally untouchable to Magic. At least not if you’re offering a star in the exchange.
Nikola Vucevic, Orlando’s starting center, finished fourth in the voting for Most Improved Player. Pacers forward Paul George won the award while Hornets point guard Greivis Vásquez and Bucks big man Larry Sanders finished second and third, respectively.
During the 2011-12 season, Vucevic’s rookie year, he averaged 5.5 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 45.0% from the field and 52.9% from the free throw line. This season, Vucevic averaged 13.1 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. He shot 51.9% from the field and 68.3% from the charity stripe. He clearly made a nice case for the award.
“I’ve just got to keep getting better,” Vucevic told OrlandoMagic.com’s John Denton. “My goal is to be one of the best centers in the NBA. I think that I can do that.”
Magic guard Arron Afflalo had one second place vote and another writer gave forward Tobias Harris a third place vote.
Last year’s winner, then Magic and now Hornets power forward Ryan Anderson earned one first place vote this season.
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42. Tobias Harris 17
Now here’s someone who is underrated! Let’s quickly recap the last two months for your average Bucks fan.
• Mid-February: “J.J. Redick! Woo-hoo!!!! Let’s just hope that Harris kid doesn’t come back to haunt us.”
• Mid-March: “I don’t care how well Harris is playing — I still like the Redick deal for us.”
• Late March: “We need a new GM.”
• Early April: “I’m not looking at Orlando’s box scores anymore.”
The positives that emerged from that fast-forwarded youth movement were prevalent for the Magic. Nikola Vucevic, one of the primary pieces acquired by Hennigan in the four-team, 12-player trade that centered around Howard, Andrew Bynum and Andre Iguodala, blossomed into one of the NBA’s best young big men by ranking second in the league in rebounding (11.9 rpg.) and third in double-doubles (46). Tobias Harris, acquired in the Redick trade, became a go-to scorer in Orlando, pumping in two 30-point games and averaging 17.3 points in 27 games with the Magic. And Harkless, Orlando’s youngest player at 19 years old, welcomed the challenge of guarding the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony on a nightly basis while also making huge strides in his overall game.
The staff here at MBO decided to give out postseason awards for both the Magic and the league as a whole. The staff wasn’t asked to rank the players but to simply give out a first place vote.
Most Valuable Player
NBA: LeBron James – 26.8 points per game, 8.0 rebounds per game, 7.3 assists per game.
So this was an easy, obvious and unanimous choice.
Because you should be stoned to death if you don’t vote for James.
Magic: Nikola Vucevic – 13.0 ppg, 11.9 rpg, 1.0 blocks per game
This was actually a tie between Vucevic and J.J. Redick, but I gave the edge to the guy who spent the entire season with the team.
Tough call on this one. I would say Vooch, but his defense is awful. Tobias only played two months. Redick got traded. Jameer should probably get something for leadership and keeping the locker room together. Tough to have an MVP on a 20 win team but lets go with J.J. Redick.
J.J. Redick. Not only did he keep the fan base from completely jumping off the cliff early in the season, but his deadline trade brought in Tobias Harris. Vucevic was a close second.
Nelson. When Jameer was out of the line up, it felt like the loss was inevitable. With him in, there was always a chance, and the team put out a much more organized offensive effort. Also, the absolute biggest area of weakness is at PG, and the jump from 2nd string PG to Jameer (outside of a couple Beno games) was the biggest hazard for us to navigate.
Orlando’s iron man and Mr. Consistency with his almost 50 double-doubles after a rookie season that had him rotting on Philly’s bench. Vooch displayed us his long-term durability when Hennigan easily could have accepted Bynum in the Dwight deal. There’s plenty of room to improve, especially on defense, but no one could fathom Vucci Mane doing as well of a job filling Dwight’s shoes as Nik has. The sophomore has already shattered a few records that include the franchise rebounding mark in a contest (29) as well as being the only player in this club’s history to ever put up 30 points, 20 rebounds, and 5 assists in a game.
Sure Vucevic’s defense needs a lot of work, but step in and average a double-double as a 22-year old second-year pro not only gave the Magic hope for the future, but helped validate the Dwight Howard trade that was heavily criticized. It gave the fans confidence in the new management group led by Rob Hennigan.
The Orlando Magic’s 20-62 season is over and the annual tradition of employees conducting exit interviews with the media commenced today. Many coaches and players will still be visiting Amway Center often during this franchise’s offseason, but it’s still valuable to get insight on a rebuilding season filled with injuries. Every player is not satisfied with obtaining the worst record in the league, and all interviewed today seemed very motivated to improve their games and bodies this summer. Well, except for Al Harrington who along with Hedo Turkoglu know their Magic days are numbered and are awaiting to be bought out of their contracts or traded. Most of the attention was saved for Head Coach Jacque Vaughn and General Manager Rob Hennigan who can’t ever truly savor a break from the NBA world.
Click below to enjoy a vast variety of more player interviews that included some very emotional words from veterans Al Harrington, Glen Davis, Jameer Nelson, and Arron Afflalo. As well as some glimpses towards the future from the young guns.
The season that was easy to ignore, and will soon be forgotten, is now officially complete. The Orlando Magic finished the season in the same fashion as they did most of the year – with a disheartening loss. The Miami Heat, sans LeBron James and Chris Bosh, defeated the Orlando Magic by a score of 105-93.
Final record: 20-62. The second worst record in franchise history. Worst record in the NBA.
Record since December 19, 2012: 8-49. The point when the Magic were the darlings of the league with a 4-game winning streak and 12-13 record.
Record since trading J.J. Redick: 5-23.
Few wins, many losses. But it’s over. A full summer of overvaluing future role players is upon us. Magic fans will sell themselves on every summer league stat produced, each fringe prospect brought in to compete for a roster spot and of course we will all drool on the soon-to-be produced top draft pick. Everybody knows that if Player X develops that one key skill and minimizes that one key weakness, that Player X will be a STAR!
That’s the fun of rooting for a bad team. Embrace it! Lose all rationality! What’s the worst that could happen? At a minimum, you build yourself up and start believing in a hopeful future return to relevance. At a minimum, you’ve seen rock bottom. read more…