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 final pick of the five.
C.J. McCollum posted 30 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in Leligh’s upset of Duke during last years tournament.
He’s essentially this years Damian Lillard. He will more than likely shoot up draft boards once teams see his skill set first hand in workouts, because this kid can flat out play. Not to mention he’s also a beneficiary of the fact this years draft appears relatively weak at point guard.
While there’s no mistaking that McCollum is talented, his contributions to the Magic would far surpass his on-court production as he’s an exceptional leader and exudes poise on or off the floor.
Following the tournament McCollum wrote an article to Sports News explaining why he would return to Leligh for his senior year. The article illustrated his character and exemplified exactly why he’s worth drafting with every paragraph.
A lot can be said about McCollum; he’s humble, hardworking and focused.
But truth is, his game can do the talking.