29 June 2007

More Boring Than The Finals: An Orlando Magic Draft Recap

I don't think Magic fans expected much out of last night's draft. Hell, all I wanted was

  • The Magic to draft a backup power forward, such as Marc Gasol or Herbert Hill, to eventually take over for Tony Battie.
  • The whole event not to bore me as much as the Finals did.
I was let down on both counts.

Before the draft even began, the Magic sold one of their picks to the Houston Rockets, leaving Orlando with only the 44th overall selection. Their first-round pick belonged to Detroit as part of the Carlos Arroyo/Darko Milicic trade from February 2006, and Detroit used it on shooting guard Rodney Stuckey.

With the 44th pick, the Magic selected Reyshawn Terry from North Carolina. I'm not a college basketball fan in the slightest, but I was able to gather that Terry was a decent mid-range scorer who needed to work on his defense and maturity. Chad Ford of ESPN.com wrote that Terry was a "very good value pick". I was hoping that Terry could be brought in as a possible replacement for Grant Hill, who still hasn't decided if he wants to return to Orlando next season. He could also be used to replace Hedo Turkoglu if he is traded to clear up salary-cap room. Overall, I was moderately pleased with the Magic's selection.

The Magic selected Reyshawn Terry of North Carolina with the 44th-overall pick. However, he wasn't with the team for long.
Photo by the Associated Press

That changed when I learned this morning that Terry was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for cash and their second-round selection, Milovan Rakovic, who was taken with the last overall pick. I suppose it's nice to have the cash, but what do we need Rakovic for? He'll stay in Serbia for the next several years. We already have the rights to Fran Vazquez and Marcin Gortat, two big-men who are still playing overseas and who may not play for the Magic for several seasons. The Department of Redundancy Department strikes again.

Overall, draft night was ominous. The Magic did nothing to improve themselves, whereas two bottom-dwelling teams in the Southeast Division did: the Atlanta Hawks took Al Horford and Acie Law, both of whom figure to be NBA-ready; and the Charlotte Bobcats traded with Golden State for explosive scorer Jason Richardson. Moreover, the Miami Heat have made known their interest in Rashard Lewis, whom the Magic have at the top of their free-agent wishlist.

The division-rival Charlotte Bobcats acquired Jason Richardson from Golden State in exchange for Brandan Wright, whom Charlotte selected with the 8th pick in the draft.
Photo by Brian Bahr, Getty Images

The only team that did Orlando a favor last night was Washington, which inexplicably drafted Dominic McGuire, a small forward, despite already having Caron Butler, an All-Star, at the position. Nevermind the fact that their best center is Etan Thomas, who is a better writer than he is a basketball player.

The entire Southeast Division landscape has shifted over the course of one night. Its standings could get turned on its head next season, which would -- perhaps appropriately, given the franchise's history -- leave the Magic in third place, where they finished last season.

I hope, for our sakes, that free-agency is kind to us. Given the way our divisional opponents improved, we need it now more than ever.

No comments: