Most Disappointing Draft Picks in Orlando Magic History
While the Orlando Magic haven't been around long enough to endure the historic success other franchises have had, they can certainly compare when it comes to disappointing draft picks.
In fact, other than a few great selections, the Magic haven't drafted that well in the 24 drafts they've participated in since becoming a franchise in 1989.
Names like Shaquille O'Neal and Dwight Howard immediately come to mind, but that kind of talent has been few and far between for the organization. When you look at the big picture, it's much more bleak.
Fran Vasquez, Steven Hunter and Michael Doleac are just a few names that likely linger in the minds of many Magic fans. For whatever reason, they never achieved the success the team thought they would.
And while deciding who the absolute most disappointing draft pick is both difficult and subjective, one can certainly compile a fairly decent-sized list.
The list was based on who each player was taken ahead of in their draft class and career numbers in relation to the spot they were taken.
Year Drafted: 2005
Taken Before: Danny Granger, Nate Robinson, Jarrett Jack, David Lee, Monta Ellis
It's been eight years since the Magic took Fran Vazquez with the 11th overall pick in the 2005 draft and he has yet to don the uniform of an NBA team.
Taking him a year after drafting Dwight Howard seemed to make some sense. After all, pairing the two would have meant having a very intimidating frontcourt duo.
But that never materialized.
The 30-year-old Spaniard has stayed in his country ever since and it's unlikely he'll ever play a single game in the league as a member of the Magic or anyone else.
It's hard to criticize management for taking a chance on a European player with good size and solid fundamentals, but looking back, the pick is clearly one of the biggest disasters in recent draft history.
Danny Granger and David Lee are just two players who heard their names called after Vazquez on draft night, and they've both gone on to have successful careers thus far.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but it's hard not to be depressed after thinking about a frontcourt of Howard and Lee.
Year Drafted: 2003
Taken Before: David West, Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa, Josh Howard, Mo Williams
In 2003, the draft was pretty top-heavy in terms of the talent that was taken. However, there were some gems discovered with each passing pick.
Unfortunately for the Magic, Reece Gaines was not one of them.
The 6'6" shooting guard had a very successful four-year stint in college for Louisville and clearly captured the attention of Magic management, but managed to play in only 71 games over the course of his short career.
For someone who had quite a bit of promise, Gaines disappointed tremendously.
Had the team gone in a different direction, they could have had an excellent frontcourt duo of David West and Dwight Howard a year later—assuming they still would have selected No. 1 in 2004.
Picking in the middle of the first round is always a difficult spot to be in—as talent truly is hit or miss—but clearly the Magic struck out with the selection of Gaines.
Year Drafted: 2001
Taken Before: Zach Randolph, Gerald Wallace, Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas, Mehmet Okur
The two relatively mediocre seasons Steven Hunter had at DePaul were apparently enough to convince the Magic they should use the 15th overall pick in the 2001 draft on him.
And as is now known, that was a pretty big mistake.
Hunter played three seasons for the Magic and averaged 3.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 0.2 assists and 1.0 block during 12.1 minutes of playing time.
Those numbers aren't just poor, they're absolutely atrocious.
Hunter had the size to become a successful big man, but obviously things just never panned out and the Magic were left with yet another disappointment.
It's even tougher to swallow when players who are still competing at a high level 12 years later—like Zach Randolph and Tony Parker—were drafted below him.
Year Drafted: 1998
Taken Before: Michael Dickerson, Ricky Davis, Al Harrington, Rashard Lewis, Cuttino Mobley
Michael Doleac was a member of the University of Utah team that made a run to the championship game during the 1998 NCAA tournament and during that season averaged 16.1 points and 7.1 rebounds.
As a prospect, he wasn't bad: good height, a solid build and great fundamentals.
However, when the Magic decided to take him with the 12th overall pick in the 1998 draft, they were reaching and taking a massive leap of faith.
During his three seasons with the Magic, he averaged 6.6 points and 3.6 rebounds. As it turned out, those three years would be the best he'd ever experience as a pro—at least from a numbers standpoint.
Doleac made for a serviceable big man off the bench, but outside of that it turned out that he didn't have a whole lot of upside.
That year's draft wasn't very deep, but there were still several players drafted below him that turned out to be better talents.
Year Drafted: 2000
Taken Before: Jamal Crawford, Michael Redd
It's hard to call Mike Miller a disappoint because he's had a solid career and now possesses two championship rings.
At the same time, his numbers probably aren't where they should be for a former No. 5 overall pick.
On top of that, Miller played just two-and-a-half seasons for the Magic, averaging 14.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists on 43.0 percent shooting from the field. Not bad numbers by any stretch, but also not what would typically be expected from someone drafted that high.
Overall, Miller has endured a long career with plenty of big moments. He hit crucial shots for the Miami Heat in this year's NBA Finals and should continue to be a valuable asset for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2013-14.
Had he been given the opportunity he received during the 2006-07 season his entire career, perhaps it would have been a different story.
So while his success cannot be denied, Miller never quite lived up to the hype.