2013 NBA Draft: C.J.Leslie Might Be Excellent Second Pick for Orlando Magic

By John Raffel
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It might sound ridiculous to say the 51st pick that the Orlando Magic will make in the NBA Draft late this month will be just as important as their No. 2 overall selection.

The Magic realize when they pick No. 2, after the Cleveland Cavaliers make their selection, they probably have an idea of a player or two they are zeroing in on for that selection When it comes to 51, its wide open although they’re hoping a quality player is still on the board. Chances are he will be.

The Magic have declared a youth movement and that process won’t be complete with just the No. 2 pick. No. 51 will also be important.

C.J. Leslie might be a player still available after 50 picks although it wasn’t too long ago that NBA scouts considered him a first-rounder. Now that he’s a second rounder, it’s considered he’ll go no later than 40th But there’s no guarantee due to some concerns observers have on whether or not he’s ready.

The Magic could use a productive power forward and the 6-foot-9, 209-pound junior from North Carolina State could fit into their lineup rather nicely. In fact, they should be serious enough to watch more film on him and realize he can be productive in that spot right away on the NBA level.

Leslie had a decent season by averaging 32.4 minutes, 15.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He shot 51.9 percent from the floor, 33.3 percent in 3-pointer and 61.2 from the free-throw-line. His shooting from the floor is fine, but his free-throw shooting needs to improve.

The scouting report on Leslie is that he’s a good athlete, plays way above the rim, jumps very well, can run the floor like a guard, has good quickness, is a excellent at ball handling and shot blocking and has a strong perimeter game.

Is he physical enough to play in the NBA? That’s what the Magic have to determine. But with their 51st pick, they’d be smart to take Leslie, if he’s still on the board.


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