Obviously replacing a player of Dwight Howard’s caliber is far from an enviable task. Fortunately, the Orlando Magic seem committed to the rebuilding process, which is ultimately the first step to moving forward with a franchise.
After all, the Oklahoma City Thunder did it in 2007 with Kevin Durant. However, the “Thunder model” is far from an easy design to emulate, as it demands so many crucial elements through the draft and the front office to be executed flawlessly(and with quite a bit of luck).
Over the course of the next week I will break down who I believe the be the top prospects for the Magic to pursue in the 2013 draft. And while some strongly believe they are a lock for a top-five pick, they will not be in the following article. As I strongly believe this team will put up a fight this season. Not so much for standings, but to prove to themselves that no one player defines a franchise.
That said, according to NBAdraft.net, the Magic are projected to have the 19th pick, where as an ideal and very possible situation would be the 1st. So to realistically temper expectations and still place the Magic within the lottery, we’ll place them right in the middle with the 9th overall selection.
So while it’s much harder to land a talent like Durant that late in the lottery, we all know the draft is anything but an exact science.
So who should the Magic select if they were to have the 9th overall selection? Here’s my second pick of the five.
Lorenzo Brown/NC State/6‘5-186lbs/PG
I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that Lorenzo Brown was going as low as the second round in some mock drafts, yet as high as 9th in others. The glaring disparity between any two mock drafts shows just how polarizing this young mans talent can be. A truth which could work in the Magic’s favor on draft night.
That said, don’t let any draft site form your opinion on Brown, because this kid is for real. He is as fluid as they come on the offensive end, capable of creating for himself and others at will. He’s a natural floor general, rarely seen forcing the issue and is keen on finding his teammates despite his ability to break down most defenders off the dribble.
He’s also a very underrated defender, averaging 1.8 steals per game last season. Which coupled with Arron Afflalo in the backcourt, could potentially prove to be a very disruptive defensive duo.
And while the Magic have Jameer Nelson for the time being, he’s not a long term solution for a team that’s finding itself. Drafting a young point guard like Brown sooner rather than later would give him time to develop a solid chemistry with the teams young core early on.
The best part is he’s potentially a prospect that could slip to the the Magic even if they wound up with the 19th pick.