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Orlando Magic News for June 18th: Praise for Otis Smith, Criticism of Jemele Hill

I don't want to take anything away from the Celtics' victory last night, but there are three items of note for Magic fans today:

  • DraftExpress finally reached the Southeast Division in its breakdown of team needs. After writing the Magic can't miss if they draft a shooting guard, but also have the flexibility to draft one of the many capable centers, author Matt Kamalsky has the following words of praise for Otis Smith, Orlando's GM:

    When it's all said and done, Otis Smith has the luxury of being able to take the top player on his draft board, a testament to how far this team has come from a few seasons ago, when it was riddled with holes.

    Perhaps the Magic were right to extend Smith's contract after all...?

  • Chad Ford's latest mock draft is up, and he has the Magic selecting Courtney Lee with the 22nd overall pick. His sources indicate that Smith prefers Lee's shooting to Chris Douglas-Roberts' slashing. We at 3QC prefer it, too.
    • Don't forget that you can use 3QC's Mock Draft Watch page to get an aggregate of which players various mock draft sites have the Orlando Magic selecting.
  • ESPN has suspended columnist Jemele Hill, who doesn't have many fans in Orlando after her brief tenure with the Sentinel, for insensitive remarks she made last Sunday; apparently, she said cheering for the Celtics to win the Finals was "like saying Hitler was a victim." Will Brinson of FanHouse has this nice take on the whole situation. Here are my two favorite paragraphs:

    ESPN and Hill apologized for the mistake today. That's nice, but I think the time has come to move Hill out of the "thoughtful" category reserved for capable columnists and slot her in the "desperate" category reserved for writers trying to shock people into noticing them.

    I say this because Hill seems to enjoy the attention that follows making outrageous statements. That's the only way conceivable that she could have argued that Pistons-Spurs would be a better matchup for the NBA.