Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
Orlando Pinstriped Post turns its attention to the 2012 NBA Draft with a look at mid-tier draft prospects who might be available when the Orlando Magic select 19th overall. Previously in the series: Meyers Leonard, Terrence Jones, Arnett Moultrie, Moe Harkless, Doron Lamb, Tony Wroten, Jeffery Taylor, Andrew Nicholson, Marquis Teague, Kendall Marshall, Perry Jones, Royce White, Fab Melo, and John Jenkins.
In his lone season with the Baylor Bears, small forward Quincy Miller established himself as a highly talented NBA prospect, particularly at the offensive end. Miller averaged 10.6 points on 44.7 percent shooting from the field, 34.8 percent from three-point range, and 81.6 percent from the foul line. His per-game averages also include 4.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists.
What's chiefly interesting about Miller is his size: at 6-foot-10 with a wingspan measuring 7-foot-1, Miller will enjoy a great advantage over most NBA defenders on the wing, presenting them with mismatch problems. On the downside, he's incredibly inconsistent: Miller turned in nine performances of five points or fewer, including one scoreless outing.
As Walter Beeken of DraftExpress writes, Miller got his shots in a variety of ways; he's not a one-dimensional scorer by any means. "Coach Scott Drew utilizes him in a variety of ways," writes Beeken, "and has him catching the ball in different areas of the floor off of screens, cuts, spotting up, posting up, or creating for himself in isolation sets or on the fast break." Moreover, "Miller has shown flashes of being effective" in each of these situations.
It's unclear if Miller's knack for putting the ball in the basket will translate to the NBA level, but at least one well-respected analyst believes he's primed for success. ESPN's John Hollinger rates Miller as the sixth-best prospect in the draft, ahead of likely high-lottery prospects like Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, and Jeremy Lamb. "The stories of him slipping have me baffled," writes Hollinger, "because he rates as a top-10 pick."
Why he fits for Orlando:
The Magic finished the 2011/12 season ranked 14th in offensive efficiency, so it's clear that Orlando needs a significant lift at that end. Further, the team's incumbent small forwards are highly specialized and don't have the same versatility Miller does: Hedo Turkoglu can run the pick-and-roll, but as his age advances, he's more effective as a spot-up shooter. The same can be said for Quentin Richardson, who took more than 60 percent of his field-goal attempts from beyond the three-point arc in 2011/12.
Why he's not a fit for Orlando:
An ACL injury leaves questions about Miller's ability to contribute right away. There's also uncertainty about Miller's frame: he weighs in at 219 pounds, despite his height, which scrawniness leads to concerns about his readiness to handle the more physical NBA game.