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.”
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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.