Sunday, June 23, 2013

2nd Round Pick: Point Guard Should Be Magic's Focus

With the 51st pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, the Orlando Magic select…who cares, he’ll probably be a scrub. That’s what your casual fan who reserves to put in any thought into the Draft until the actual day (June 27th, and it’s circled profusely on my calendar) it occurs would say. Especially in a supposed ‘weak class’. No matter how many legitimate prospects there may be, gems can always be found. You would imagine that selecting based on 'need' gets thrown out the window in the second round, but I truly believe that Orlando needs point guard depth. So who will be this year’s Kyle O’Quinn for Rob Hennigan?

Nemanja Nedovic is who I want Orlando to pick. I know, I know, Magic fans will forever be afraid to go the international route. Could Nemanja be a Fran Vazquez, or to a lesser-hated degree a Milovan Rakovic when it comes to 'busts'? Of course. But this is your Manu Ginobili (oh yeah, I went there) low risk, high reward scenario with a 6’4” (6’3” without shoes) athletic Serbian freak who knows how to run an offense. He's Milos Teodosic if Milos was quicker and had a solid vertical leap. The problem isn't necessarily with the player himself, it's the fact that his draft stock is on the rise because of superb workouts in recent weeks. Nedovic went through some much-needed growing pains this past season in Lithuania competing in Euroleague competition. Milwaukee who selects 43rd brought in Nemanja over the weekend for his first workout on American soil. If pick #51 comes, and Nedovic is improbably still on the board, Hennigan should pounce.

Myck Kabongo was being talked about as a first rounder for much of the college season. What the hell happened that he’s projected so late into the 2nd round? Well, much of the blame is on the fact that the Longhorns had a very bad 16-18 season that included getting booted out of the 1st round of the CBI tourney by Houston. The sophomore has the build and the length to survive as a professional, but he is an inconsistent shooter and is turnover-prone. Kabongo only played 11 games last season due to serving a 23-game suspension for various NCAA violations that included having active contact with a sports agent and accepting airfare illegally. It's nothing that screams 'bad character', but Myck I'm sure has had plenty of explaining to do during his interview process. If Nedovic is off the board, I'll be more than pleased with drafting Kabongo. . 

Peyton Siva I wouldn't touch with the 10-foot pole in the first round because of how atrocious of a jump shooter he is, but this is the main facilitator and one of Louisville's key defenders in their National Championship run. He's 6'1" in shoes and has a 6'3", so Siva does have the build to be at least a backup PG. This guy is fearless and Rick Pitino was never shy to state that. It's funny to see a guy like Shane Larkin have his value skyrocket, while Siva continues to slip down team draft boards. The Magic could do a hell of a lot worse than Siva especially since he's coming into the NBA as a proven winner. A humble champion at that.

Draft Express has done a wonderful job of comparing the 2013 PG class against each other. Another point guard in the range of where Orlando is selecting in the second round is Phil Pressey. Many scouts covet him as a potential steal, but I don't buy into the hype. His short stature doesn't inspire me either.

Barring a miracle, Beno Udrih won't be retained as his price tag will be too high in free agency. It's a shame because the Slovenian was finding his way in O-Town. E'Twaun Moore can't cut it as a PG. Too many turnovers and he wasn't as quick on pick-and-roll defense as I remembered him in Boston. At least he was better than Duhon. Doron Lamb actually finished this season better than Moore and that gives me promise for his future. However, the Magic still can do better and rolling the dice on a PG late in this draft is well worth the risk.

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