The Magic's official draft party, featuring the Magic Dancers and notable play-by-play guys, takes place tonight at NBA City, which you can reach by phoning 407.NBA.CITY (407.622.2489). If you'd rather stay home, you can still catch a live feed of the Magic's "war room" via the team's website.
- Here are my three favorite questions and answers from Brian Schmitz's live chat yesterday. They're juicy:
Chris: Are the Magic trying to trade for a second-round pick?
Brian Schmitz: Otis said they are exploring trying to pick up a seocnd-rounder, a high one.
Gene: What are the chances Otis packages Hedo and JJ to bring in an elite shooting guard (like Rip Hamilton maybe)?
Brian Schmitz: Otis said they are not trading their core players, which includes Hedo specficially "unless a deal knocks our socks off."
Chris: Brian, Can you just give us a run down on what Otis said in the Press Conf. if anything? Do you Tim, or Denton have any kind of feel as to where the Magic are going with their 1st pick and also what's the chances of OTis aquiring a 2nd rounder???
Brian Schmitz: Otis basically did the song and dance today, very vague. Said they will proably keep the No. 22 pick. Could add a second-round pick. He likes [Courtney] Lee, [Marreese] Speights, [Jason]Thompson, [JaVale] McGee, [Darrell] Arthur, [J.J.] Hickson and R[obin] Lopez. Does not care for [Roy] Hibbert and says CDR [Chris Douglas-Roberts] is falling.
Good for Otis not wanting to trade Hedo, although that's a subject I'll cover in-depth sometime after all the draft stuff calms down. Also nice to know that Roy Hibbert is not on the Magic's board. Dude's a stiff.
- Marc D'Amico posted this interesting piece about Otis Smith's draft philosophy on the Magic's official website. First, examine this quote from the article:
Smith made clear that the team isn't necessarily drafting by position. The Magic seem adamant on the fact that they will address their pick first by talent and then by position.
That's nice, but a few paragraphs later, Smith gives us this gem:
"For me to sit down face-to-face is huge," Smith said. "I put a lot of value on the sit-down time, probably more than I do on putting them in the gym and watch them hoist up jumpers."
I don't get it. First, the Magic say they'll take the best (ie most talented) player on the board, but then Smith says, in a roundabout way, that he values character just as much as he values talent. Which is it, Otis?
- The Sentinel has this illuminating feature on Magic Assistant GM Dave Twardzik, who spent this past Thanksgiving Day eating reindeer sausage in Anchorage, Alaska. A quote from Twardzik, the Magic's chief talent evaluator:
Twardzik has seen some amazing athletes, but high on his scouting checklist is "basketball IQ. We look for guys who have a great feel for the game and make right decisions," he said. "We don't put a lot of emphasis on statistics. It's more what we see on the floor."
I could have told you the Magic don't put a lot of emphasis on statistics. They selected power forward James Augustine in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft despite the fact that Paul Millsap, another power forward who happens to be a rebounding machine, was still on the board.
- Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via NetsDaily) the New Jersey Nets are sold on forward/center Joey Dorsey and will use the 40th pick on him if he's still available. Dorsey's the sort of rebounding/shot-blocking beast who'd be the perfect frontcourt complement to Dwight Howard. If the Magic want him, as they should, they'll need to trade for a pick better than 40th. Portland has two picks and Seattle has one, which is interesting because Tim Povtak reported just last month the Magic discussed trading with either of those teams for a second-round pick. Let the rumor-mongering commence.
Look for an open thread in which to discuss the day's events at 10:30. We'll play it by ear from there.