Breaking Down Orlando Magic's Best Options with No. 2 Pick in 2013 NBA Draft
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
The Magic entered the draft lottery with the best odds to land the first pick, but their hopes were dashed when future commissioner Adam Silver announced that the Cleveland Cavaliers had won the first selection.
The Magic don't have a major need in the frontcourt, as Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris and Andrew Nicholson have the potential to develop into a dominating trio. Orlando does have a need at point guard, as Jameer Nelson is only going to decline from this point.
While Arron Afflalo is a solid shooting guard, there is definitely room for improvement at the 2-spot. Last season the Magic asked Afflalo to be one of their premier scorers and it didn't work out so well. That isn't to say the UCLA product isn't a valuable player, he just doesn't have the skill set that go-to scorers must have.
GM Rob Hennigan might be able to trade Afflalo for a decent return, which would only help in the rebuilding process.
We will work under the assumption that Nerlens Noel will be off the board, as he is the prohibitive favorite to be picked first. Even though the Cavaliers might be shopping the pick, it's hard to imagine a team trading up to take anyone that isn't Noel.
Fortunately for the Magic, there are a few guards in this year's class that have the potential to blossom into borderline All-Stars.
Ben McLemore- Shooting Guard, Kansas
The first thing that stands out when watching Ben McLemore is his athleticism, with his solid jumper being a close second. During his only season at Kansas, McLemore averaged 15.8 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 49.5 percent from the floor and 42 percent from behind the arc.
At the next level, McLemore projects to be a shooting guard who excels at scoring the basketball due to the deep range he has with his jumper. As his .95 assists-to-turnovers ratio shows, McLemore struggles when it comes to setting up teammates for scores.
Would you be happy if the Orlando Magic drafted Ben McLemore with the second pick?
As the 20-year-old shooting guard matures and develops, his ability to make plays for his teammates should improve.
One thing McLemore has going for him is his size, as he is 6'5" and 189 pounds. Although he is a bit on the light side, that will change once he's put on the proper regimen with an NBA training staff.
The first shooting guard off the board is either going to be McLemore or Indiana's Victor Oladipo, with both standing a chance of being drafted second. McLemore was mocked to the Magic in DraftExpress.com's latest draft, as Noel was taken ahead of him.
According to Josh Robbins of OrlandoSentinel.com, McLemore said the following when asked about the Magic:
The Orlando Magic, I think that's a great program. I think I could fit perfectly in that system and that organization and help that team in different kinds of ways.
That was the smart answer from McLemore, as he wants to be drafted as highly as possible and the Magic represent the first team that could reasonably select him.
If Orlando decided on McLemore, it would be getting a high-upside player with the shooting ability to make an impact instantly.
Trey Burke- Point Guard, Michigan
In a year without a truly elite NBA prospect at point guard, Michigan point guard Trey Burke is the best player the position has to offer.
Over the span of his two-year career in Ann Arbor, Burke played an average of 35.7 minutes per game while recording 16.7 points, 5.6 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Based upon statistics alone, it's clear that Burke dominated while playing collegiate ball.
The problem is that the NBA is a different animal, with each team having an array of physical specimens and uber-talented athletes. At 6'1" and 187 pounds, Buke has scouts reasonably worried that his height might severely limit his future production.
On the other side of the coin, Burke is a talented floor general and was named the 2013 Naismith Men's Player of the Year. The Michigan product won't be pushed around the court, as he displayed good strength for his size during the Wolverines' run to the NCAA championship game.
Michigan's Trey Burke wins 2013 Naismith Trophy ... Clean sweep of Wooden/Robertson/Naismith awards.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) April 7, 2013
Burke is also adept at shooting the ball off the dribble, a skill the majority of the players currently on Orlando's roster don't possess.
Trying to project Burke's future success in the NBA is difficult and the risk of choosing him could cause him to slip on draft day. Due to Burke's size, GM Rob Hennigan might be hesitant to take him with the second pick.
If the Magic were to trade down, which is something they are reportedly considering, they could potentially land Burke with a pick in the bottom-half of the top 10.
Victor Oladipo- Shooting Guard, Indiana
While we have been working under the assumption that Noel will be off the board, there have been murmurs that the Cavaliers could target Oladipo. According to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, the Cavs are "heavily considering" Oladipo with the first pick. (subscription required)
It's easy to see why, as this year's class isn't projected to have a future superstar in it. Because of that, a player like Oladipo who is known for his non-stop motor and solid all-around game has an opportunity to be one of the very first players off the board.
Who do you want the Magic to draft?
In a chat conducted on ESPN.com, Ford stated that about half of the league's general managers told him Oladipo was their favorite player in this year's class.
It's easy to see why so many basketball executives love the Indiana product, as he is an excellent rebounder, fights hard on defense and has the athleticism to develop into one of the league's premier perimeter defenders.
Even if Oladipo's offensive game never catches up to his defense, he would still be a valuable player on a good team. The team that ends up drafting Oladipo will feel comfortable, because he is as close to a sure thing as there is in this year's class.
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