Orlando Magic: Magic Must Target Trey Burke in the Draft
The Orlando Magic were hopeful to obtain the first overall pick in this year's draft, but the second selection from the plethora of attractive talent is just as valuable. Their roster of very young talent, with an average roster age of 25, is ripe with potential, which makes their choice in the draft important to round out the team.
It must all start with Trey Burke.
The Magic have some intriguing prospects already, including Tobias Harris, Nikola Vucevic and Andrew Nicholson. Certain other players like Nerlens Noel or Otto Porter have high ceilings, but the front office must draft to accommodate the roster.
Burke had a phenomenal season for the Michigan Wolverines, averaging 18.6 points and 6.7 assists. He had a terrific 3.02 assist-to-turnover ratio, in addition to knocking down 46.3 percent of his overall shots. Burke's 38.4 percent clip from three-point range and 80.1 percent from the free-throw line are indicative of his prowess shooting the ball and are especially important when transitioning to the NBA level.
Orlando could form a "Big Three" of Burke, Vucevic and Harris, in what is the new NBA standard of building a team. The latter duo closed the season strong, with Vucevic putting up 18.5 points and 15.3 rebounds through April and Harris averaging 19.8 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists on 44 percent shooting.
Adding a dynamic point guard to the Magic's roster would create an effect much like what happened to the Portland Trail Blazers this past season. Damian Lillard's arrival in Oregon didn't ultimately translate to the success the Trail Blazers were hoping for, as they missed the postseason and finished with a worse record than last season.
It was mostly due to a 13-game losing streak to close the season, however Lillard's effect on the team was clear. Burke could do the same with the Magic, by being thrust into the spotlight and handed the keys to the franchise.
Who should the Magic target in the draft?
It would be a slight reach for Orlando to take Burke with the second pick, yet the other choices on the board clash with the other players on the roster. Noel's ability to play effectively after an ACL tear waves a red flag, and the drafting of a small forward puts a question mark above Harris' place in the rotation after performing really well in a Magic uniform.
Jameer Nelson, Orlando's current point guard, could provide veteran leadership and mentor Burke through his first season. Whether Nelson started and Burke came off the bench or vice versa, it would present an interesting one-two punch in the backcourt for the Magic.
Ben McLemore, a superstar talent out of Kansas, would also be a great choice for Orlando. However, the league is becoming more and more point-guard-orientated, and taking Burke allows the team to begin a proper rebuild immediately.
Adding McLemore would create discussions surrounding what to do with Arron Afflalo, the team's current shooting guard, and the plethora of 2-guards on the roster.
He's predicted to have a very high ceiling, but ultimately Burke is a better piece to Orlando's puzzle.
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