I’m not going to do a mock draft or even give many opinions on the projected first round picks as it’s a little busy here today. ( I will predict that Jason Smith is playing in Europe in less than 4 years, for what its worth). I’ll get to that some time this weekend once the draft day maneuvering is over, as much of a draftee’s early success can be attributed to the team which selects them. What I am going to do is list a few of the players whom I’d like to see the Magic select in Round 2. There will be some solid players still available in Round 2 for the organization that does their homework (read: Not Orlando) so lets get right to my second round sleepers.
Nick Fazekas: I wouldn’t go within two miles of this guy in the first, or even early second, but he represents some value in the mid-second with his shooting and passing ability. He’s a defensive liability for sure, but Dwight Howard should be able to cover up for that a little.
Ramon Sessions: I wish this guy had tested positive for meth at the pre-draft camp in Orlando because I don’t think there’s a chance that he lasts until the Magic’s pick at 44. (Why did they give up their highest 2nd rounder to the Heat again? Couldn’t they have traded #54 for Stan Van Skunky?). However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think he’d be great for the Magic. He’s a big (6’3) point who plays unselfishly and provides solid defense. He’s a couple years away from starting (needs to tighten up his jumper) but the Magic are a couple years away from contending.
Marcus Williams: I’m not completely in love with this guys game as he seems a little lax on D and somewhat petulant at times but he can really score. He’s the epitome of a natural scorer. He's a good, not great shooter who finds a way to get the ball in the bucket from all angles. With Hedo Turkoglu possibly heading out of town (please God), Williams would be a nice addition off the bench at the 2/3 and provide the Magic with many of the attributes that are lacking in Trevor Ariza’s game at the moment.
Ali Traore: I’ve seen a couple mocks that have the Magic taking him at 44, which would be great. He’s big (6’9), strong and very proficient offensively in the post. He even (reportedly) has a solid stroke out to 15 feet. In my (extremely optimistic) mind’s eye I’ve imagined him as a European Chris Gatling. You know the type: Good scorer with an array of post moves and solid athleticism. Not quite good enough to start on a contender but a terror as a second unit scorer. Am I going overboard here? Yeah, probably. Oh yeah, one more thing that reminds me of Gatling: Traore is apparently not a very enthusiastic rebounder. That’s okay, Dwight will get all the rebounds. All the rebounds.
Renaldas Seibutis: Admittedly, I know very little about this kid. Here’s what I know: He’s Lithuanian, athletic, has good size (6’5) and is a little more aggressive going to the hoop than the average Euro guard. He’s also got a ton of offensive skill and just needs to fill out a bit (185 lbs.) and gain a little more experience against high level competition. This is exactly the kind of guy that smart organizations draft in the mid second round (after they’ve fallen a bit) and stash in Europe for a few years while they continue to develop. Which, of course, is exactly why the Magic have probably never even heard of this kid.
Some others I like in Round 2 (that I think might actually be around when the Magic are selecting): Reyshawn Terry, Joao Gomes, Alando Tucker, DJ Strawberry, Demetris Nichols & Jared Jordan.
I’ll be back tonight with some thoughts in the comments section. Feel free to stop by and laugh at me. There’s a good chance I’ll be drunk (day off tomorrow!) and belligerent so it should be fun.