Many of us expected a drastic move by the Magic to acquire a second fiddle for Dwight Howard. Once again, we saw how unrealistic those hopes were, as the Magic were unable to work any magic of their own on the phones.
That said, the draft could still be a heist for the Magic. They dealt two future second round picks for 32nd selection Justin Harper, who has been compared to former Magic player Rashard Lewis. While that may be lofty expectations, don’t forget that Rashard Lewis was a second round pick himself after coming out directly from high school.
The great thing about a pick in the second round is the fact that the Magic don’t have to offer a guaranteed contract for Harper. They will undoubtedly sign and use him, give him a chance to break into the rotation. He’s a small forward/power forward and it’s been said that those positions are the most difficult to learn in Van Gundy’s defensive schemes, but the Magic are hoping Harper and their other second round pick DeAndre Liggins will adapt quickly. Liggins is being looked at as a possible lock down perimeter defender, something that the Magic lost when they traded supposed lock down defender Mickael Pietrus.
I still do wish the Magic would have taken Greg Smith with the 54th pick, but he could be easily brought into camp just to see what he has. There’s not really many options and young strong backup bigs are always worth a look.
While it’s hard to get excited about two second round picks, many second rounders become viable role players, and still fewer become starters and all-stars. Harper may be second round gold — time will tell. The Magic had Harper pegged as a mid 20s pick, so when he fell to 32nd, they had to take the chance to get him. It may pay off big, but it’s not much of a risk to spend a bit of money and deal a couple of what will probably be late second round picks in 2013 and 2014 to the Cavs. If they are early second round picks, it will be because Dwight Howard is gone, in which case the whole deck of cards falls anyway.