Who’s the best player available for the Orlando Magic in the 2013 draft? Our experts weigh in on overall game, upside, and who the Magic should ultimately choose with the No. 2 pick.
1. Who’s the second-best player in the 2013 draft?
Jacob Frankel: Otto Porter. He may not be flashy, but he’s a versatile, athletic 3-and-D style wing. He certainly won’t develop into a star, but he’s a player with Luol Deng-type upside, and those are the role players you want in today’s NBA. Long wings who can defend and space the floor are becoming more a necessity than luxury in the NBA.
Spencer Lund: Nerlens Noel. He’s got all the things draft experts love: length, upside, defensive-oriented, plus a good smile and nickname potential. Double-double machine in college and defended the rim (4.4 blocks per game in 31 minutes). But he’s also going to miss significant time this year, and you just never know with his knee.
Noam Schiller: Ben McLemore. I know, I’m not very excited either. This draft kind of lacks star power up top. Not since 2005, when Andrea Bargnani was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the top overall pick, have we seen a shortage of talent .
2. Which player has the best upside at No. 2?
Frankel: Michael Carter-Williams. A crude statistical model I’ve built gives him a higher than 30 percent chance of making an All-Star team, but also gives him a 15 percent chance of being out of the league within four years. If he can work out the kinks in his game (he’s prone to dumbfounding decision-making), he’ll be a player to be reckoned with.
Lund: Victor Oladipo. He’s incredibly hard-working, and one scout said at the combine “he’s humble but confident.” Humility AND some ego: perfect! He’s working on his shooting, but it’s a weakness. He’s athletic and everyone loved him at the combine. He could be amazing if he keeps working hard.
Schiller: Victor Oladipo. I call in the Kawhi Leonard precedent: if a hyper-athletic, high-motor, smart player can be developed properly, flaws in skill can be overcome. I don’t know if Oladipo can develop those tools, but the prospect is intriguing.
3. Who should the Magic select at No. 2?
Frankel: Otto Porter. I’m a staunch believer in taking the best player available and not catering to the needs of the roster. Get the best player — figure out roster redundancies and deficiencies later. Also, adding this type of player to the core, one without immediate sky-high potential, won’t compromise the chance at a high pick in next season’s loaded lottery.
Lund: Ben McLemore. He’s the most talented player in the draft. He’s a tremendous shooter and athletic enough to get to the rim against anyone. Most teams said he was gracious and revealing in interviews. BUT, one scout said, “Ben has zero [expletive] in him.” You need that [expletive] on the court, which is why there are questions about his motor.
Schiller: Trey Burke. Drafting by position can be dangerous, but there isn’t a lot that separates the 3-4 guys behind presumed first pick Nerlens Noel. The Magic need to think about their point guard situation post-Jameer.