Insider: The Orlando Magic & The Draft: Point Guards
The Orlando Magic hold both the 19th and 49th overall pick in upcoming NBA draft. There has been a lot of speculation as to what the Magic will do.
Do they need another big to supplement or even replace Dwight Howard? Should they look at a scoring wing? Or do they need to add a point guard? Although there are many questions surrounding Orlando’s roster, most notably Howard’s future, Ryan Anderson’s free agency and Jameer Nelson’s option, the Magic need an upgrade in just about every area.
We’ve already taken a look at some of the free agent point guards that could be available, so today, we’ll take a look at a few point guards the Magic could select at 19.
Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
Marshall became North Carolina’s starting point guard in the middle of the 2010-11 season and it immediately paid off for the Tar Heels. Marshall finished the season averaging 6.2 points and 6.2 assists per game, but shot just 41.8% from the field. Marshall returned last season with higher expectations and he did not disappoint. Marshall raised his scoring average to 8.1 points per game while shooting a much improved 46.7 from the floor, despite playing with three potential lottery picks in Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller. Marshall also dished out 9.8 assists per game and had an assist percentage of 44.6%, extremely high numbers in the college game. In fact, Steve Kyler of Hoops World has called Marshall the “best playmaker in the draft” and believe he will be selected anywhere from 12 to 20.
One of the biggest criticisms of Marshall’s game is his shot, as you can tell by his field goal percentage, he improved last season. He upped his effective field goal percentage from 47.5% to 52.8% and his true shooting percentage from 52.0% to 55.8%. However, his three-point shooting took a bit of hit, falling from 38.5% to 35.4%.
Marshall has struggled from the free throw line, shooting just 69.6% last season.
Marshall possesses great size for a point guard, coming in at 6’4.
Draft Express mentions Marshall had the second-best pure point guard rating of all-time and had a 3.51-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Clearly, Marshall’s court vision and playmaking are his biggest assets.
Marshall does get a little too flashy at times and is prone to mistakes – he still managed to average 2.8 turnovers per game last season.
Marshall injured his wrist during the NCAA tournament but says it “is close to 100%.” When Marshall was injured, he was enjoying an 18-point, 11-assist performance against Creighton in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Magic fans, coaches and brass alike (whoever that may be) would love to get their hands on Marshall, but chances are he’ll be gone before the Magic are on the clock.
Marquis Teague, Kentucky
Teague, who is leaving Kentucky after just one season, is a very intriguing prospect, because we really don’t know a lot about him.
Despite being the starting point guard on the team that won the national championship, Teague was overshadowed by the likes of #1 overall pick Anthony Davis and another potential lottery pick in Terrence Jones.
Teague averaged 9.4 points, 4.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game last season. Clearly, those numbers aren’t jaw-dropping and in fact, may be considered disappointing for a guy who could be a top-20 pick.
However, Teague showed flashes of what he may be able to do later on because of his speed and quickness. He also has good size (6’2, 190 lbs) for an NBA point guard.
Teague certainly needs work on offense. He didn’t shoot the ball very well – just 41.2% from the field, 32.5% from beyond the arc and 71.4% from the charity stripe. Keep in mind Teague’s shots were limited. In fact, he only took 80 three-pointers all season. Teague posted an effective field goal percentage of only 44.8% and a true shooting percentage of 49.0%.
He has shown the potential to be a good shooter, but clearly needs work.
His size and speed could make him a more-than-adequate NBA defender.
Teague is considered to have great ball handling skills, but his decision making can be baffling at times. He averaged 2.7 turnovers per game with a turnover rate of 23.8%. Unlike Marshall, Teague’s court vision has been questioned. Draft Express does, however, rave about Teague’s passing on the break.
Teague really increased his play when it mattered most – in the NCAA tournament. In those six games, he averaged 13.3 points, 4.8 assists and shot 45.9% from the field, including a 24-point, 7-assist performance in the second round against Iowa State.
Teague was considered a five-star prospect by every recruiting outlet and is the younger brother of current Atlanta Hawks point guard Jeff Teague.
Teague will likely be available when the Magic are set to pick.
Tony Wroten, Washington
Wroten decided to declare for the NBA after just one season at Washington.
Wroten averaged 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game and was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
Wroten is considered a combo guard. He has great size for a point guard at 6’5, but many wonder if he lacks the vision and ball handling skills to be a full time point guard (He averaged 3.8 turnovers per game). He’s certainly big enough to play the two as well, but his shot leaves much to be desired.
Wroten shot 44.3% from the field this year, but was a dismal 16.1% from beyond the arc, posted an effective field goal percentage of 45.3% and a true shooting percentage of just 48.0%. He also needs a lot of work from the free throw line – he shot just 58.3%.
If Wroten can improve his shot, he could become an excellent player. Joe Treutlein of Draft Express believes one of Wroten’s biggest assets is his ability to create his own shot and says “is something that would likely translate over fairly quickly despite his young age.”
Wroten still managed to score nearly 17 points per game as a freshman, mainly due to his ability to get to the basket, something the Magic have clearly been missing.
Wroten is also a very good rebounder for his size, especially on the offensive end where he posted an offensive rebounding rate of 8.0%.
Wroten’s Washington teammate, Terrence Ross, is also expected to be a first round pick.
Wroten will almost certainly be available at 19. He was projected as a mid-to-late first round pick by most pundits, but his stock is falling and many have dropped him into the second round.
Weber State guard Damian Lillard is projected by many to be the top point guard in the class and almost certainly won’t be available at 19. The 6’3 Lillard averaged 24.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game last season.
Tyshawn Taylor of Kansas is viewed as a late first round/early second round pick while players like J’Covan Brown (Texas), Tomas Satoransky (Sevilla(International)), Scott Machado (Iona) and Tu Holloway (Xavier) could be available at 49.
The Magic are yet to work out any of these players.
The NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 28.
(Andrew Melnick is the ESPNFlorida.com Magic and NBA Insider, co-host of the ESPN 1080 Insiders Show and publisher of Howard the Dunk. The Insiders Show can be heard Sunday mornings at 10:00 am EST on AM 1080 in Orlando and on ESPNFlorida.com. You can follow Andrew on twitter here.)