Courtney Lee is the newest member of the Orlando Magic. Some thoughts/links:
- The Orlando Sentinel has a solid recap of the Magic's draft, including video of Otis Smith and Stan Van Gundy discussing the team's pick, here. For me, the highlight was Smith telling reporters he did not make a promise to Lee; he wanted him to "sweat it out." That's funny.
- The Magic have called a 3 PM press conference to introduce Lee to the media.
- Brian Schmitz wonders what Lee's presence does to affect J.J. Redick's status with the team. Smith told Schmitz that "it doesn't do anything to [Redick]." Uh, how doesn't it? Redick's a two-guard who hoped to move from third (fourth if you count Keyon Dooling as a two) on the depth chart to first. Keith Bogans plans to stay, the Magic drafted Courtney Lee, and their biggest free-agent priority is re-signing Dooling for the portion of the mid-level. And if Dooling bolts, the Magic will turn their attention to retaining Maurice Evans, their starting two from last season. So, yeah, I'd say Lee's selection impacts Redick in a big way in that it keeps him at the end of the bench.
- The Magic weren't able to acquire a second-round pick, although I got antsy when Portland selected power forward Joey Dorsey 33rd overall. The live feed from the Magic's draft room showed Assistant GM Dave Twardzik, who had spent the last several minutes sitting idly, like everyone else in the room, buzzing about and appearing to take a fax. But, obviously, nothing materialized. If you want me to post some screen grabs, I can.
- And, for what it's worth, Otis didn't move from his chair during the several minutes I spent watching the feed during the second round.
All in all -- and this subject is one Believing in Magic touched on immediately after the draft -- the Magic went with the safe pick. But was it the right one?
The Magic could not have screwed this pick up, it seemed. Their biggest needs are, in order: shooting guard, power forward, point guard, and center. They had four great players left on the board, and each one would have fit a need: Lee, the shooting guard; Darrell Arthur, the power forward and likely a better overall player than Lee; Mario Chalmers, the point guard; and Kosta Koufos, the center. Nobody in the Ridiculous Upside liveblog could believe Arthur slipped as far as he did, although ESPN later reported that his stock fell due to a kidney condition. Had the Magic taken him anyway, it would have been the steal of the night. Yet they didn't.
But snubbing Chalmers might bite them in the behind more than snubbing Arthur will. Chalmers fell all the way to Minnesota and the 34th overall pick; the Timberwolves shipped his rights to the Miami Heat, who need a point guard in a bad way. The addition of Chalmers, a first-round talent and possible opening-day starter, to a lineup that already features Dwyane Wade and Michael Beasley might put the Heat in contention for one of the bottom-tier playoff spots in the East, if not better. And considering that Miami's the closest thing the Magic have to a rival -- sorry, the Pistons don't count -- the thought of them succeeding with a point guard the Magic could have had hurts. Then again, I've overrated the Heat before. When they acquired Mark Blount and Ricky Davis last fall, I wrote, "if this deal goes down, the Southeast Division will be much tougher to win, and there's no guarantee we'll even make the playoffs."
The Heat went on to win less than one-third of the games the Magic did, finishing with the worst record in the league. Good call I made there, huh?
It's been a blast covering the draft. Next up: summer league and free agency. Trades? Those, too.
Fun's just beginning.
UPDATE: Here are a few evening/weekend links from the team's website. Enjoy.