Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-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, and Moe Harkless.
Though honored as a McDonald's All-American coming out of high school, Kentucky guard Doron Lamb found himself overshadowed a bit in his two seasons in Lexington due to the high caliber of his teammates. He enters the 2012 NBA Draft not as highly touted as his UK teammates, but nonetheless looks the part of a pro-level shooting guard with a bright future in the league.
Lamb averaged 13.7 points per game for the Wildcats as a sophomore--second on the team only to surefire top overall draft choice Anthony Davis--and did so in efficient fashion: the Brooklyn native shot 47.4 percent from the field and a blistering 46.6 percent from three-point range, on 4.1 deep tries per game. Kyle Nelson of DraftExpress describes Lamb's shooting motion as "flawless" both off the catch and off the dribble, and notes that his three-point shooting ranked the best among likely draft prospects. Though a reasonably high-volume scorer, Lamb doesn't make many mistakes, turning the ball over just 94 times in 2327 minutes across his two seasons with the Wildcats.
Lamb's weakness is his size: though he measures 6-foot-5 in shoes, he's undersized for the two-guard position, which lack of size could present matchup problems for him at the next level. Though he doesn't commit many turnovers, as mentioned above, he's also not much of a playmaker, so it's unlikely teams could get away with him running point, at which position he'd enjoy a size advantage over most opponents.
Though he indeed lacks size at his position, Nelson says Lamb is a skilled defender with good fundamentals whose facility at the defensive end "should allow him to see minutes relatively quickly whenever he chooses to play in the NBA."
Why he fits for Orlando:
The Magic finished the 2011/12 season ranked 15th in offensive efficiency, scoring 105 points per 100 possessions, and thus could certainly use a wing scorer with Lamb's gifts. Jonathan Givony echoes his DraftExpress colleague Nelson in asserting Lamb is not a one-dimensional offensive player, "which differentiates him from most of the Jon Diebler or Ashton Gibbs type perimeter marksmen." Having said that, Nelson points out that Lamb is best suited to be a complimentary player, not a go-to offensive weapon.
Why he's not a fit for Orlando:
Lamb makes a lot of sense for Orlando in theory, but he might be a reach with the 19th overall pick, but will almost assuredly be off the board when it selects again at no. 49. The Magic would need to trade down for Lamb, and in doing so they'd be unable to snag a prospect who might have a higher ceiling.