Phew. Take a deep breath. It's over. For the first hour of the 2013 NBA draft, my hands were shaking so fast I could barely type anything. But when the dust was settled at around midnight, the Orlando Magic were left with two new additions. So how do Victor Oladipo and Romero Osby get here and how do they fit in?
Victor Oladipo - 6-foot-4 - 213 lbs
Indiana Hoosiers - shooting guard
Magic fans are split on Rob Hennigan's selection of Oladipo. That stems mostly from the fact that former Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel was still on the board. When the Cleveland Cavaliers made the controversial decision to select former UNLV forward Anthony Bennett No. 1 overall, the consensus was that Orlando would take Noel at No. 2. But Hennigan and company shocked the Twitterverse and Orlando fans everywhere by taking the 6-foot-4 guard from Indiana.
Orlando's new regime seems dedicated to rebuild the roster around high-character, hard-working guys and no one in this draft seems to fit that mold more than Oladipo. He made a name for himself in college basketball as an athletic stud who hounded ballhandlers on the defensive end. His jump shot remains a question mark and he can be a shaky ballhandler at times but he attacks the offensive boards and moves extremely without the ball.
There were a couple of other routes the Magic could have taken: they could have selected Noel and flipped him; the New Orleans Pelicans took him sixth and then traded him and a draft pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for Jrue Holiday, an All-Star point guard. They could have selected Noel and kept him, allowing him a full recovery before actually playing him. But if Noel was able to slide past three other teams after Orlando, then there's probably health concerns that we don't exactly know about. But from the looks of things, Oladipo was Hennigan's guy from the start and he got that guy.
Almost every other move Hennigan has made, since taking over in Orlando, has been criticized initially only to be praised in retrospect. Time will tell if this move follows suit.
What will be interesting is to see how the trade affects Arron Afflalo's status. On the surface it looks like Afflalo, the incumbent starter at shooting guard, would immediately become expendable and in the long term that's probably true. But Oladipo's lack of a consistent long-range jumper would cramp Orlando's offensive spacing and might give the Magic more incentive to keep Afflalo around. On the other hand, it's tough to see the Magic keeping Afflalo and his contract while having the No. 2 overall pick come off the bench for any large portion of the 2013-14 season. My gut tells me Afflalo gets moved.
The issue with Orlando's pick doesn't lie in Oladipo's (few) basketball deficiencies. It lies with Noel's overall value as a player and as a trade asset. The selection of Noel scored the Pelicans an All-Star point guard. What's the Magic's weakest position moving forward? Point guard. That's what's going to sting with Magic fans moving forward. But hey: at least the Magic didn't waste a first rounder on Solomon Hill! (I'm looking at you, Indiana Pacers)
It's important to remember what the Magic are getting and not just dwell on what they missed out on. They are getting a hard-working guy who wants to go to war on a night-in, night-out basis. He's slithery with the ball on offense, finishes put-backs, cuts off the ball, and has worked tirelessly on improving his jump shot. Defensively he's going to guard both backcourt positions and thrive in the passing lanes. The prospect of Oladipo and Maurice Harkless as two lock-down wing defenders should at least excite some Magic fans.
Romero Osby - 6-foot-7 - 240 lbs
Oklahoma Sooners - forward
I can't imagine Osby expected to be drafted. Orlando's selection of the former Sooner forward comes as a bit of a surprise. He plays the position that Orlando has the most depth in: Tobias Harris, Glen Davis, Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O'Quinn will all be fighting for minutes at the four-spot and it's tough to see Osby playing well enough to earn him a roster spot. Deshaun Thomas, Joffrey Lauvergne, Arsalan Kazemi, CJ Leslie and Jackie Carmichael are all forwards who were available at No. 51 whom I had rated higher than Osby.
Not only did I have him rated below those forwards, but I thought there were a couple of point guards, specifically Myck Kabongo and Phil Pressey, whom the Magic could have taken a chance on. Jameer Nelson is the only real point guard on the roster, with Beno Udrih hitting free agency. Selecting either would have made sense.
But Hennigan has widely made it known that he values intangibles over talent when talent isn't at a vast difference. That's probably why the Magic selected Osby. He's widely heralded as an extremely hard worker, a high-character guy who commits himself to the team and is a natural vocal leader. In Hennigan's first two drafts, that seems to be what he loves in players.
Osby is a face-up forward who thrives in the mid-range and was able to bully his way down low with his size and lower-body strength. His range expands to the 3-point line though his 52.9 percent shooting from downtown is a bit of a mystery because of the small sample size. He only shot 17 three-pointers on the season so don't expect him to come in and knock down jumpers from long range.
It's unlikely any pick that late in the draft would pan out and a No. 51 overall pick can never be considered a bust, so it shouldn't be a big deal that Hennigan selected Osby. It just came as a bit of a surprise to me.
I can't believe the Draft is over. It was one of the wildest couple of hours of basketball I've ever witnessed that didn't actually involve a court, a ball and a hoop. On to the Summer League we go.