Thursday, we announced plans to launch a new feature here at Orlando Pinstriped Post: a Mailbag wherein Tyler and I will field your Orlando Magic questions on a semi-regular basis. You can submit your questions to OPPMailbag@gmail.com. We don't have a set schedule to run these, so we'll post them as the questions roll in. Put another way, we are always taking your questions. We want to hear from you.
Tyler will handle your Draft questions in a later installment.
Here's the first edition of the OPP Mailbag. Shouts to cw2.pieper for being the first to get a question in.
Was last season, post trade deadline, a large enough sample size to convince you that Tobias Harris is our power forward of the future? Who starts this year, [Glen Davis] or Harris?
Harris' performance after the trade was enough to me to prove that he's a productive NBA player. To put up 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds as a go-to guy, at age 20, is nothing to sneeze at.
There are very real questions about his defense, passing, and shot-selection, but overall, Harris impressed me in his 27 games in pinstripes.
The question of who starts is difficult to answer. Davis is inarguably the Magic's best defensive presence, and one shouldn't overlook his leadership role as well. I have a hard time imagining Jacque Vaughn benching him, especially with the emphasis Orlando has placed on leadership and character.
Starting Davis at power forward and Harris at small forward would, in turn, impact Maurice Harkless' development. He doesn't yet have the handles or reliable outside shooting touch to play major minutes at shooting guard, and yet he probably won't be able to develop those skills if he's coming off the bench behind Harris at small forward or Arron Afflalo at shooting guard.
I think I'd favor an approach that has Davis starting at power forward with Harkless at small forward. Harris can come off the bench and play big minutes--say 30 a night--in relief of either player. Long term, Harris and Harkless project as Orlando's forwards of the future, which would seem to make Davis expendable if the right trade came along.
Who can the Orlando Magic add to the trade to try and get Eric Bledsoe?
To recap, what the Magic and the Los Angeles Clippers have reportedly discussed is sending Afflalo to L.A. for Bledsoe and Caron Butler. That trade is cap-legal and seems to make sense for both teams; I think there's a real possibility that something like this trade could happen.
But if the Clippers want more from Orlando, I would propose adding Andrew Nicholson. He had a solid rookie season and looks like a great value pickup for Rob Hennigan with the 19th pick in the 2012 Draft, but Nicholson is already 23 and there are concerns, among some of the folks in and around the league I've talked to, about how his frame and his gait will affect his development at the NBA level.
Low-post scoring is a valuable skill, to be sure, and Nicholson excels there. And for a team that struggles to generate high-percentage shots, having a player who can occasionally draw two defenders to the ball is a real boon. But given Harris' emergence at power forward, the previously cited concerns about Nicholson's body, and the fact that he's already 23, I think it's not unreasonable for Orlando to consider selling high on him.
I don't think Afflalo and Nicholson is too much to give up for the cap savings the Magic would realize in this deal, to say nothing of Bledsoe's potential.
Which current Orlando Magic player has the best twitter account? My vote goes to Tobias Harris (@tobias31). I like his account because his personality really comes through and his personality isn’t Gilbert Arenas.
Harris gets my vote as well, mostly for this tweet:
You got to check your ex's page every now and then to make sure that they still losing— Tobias Harris (@tobias31) May 24, 2013
Harris' positivity and personaility comes through in all of his tweets, and he's fun to follow.
Is there any reason to think the roster as it is assembled now can't play for a playoff seed and win 40 games?
There are numerous reasons. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Magic--who, let's not forget, lost more games than any other team in the league--didn't really do anything well in 2012/13. Fourth-to-last in offense, fifth-to-last in defense, dead-last in forcing turnovers, second-to-last in getting to the foul line, second-to-last in three-point shooting... it's a bleak picture on both sides of the ball.
The Magic have myriad holes and aren't likely to address them all over the course of one summer. They may win more than 20 games in 2013/14, depending on health and what they do personnel-wise in the Draft and free agency, but they aren't going to come close to doubling their win total.
bcd jd asks:
Say there's a poker game between all of the head coaches in Magic history. Who ya got?
Poker is partially skill and partially luck; one can only play the cards that one is dealt, after all. So, without knowing the cards that each coach holds, the only thing I can judge this question on is their so-called poker faces.
That criterion immediately rules out Stan Van Gundy and Richie Adubato, who are both incredibly animated. Doc Rivers, the late Chuck Daly, Brian Hill, Johnny Davis, Matt Guokas, and Jacque Vaughn are all in contention. I'm inclined to give Vaughn the edge in that group, given how impossibly cool he is. I think he could bluff his way to a victory even with bad cards.
Rivers, though, is another interesting option.
Thanks for reading and for your submissions. We hope to have another Mailbag soon, but we can't do it without your questions. Send 'em to OPPMailbag@gmail.com.