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What They're Saying Before The 2009 NBA Draft

  • Could Gortat's future with Magic play out the same as Darko's?
    Kyle Hightower compares Marcin Gortat's situation to Darko Milicic's (it pains me to type this name) situation with the Orlando Magic.

  • Top Sunshine State NBA draft prospects
    The Orlando Sentinel takes a look at the in-state prospects in the 2009 NBA Draft.

  • Predicting the NBA draft
    Hightower predicts how he thinks the draft will go down ...

    Which Orlando Magic player might be moved in the NBA draft?
    ... and ponders whether or not Orlando will make a move.

    You say the Orlando Magic could make some trades tonight, but who exactly might be in play?

    With the exception of Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson, just about everybody else is in play tonight in a bid to clear enough payroll space to re-sign Hedo Turkoglu.

    Turk is looking for at least $10 million a season and a long-term deal.

    Rafer Alston, Tony Battie, Anthony Johnson and J.J. Redick all have expiring contracts next season that could help free up the cash, with Battie making the most money out of the lot ($6.2 million).

    One wrinkle that could throw things into a tizzy, though, is that agent Lon Babby represents both Turk and Battie. So it might be hard for General Manager Otis Smith to sell trading or cutting one of Babby's guys while paying top dollar for the other.
  • Yesterday, Ben Q. Rock took a look at potential second round picks for the Magic and explained which players would best fit the team, if Orlando elected to acquire a pick in tonight's draft. I decided to supplement my co-writer's post with additional comments from John Hollinger of and Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus, found on their respective sites:
    Sergio Llull

    Hollinger: Llull more than doubled his translated PER from the year before (4.54). Of course, that can be taken in one of two ways: either he's rapidly improving, or he was playing over his head and will bound back to Earth. He shot 38 percent on 3s and probably is at least worth a second-round pick to see if he develops any further in Spain.

    Pelton: A likely second-round pick, Llull also looks like a potential steal. He’s got a diverse offensive game with the ability to really shoot it (95.5 percent from the free throw line; 33.6 percent on threes, albeit at an extraordinarily high volume) and very competent ballhandling skills. That draws comparisons to some elite players. The question mark with Llull, and what holds down his translated winning percentage, is the other end of the court. He’s a complete non-factor on the glass, gets few steals and fouls at an astronomical rate–a translated 5.1 per 40 minutes. (Actually, all of these guys foul a great deal, though Rubio in particular has more of an excuse because of all the good he’s doing defensively in the process of drawing those fouls.) Surely, someone will take the gamble that Llull can figure things out and live up to his offensive potential.

    To read up more on Pargo, Price, and others, make sure to navigate to a few posts, which you can click here, here, and here (link coming soon).