So, now that you've had at least one full day to think about the Magic's draft, how would you evaluate it? Did they do well? Could they have done better? Let's take a look.
They Did Well
- They got the guy at the top of their draft board without having to trade up.
- They got a guy who can contribute immediately; in other words, someone who's on-track with the team's championship aspirations.
- They got a guy who gives them depth at one of their weakest positions.
They Did Not-So-Well
- They drafted a two-guard, which leaves them with only Tony Battie, Marcin Gortat, and Adonal Foyle (if he re-signs, which seems doubtful at this juncture) to back up Dwight Howard at center.
- It also leaves them with no true power forward on their roster.
- They couldn't maneuver into the second round; John Denton explains that teams asked for far too much cash than the Magic wanted to offer, which raises the question: why couldn't they have traded into the second round?
Let's take a look around the basketblogosphere and see what it has to say:
- Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie did not like the Magic's decision to select Lee. In his team-by-team rundown of draft picks, Dwyer gave the Magic a 3 out of 10, the second-lowest score for any team he rated (Dallas got a 0, and several teams didn't make moves and were thus not evaluated). Why is Dwyer down on Orlando's decision?
The guy is going to be 23 on opening night, and couldn't even put together huge numbers for a so-so Western Kentucky team. I am not a fan. If you disagree, bookmark this and talk to me in three years.
- For his part, ESPN's Chad Ford wasn't impressed with the Magic's pick either, rating their draft as a B-. Ford mentions the Magic would have been better served drafting Darrell Arthur, then writes, "I'm not down on Lee, but he's not a guy who can put them over the top." Hardly anyone gets an over-the-top kind of player at 22, so I think Ford might have overreacted a bit with this grade.
- Marty Burns of Sports Illustrated goes a bit lighter on the Magic, rating their draft a B. His justification? Lee was the best available two-guard left when they picked. I'm sure Magic fans in the Chris Douglas-Roberts camp will have something to say about that, as Douglas-Roberts slipped (!) all the way to the Nets with the 40th (!!) overall pick.
- Sam Smith of the Sporting News likes the Magic's pick because he thinks it means the end of the J.J. Redick "era" -- his word, not mine. Smith gave the team a B.
- Mike DeCourcy, also of the Sporting News, didn't hand out grades, but did say that Lee is "a better athlete than any guard in this draft, save for Russell Westbrook." He calls Lee "a solid choice" at 22 for Orlando. And, like Smith, he thinks J.J.'s as good as gone. (Sporting News links via BrewHoop)
- UPDATE: Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress gives the Magic a B, which on his scale means they "did well in filling their needs, getting fair value from their pick and getting a prospect that fits their system in the direction the franchise is heading in," according to the scale at the beginning of the article.
Me? I was all set to give the Magic a B+, but their failure to get into the second round of the draft, and thus their lack of depth at power forward, made me grade them a B-. If they have to go through another season with Rashard Lewis at power forward (read: getting killed on their offensive boards) because they thought $200,000 was too much to pay for the right to draft a rebounder, none of us will be pleased. And if Arthur blooms into an All-Star, well, crap.
But what say you, 3QC readers? How'd the Magic do? Vote in the poll and add your thoughts in the comments.