The draft is nearly upon us. I have some draft links for you, but first, I'd like to post this link to a 12-day-old (oops!) Florida Today article updating Magic fans as to the team's plans to unveil a new uniform and a new logo next season. We knew about the uniforms changing, but the logo? Crap. I love the current logo... and the current uniforms, for that matter. But sod what I think. Here are my favorite bits from the John Denton-penned report:
We're not ready to say it's absolutely 100 percent yet, but it looks like it's going to happen for next season," Magic Chief Operating Officer Alex Martins said. "Everything is on track as of right now."
The Magic are revealing little about the new look of the uniforms or the team's primary logo, but Martins did hint that the team could reach back to a blast from the past for the new-look uniforms.
Orlando point guard Jameer Nelson said during the season that he would like to see Orlando return to the pinstriped uniforms that they wore from 1989 through 1997. Fellow Magic captain Dwight Howard said he was in favor of a black jersey because of the menacing look it might provide.
Considering how much clout Dwight Howard has with this organization, and considering the fact that the Magic's hideous draft cap this year is black, I'd say it's a strong possibility that next year's away uniforms will be black. If they remain blue, the soonest we could see the Magic back in black (sorry, couldn't help myself) would be the 2010/2011 season, as NBA teams must wait two years after introducing a new uniform design before debuting an alternate uniform in that design.
And now, your regularly scheduled bulleted list:
- Jonathan Givony thinks it's essentially a given that the Orlando Magic will select Western Kentucky two-guard Courtney Lee. Why?:
Speaking of Courtney Lee, basically every team representative we've spoken with has him going 22nd in their personal mock draft, heading to Orlando.
Lee, an efficient shooter, tops my draft board for Orlando as well.
- ESPN's John Hollinger, though, doesn't think Lee will turn into such a great pro, rating him a "fringe second-rounder" in an Insider report yesterday. Hollinger used regression analysis to predict a player's third-year PER, and found Lee's to be 11.17. Sounds bad, but he notes the following:
The interesting part for wings is that players rated between 11 and 12.5 have been much more successful than those at other positions -- 15 of the 38 such players in the past six drafts eventually cracked a pro rotation, and a couple (Kevin Martin and Mo Williams) became really good.
I have a headache.
- Chad Ford's latest mock draft at ESPN has the Magic passing on Lee to instead select Florida forward/center Marreese Speights. Lots of draft sites have updated lately. Check out 3QC's Magic Mock Draft Watch to see, in a convenient at-a-glance format, which player the best NBA sites have the Magic selecting.
- Paul Forrester of Sports Illustrated takes an in-depth look at each NBA team's key free agents and offseason needs heading into Thursday's draft and July's free-agency period. An excerpt:
I agree with most everything Forrester wrote, except the team's need for an every-game point guard. I believe that the Magic have, in Jameer Nelson, a guy who can produce 13 points and 6 assists every game. But, judging by how many 3QC readers gave Jameer an "F" for his performance last season in a recent poll, I might be in the minority in trusting him.
Outlook: Last year's spending spree on Rashard Lewis was the easy part. Now GM Otis Smith has to round out his club with the mid-level exception and sweetheart veteran deals. The No. 22 pick also could offer some help, but maybe not yield the every-game point guard this club needs to truly take off.
- I (obviously) have no league sources, but Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News does, and they tell him the Magic scouted Rider forward Jason Thompson "very heavily." Interestingly, Kawakami has learned that Thompson "is a terrific guy" and a "good team player." Given the Magic's preference for acquiring squeaky-clean players -- or, perhaps more accurately, their preference for avoiding dirty ones -- that bit of information leads me to speculate the Magic won't let Thompson, whom DraftExpress likens to Brian Cook, slip past them at 22.
- Believing in Magic has a shortlist of players it thinks the Magic will consider.