It’s pretty clear looking at how the Orlando Magic have assembled their roster that they are aiming to finish in the basement of the NBA next season so they can add another young piece from the high lottery in the 2014 NBA Draft. Not only does their young core show that, but so does the fact that they signed guys like Ronnie Price and Jason Maxiell.
However, adding another talented young prospect would make this Magic team pretty dangerous for the future. They already have a handful of incredibly promising young players in-house. Nikola Vucevic looks like a perennial double-double machine and Victor Oladipo has the potential to be an All-Star in this league. Tobias Harris might have the most upside of anyone, though.
Harris came to the Magic at the trade deadline as part of the package the Milwaukee Bucks sent in exchange for J.J. Redick. In fact, the Bucks seemed pretty willing to depart with Harris in the deal. Watching him play over the last part of the season with Orlando, though, it’s hard to understand how the Bucks didn’t see the talent in this guy.
In 27 games for the Magic, Harris emerged as a starter and a phenomenal playmaker and overall contributor for Orlando. In 36.1 minutes per game, Harris averaged 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.4 blocks and 0.9 steals per game while shooting a solid 45.3 percent from the field. Granted, that’s a small sample-size, but those are impressive numbers, especially for a kid that just turned 21 years old five days ago.
Harris is an incredibly versatile player in that he can play both forward positions. He has the ability to not only finish at the rim with his length and quickness, but can also consistently knock down mid-range jumpers, a huge asset to have on a team. More than that, he has an incredible motor and has solid defensive instincts, though he still needs some polishing on that end of the floor.
Given how young Harris is and how this is the first time he’s really getting the opportunity to play large chunks of minutes, this could just be scratching the surface of what he’s capable. With his build, versatility and skill-set, don’t be surprised if Harris is the breakout star of the 2013-2014 NBA season.