DraftExpress says the Magic think highly of shooting guard Courtney Lee, who might be available when they pick 22nd overall. How highly is highly? Jonathan Givony explains his "Word on the Street" feature:
The reports on Courtney Lee indicated that he looked "good enough to play in the NBA right now," as he was "explosive, very polished, made good decisions, excellent defensively, jumped right over guys, and was terrific from mid-range." Lee has reportedly been working out well almost everywhere he's gone recently, and looks to be making a strong push to be drafted at 22 by the Orlando Magic, who had him in last week for a workout, and sent GM Otis Smith to Golden State to see him again.
Meanwhile, the player I originally preferred, Chris Douglas-Roberts, hasn't done himself any favors with his workouts. Here's Givony again:
Chris Douglas-Roberts was reportedly "just OK" in the workout, which is similar feedback to what we've heard consistently over the past few weeks from different cities he's been to. As we've discussed in the past, he's not proven to be a great workout player, which might be pushing his terrific season with Memphis a little further out of teams' minds.
The summer strategy I advocate for the Magic involves them drafting a two-guard; splitting the mid-level exception to re-sign Keyon Dooling and a new veteran center; and using the low-level exception to sign a third point guard. But with the news that Dooling is going to follow the money, that strategy might change. The Magic could instead draft a point guard; split the mid-level between Maurice Evans and a backup center; and use the low-level exception on another point guard. But in a draft that features only one "true" point guard (Derrick Rose, whom the Bulls will likely select first overall), the Magic might be out of luck at 22...
... or maybe not. Steve Weinman of CelticsBlog is really high on Kansas point guard Mario Chalmers:
As someone with Mizzou connections, I'm generally not a big believer in the 'Rock, Chalk Jayhawk' crowd.
As someone who has always held pro basketball well ahead of collegiate affiliations, here's hoping I can still recognize a decent player when I see one. Mario Chalmers can play. He defends very well, handles the ball confidently and can get his points when necessary, too. Smart basketball player from a winning program. Not a character problem.
Drafting Chalmers might be a bit of a gamble for Smith, especially since he invested nearly $40 million over five years to Jameer Nelson, his current starting point-man, but he might not have any other choice if he believes Dooling will get better offers from other teams.
Ridiculous Upside, which covers the draft, D-League, and general prospect news for SB Nation, is hosting a mock draft with picks made by blogs representing each NBA team. I'll make the Magic's pick this Thursday at or around 4:30 PM Eastern. If you want to throw anyone's name into consideration, leave a comment or FanPost.
And in non draft-related news, Dwight Howard had the league's 12th-highest selling jersey, according to this press release from the NBA itself. Howard placed behind Dirk Nowitzki and ahead of Tracy McGrady. Thanks to NetsDaily for the link.
I promise I'll have that Hedo Turkoglu review post up sometime this week.