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INSIDER PLEASE...(Magic Should Get Smart)

JoeyGladstone
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INSIDER PLEASE...(Magic Should Get Smart)

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Magic should get Smart

Magic should get Smart
February, 22, 2013
Feb 22
4:04
PM ET
By Tom Carpenter | ESPN.com

As we noted earlier today, the Orlando Magic have set themselves up for what should be a loss-filled stretch run. They traded their No. 2 scorer, J.J. Redick, to the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday, Hedo Turkoglu is suspended, Glen Davis is likely out for the rest of the season, Jameer Nelson is injured, and much of their remaining roster is younger than a veteran college squad.

The intention, of course, is to lose as much as possible so they can have the best possible shot at the No. 1 pick in this year's draft and then take advantage of cap space to lure some free agents. Time will tell how that plan goes, but if they do land the top pick, ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford thinks they should target Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart:

Chad Ford
Orlando Magic draft needs

"Smart isn't putting up huge numbers, but he has come up huge for Oklahoma State in some of its biggest games and appears to have the X factor that NBA GMs look for in a No. 1 pick. Smart has great size for the position, has a NBA body, has a power game going to the basket, and is a clutch leader who is fearless with the game on the line. He also is a versatile defender who can guard multiple positions. Jameer Nelson has the starting job locked down right now, but Smart would be a long-term upgrade. ... The Magic need a star to start building around. To me, Smart is oozing with star potential. He's still pretty raw. His jump shot is shaky and he can be turnover-prone, but he's a charismatic leader who works hard on both ends of the floor and usually rises to the occasion in big games. Putting him on the floor with the Magic's collection of young players would immediately make everyone better."

ChriJoll
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http://insider.espn.go.com/nb

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/blog/_/name/nba_draft/id/8974927/nba-brea...

I think that's the link you meant?

The Dwight Howard saga came to a sad, messy conclusion last summer when the Orlando Magic shipped Howard off to the Los Angeles Lakers for a collection of young players headlined by Nikola Vucevic and Moe Harkless, as well as veteran Arron Afflalo.

The move signaled that a massive rebuilding effort was under way in Orlando. With no young stars to build around, the Magic's collection of middling veterans and middling young players was the perfect recipe for blah.

The team ranks 26th in offensive efficiency this season and is tied for 25th in defensive efficiency. The Magic are in the middle of the pack in Assist Ratio, Effective Field Goal Percentage and Rebounding Rate.

But there is some good news. The team ranks No. 1 in the NBA in Defensive Efficiency Rate thanks in large part to the excellent work on the boards by Vucevic. He's averaging 11.5 defensive rebounds a game and while he's just a middling defender, his work on the boards is crucial. The Magic are also getting strong play from rookie Andrew Nicholson and see long-term potential in Harkless.

At the Thursday trade deadline, the Magic continued the franchise teardown shipping off veteran sharpshooter J.J. Redick for two young players -- Tobias Harris and Doron Lamb. Harris gives the Magic another combo forward who many scouts around the league believe can blossom. Lamb is a rookie sharpshooter who has struggled a bit his rookie season.

Overall, the Magic have a number of nice young pieces. But what they really need is a star. I'm not sure that that star is in this draft, but there are some intriguing options.

Here's a look at their best options if the get the No. 1 pick.

Good fits: Marcus Smart, Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Victor Oladipo

Smart isn't putting up huge numbers, but he has come up huge for Oklahoma State in some of its biggest games and appears to have the X factor that NBA GMs look for in a No. 1 pick. Smart has great size for the position, has a NBA body, has a power game going to the basket, and is a clutch leader who is fearless with the game on the line. He also is a versatile defender who can guard multiple positions. Jameer Nelson has the starting job locked down right now, but Smart would be a long-term upgrade.

Noel would be an excellent fit next to Vucevic. His shot-blocking ability and athleticism would be a strong combination next to Vucevic's more plodding game. Besides, the Magic have a history of developing poised young big men. First Shaq, then Dwight Howard, then Noel? Our only fear is that when he reached his prime, he'd push his way onto the Lakers.
[+] Enlarge
Victor OladipoAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesVictor Oladipo's elite skills would fit well with a burgeoning Magic defense.

McLemore would give them a pure scorer in the backcourt. While Afflalo has the position locked down, McLemore is an upgrade who would give them shooting and athleticism in the backcourt.

Oladipo isn't quite the offensive player McLemore is, but he's the best defensive player in the country, an elite athlete and an emerging scorer on the offensive end. He's this year's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. No one plays harder in college basketball.

Questionable fits: Anthony Bennett, Shabazz Muhammad, Alex Len

The team is already filled with combo forwards like Harkless, Harris and Nicholson, making Bennett pretty redundant. While I could argue that Bennett has more upside than any of them, with so many holes, I'm not sure they'd go Bennett's direction.

Muhammad falls into a similar situation. With Harkless and Harris on the roster, Muhammad would be forced to play some 2, and I'm just not sure he can guard backcourt players in the NBA.

Len has a lot of upside and is a more polished big man than Noel, but his skill set seems to be more redundant next to Vucevic in the frontcourt.

Best fit: Smart

The Magic need a star to start building around. To me, Smart is oozing with star potential. He's still pretty raw. His jump shot is shaky and he can be turnover-prone, but he's a charismatic leader who works hard on both ends of the floor and usually rises to the occasion in big games. Putting him on the floor with the Magic's collection of young players would immediately make everyone better.

sheltwon3
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Every young player that Magic

Every young player that Magic got are doing well so long term they are looking pretty good especially in a weak East.

ph90702
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Why don't you just become an

Why don't you just become an insider if you want the article?

JoeyGladstone
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THANKS FELLAS

THANKS FELLAS

ph90702
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Last time I checked, it only

Last time I checked, it only costs $2.50/month for a two year subscription.

Professor Rozay
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Magic

I really like the Smart pick for the Magic.

jaysmith1987
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agree.

I would take smart in a heartbeat people tend to forget college is a more closed in game with the zone defenses they deploy. Go back to drose freshman year his numbers are pretty similar to smarts not saying he's drose but hes a huge athletic pg. He will be able to take advantage in the NBA.

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I hope we also take a look at

I hope we also take a look at muhammad too. I mean we have some nice young guards/forwards but i don't ever see any of them being the type of player muhmmad can be if he reaches his full pontential in the nba

Future_Scout
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Oladipo at #1. pft.

Oladipo at #1. pft.

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