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NBA Draft 2014 grades: Magic receive mostly mixed results for Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton

Orlando surprised most with its selection of Gordon and Payton. Let's look at draft grades.

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Aaron Gordon
Aaron Gordon
Mike Stobe

The Orlando Magic grabbed Aaron Gordon with the fourth overall pick then traded up for rangy point guard Elfrid Payton at No. 10. Late in the second round, they added Roy Devyn Marble, a versatile and steady wing.

It's important to gather outside opinions to help form your own, so let's at a few different grades.

ESPN Insider's Chad Ford (A-):

If Gordon ever develops a jump shot he could be a superstar. Ditto for Payton. They do just about everything else well (though they both could get stronger). But where is the offense coming from? With Arron Afflalo gone and Jameer Nelson likely to be bought out they're left with Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic. But the Magic don't have to have everything figured out now. They are being patient.

Ford notes that it's becoming more clear what type of prospects Rob Hennigan covets, "super-athletic, defensive minded players." Ford says that adding Gordon and Payton with last year's pick, Victor Oladipo, gives Orlando three versatile defenders and that he "love(s) the potential of both players."

USA Today's Adi Joseph (C-):

In picking Gordon, the Magic passed over several higher-upside players including presumed No. 4 pick Dante Exum. And Payton cost them a future first-rounder and a future second-rounder, as they had to move up two spots in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers to land him. It's tough not to think the Sixers took advantage of the situation here, and it's tough not to consider that the Magic could have drafted Exum and kept No. 10 pick Dario Saric and potentially been better off.

It's important to note that while it may seem like Orlando "passed over several higher-upside players," Hennigan said that he had seen enough of Dante Exum to select him. And he didn't. If Hennigan had seen enough of Exum and chose not to grab him, then it's hard to quantify that Exum is the one with the "higher upside."

Joseph writes that Gordon and Payton give an already athletic team more athleticism, but questions, "who other than Tobias Harris is going to score?"

SB Nation's Tyler Lashbrook, uhh me. We run our grades a little different than other places. We grade each individual pick in the first round based on three categories: Upside, fit and immediate impact. Each category gets a grade. So, this is what I wrote..


Upside: A

Fit: B-

Immediate impact: B+

Orlando made the first surprising move of the draft, nabbing Gordon with the fourth pick. Gordon is a high character guy with elite athleticism, but plays the same position as many of Orlando’s prospects. The upside is there and Gordon will still play immediately on Orlando’s young roster, but he has to learn how to shoot the ball.


Upside: B

Fit: B+

Immediate impact: B+

The Magic came into the draft needing a point guard and found him in Payton, a long, rangy lead guard from Louisiana-Lafayette. With him and Victor Oladipo, Orlando now has its backcourt of the future, though there are questions about how the two will work offensively. Payton is a bad shooter right now and Oladipo will have to prove that he can spread the floor as an off guard.

Neither guy can shoot a lick and that has to change, but they are both young and have very promising physical tools. Whether those tools blossom into skill is another story.


But now we want to hear from you. You've had some time to react and now you've had some time to reflect. Use the poll below to grade the Orlando Magic draft.