The Orlando Magic Should Select Greg Smith With the 54th Pick
The Magic have no backup center for Dwight Howard, and short of just acquiring Tony Battie or Jeff Foster, or the like, they could work with another project big man in Greg Smith of Fresno State. One thing he doesn’t lack is a strong body. Smith stands 6’10″ and weighs 250, only 15 lbs less than Superman himself, Dwight Howard.
In many respects, it is clear that Smith will never be a starter caliber center, but that isn’t what the Magic need. Even somebody like Ryan Hollins (who I am still high on) could fill the role, of simply playing 6 to 8 minutes a game while Dwight Howard dries off and drinks gatorade. Realistically, it could be too much to ask if we’re to expect a back-up big anywhere near as Gortat, and it also is horrible that we recieved only Turkoglu and J-Rich in return when Gortat could have netted us a prime time scorer, or at least a better player (Jeff Green, anyone?).
Question marks have arisen regarding Smith’s ability to focus and give a full effort. Scouts say he “drifts,” meaning goes from playing really well for a few minutes then disappearing for the next six. What I see in Smith is what I saw in DeAndre Jordan when I said that the Clippers had a big steal in the project big man. Athleticism usually translates to success in the NBA, even if the worst examples of ridiculously good atheletes (Stromile Swift, Hakim Warrick, etc) are merely average players at best.
But an “average” player would be an excellent pick at pick 54. An average player is more than most teams hope for with their non-guaranteed contracts selected in the 2nd round. Last year, the Magic took a big man, Daniel Orton, who never played an NBA game all year. So doing worse than that can’t really be a concern for Otis Smith.
Realistically, there are only 2 genuine superstars in this year’s draft and the only big men that really warrant great attention are Bismack Biyombo, Tristian Thompson, and Enes Kanter.
It’s obvious that the 54th pick isn’t going to save the Magic, but they definitely could still claim the rights to a big man in Greg Smith that will either succeed tremendously sparred by hard work or fail miserably trying to do it all with his athleticism.
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