The history of the second round is promising, and many current NBA stars were selected past the 30th pick. Players such as Marc Gasol (48th pick), Monta Ellis (40th pick), Trevor Ariza (43rd pick) and even Manu Ginobili (57th pick), were all selected in the second round and have gone on to become household names in the NBA.
With regards to the history of the second round, is it that far fetched to think that the Magic could acquire a player who can immediately help their team move forward and bring them to championship calibre?
In terms of needs, the Magic would most likely want to find a 2 or 3 shooter who has some promise on the defensive end, and experience playing at the college level. Or they could attempt to draft another big man who could work with Brandon Bass, in case they fail to impress Dwight Howard and he eventually leaves to free agency.
But with regards to the five players mentioned, they all have shown they have the potential to emerge in the NBA.
2010/11 Stats – GP: 37, PPG: 15.7, FG%: 49%, RPG: 6.1, APG: 2.3
Jimmy Butler might not fall all the way to the 53rd pick, but let’s look at what he brings to the table. Firstly, his main asset would be his ability to play as a team player, especially when he uses his physical game to attempt to crash boards, and his high basketball IQ coming from Marquette.
Nothing more should be said about his gameplay other than his comparison to Landry Fields, who had a great rookie season with the New York Knicks, mainly due to his defence, and by adapting to the team's system.
Butler is a great all-around player that will help any team, and if he does go to the Magic, they can be happy that they added some defensive persistence to the lineup, not to mention the kid is only 21-years old.
2010/11 Stats – GP: 37, PPG: 12.1, FG%: 46.8, 3Pt%: 42.9, APG: 3.3
David Lighty has had the privilege from playing under coach Thad Matta, and has been very versatile throughout his college career. Plagued with injuries to his foot and knee early in college, he has done a great job bouncing back and looking solid in his fifth year at Ohio State.
He has already played with NBA players such as Evan Turner and Greg Oden, and coming out of a solid college should show promise as to his future.
Offensively, he has improved dramatically throughout his college career. He can score the ball quite easily by using his first step, or in a catch-and-shoot situation. But his defensive tenacity would be his best asset to an Orlando team looking for mature players who can backup SG J.J. Redick.
As a player rebounding from an injury early in his young career, I believe he will show drastic improvement every season he has in the NBA, especially when coached by Stan Van Gundy.
2010/11 Stats – GP: 35, PPG: 16.8, FG%: 44.5, 3PT%: 34.9, APG: 6.1, SPG: 1.3
If the Magic are able to deal Gilbert Arenas, or if they decide to trade Jameer Nelson, then bringing in another point guard would not seem out of the question.
Also, it seems like Thomas’ main asset is his skill of getting to the rim on a pick-and-roll, where he can easily finish, or make a good pass to the perimeter. This is something the Magic might need if they want to make adjustments to their style of play.
Thomas resembles a player like Nate Robinson, except his ability to get assists is tremendous. But, he faces many questions regarding his size and his defensive capability, especially against a point guard who can shoot well, as they can easily get a shot over him.
But he is great at getting off ball steals and running the floor, something that a Magic team could use in their defence.
Lastly, his main focus during the combine was his jump shooting, as it seems he has realized that a strong jump shot will make him a hard player to guard one-on-one.
2010/11 Stats GP: 34, PPG: 20.5, FG%: 49.4, RPG: 8.6, BPG: 2.3, FT%: 80.9
If available, my pick for the Orlando Magic would be JaJuan Johnson. A player who has shown remarkable numbers playing for the Purdue Boilermakers and drastic improvement ever since he had to take on a more offensive role.
Johnson is the lanky big man that could come off the bench and provide scoring, while at the same time use his long reach to contest shots.
Although he is not remarkably strong, amid summer training with an NBA team he will surely realize his need to bulk up or become tougher under the glass. But this is a solid fit for an Orlando team who already has one of, if not, the best rebounder in the NBA.
Complementing Howard would be a player in Johnson who can shoot the ball very well for a PF, at times going beyond the college 3-point line, and nailing 80 percent of his free throws.
He is only 22-years old, and still has to fill his frame, but when he does so, his potential on a team like the Magic will be limitless…as long as Dwight sticks around.
2010/11 Stats GP: 37, PPG: 11.4, FG%: 53.6, RPG: 8.1, BPG: 2.0
Lastly, is Malcolm Thomas, who might not even be selected in the first two rounds. But there is a reason why projector Nick Ortiz has him going to the Magic with the 53rd pick.
His athleticism is incredible, and his wingspan is exceptionally large (7’2), especially if he matures into a small forward. He also has the ability to grab rebounds and finish them strong, something that he showed playing at San Diego State.
His main weakness is one that I believe players can improve on the easiest, and that is developing a mid-range game. He has already shown improvement in this area according to draft experts at the NBA Combine, meaning his stock could rise, and a team like Orlando could snag him with a late second-round pick.
Overall, his ability to be a two-way player is why he is on this list, not to mention his versatility and his defensive skills. In Orlando, he could be used as a solid role player who energizes the team with his put-back dunks, or he could actually develop a mid-range game and become a dangerous power forward when the Magic decide to go small.