Friday, June 24, 2011

#32 Draft Pick - Justin Harper

The Orlando Magic traded their future 2nd round picks in 2013 and 2014 to acquire Justin Harper
from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Otis Smith said last night that they thought he was going to be selected in the 1st round for certain. So the fact that there he was in the 2nd round made him and the war room pounce to snag him. It's a good move as long as Justin pans out into at least a decent bench player. Chad Ford and Jay Bilas like this player and the fact we got him.

From his sophomore season at Richmond, Harper has had a lot of attention on him by NBA scouts. He's the main reason why Richmond won the Atlantic 10 championship with a school-record of 29 wins, and he got the Spiders to the Sweet Sixteen. The guy is comfortable in a pressure role and will definitely make our squad. He's a 2nd rounder that has 1st round (non-lottery) pick potential.

Justin Harper not a banger at 6'9", but he can punish you inside with a variety of moves. Harper fits the usual Orlando big man mold of perimeter shooter, but he seems to provide other aspects that are needed to improve this roster. The guy can score from anywhere and does draw some Rashard Lewis comparisons, but I don't think that's giving Justin enough credit.

The Kevin Durant-LaMarcus Aldridge hybrid comparison seems legitimate. Harper believes, as do I, that he'd be better off as an SF than a PF. The Richmond senior seems efficient as a spot-up shooter, a fadeaway shooter, a turnaround shooter, and a driving shooter. His ball handling is as good as a shooting guard and he's not afraid to attack the rim. Harper does have a strong frame already and definitely won't be given the 'soft' label. Let's hope he avoids the steroids, but stays in the weight room all offseason.

Another thing to keep in mind, whether Harper plays Power Forward or Small Forward, Otis Smith is going to have to figure out what he wants to do with Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson, Hedo Turkoglu, DeAndre Liggins (Some SG potential), Earl Clark, and Quentin Richardson. We are stacked at the forward positions now. Hopefully the Magic can make a superb trade by the July 1st CBA deadline. Justin Harper also has a Twitter account, so feel free to welcome the man. 

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