Tuck: Magic Should Keep Draft Options Open
The question everyone is debating today is who is the best: Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, or Jabari Parker?
All three stars, and many other potential lottery picks, were on display last night not just for college basketball fans, but for NBA fans and scouts.
LeBron James was apparently watching as well and tweeted, “GM’s wish the draft was tomorrow”
The answer for the Orlando Magic isn’t apparent by looking at their current roster. There are so many moving parts for them.
1. Free agency. Sure it’s after the draft, but who they target might depend on who they keep or trade off the current team and might also depend on who they want to draft. If say they want to bring in Chris Bosh, then drafting a Julius Randle doesn’t make as much sense, does it? I am also not convinced that the Magic will spend heavy in free agency. They may choose to dable, adding a couple guys on cheaper/shorter deals and wait until the 2015 free agency class to spend.
2. Trades. This could include adding young talent this year, or moving young talent for future picks or for more established players. This doesn’t just mean the Aaron Afflalo’s and Jameer Nelson’s. It means Tobias Harris or Maurice Harkless or Andrew Nicholson or Nik Vucevic. They could look to move one of those guys to open up a spot for a potential draft pick and/or to add a star to compliment one of those draft choices.
3. Development of current young players. It may take the season to get a better understanding of what you have and what it can be. Can Victor Oladipo really be a point guard? Can Harkless be a scoring wing, or is he just a defensive-minded mid-level guy? Do you have a power forward on the team, or more importantly do you have a power forward that fits the mold of a lineup you want to have?
I believe the obvious answer for GM Rob Hennigan is to take the best player when your pick comes up. So back to the original question: Who is the best? My answer is I don’t know yet. Much like the Magic roster, I’d like to see the season play out before deciding. Based on last night, Parker looks most ready to contribute right now physically and fundamentally. Wiggins looks like he has top level athleticism, but holes in his game still. Randle is a bully on the block with some established post moves already at his disposal. Any of them are options for Orlando. And so are some others we haven’t seen yet like Australian PG Dante Exum, Oklahoma State PG Marcus Smart, and Arizona F Aaron Gordon among others. A year of watching should help clear up both present and future status for all these guys.
Just don’t going deciding yet who fits and who doesn’t if you’re a Magic fan.