Magic Basketball: An Orlando Magic blog - Part 93

Jul 04

3-on-3 roundtable: Getting to know Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn

Via Fernando Medina/Orlando Magic

Amidst all the hoopla surrounding Dwight Howard’s future with the Orlando Magic, newly hired general manager Rob Hennigan began the process of shaping the franchise in his own image by drafting Andrew Nicholson and Kyle O’Quinn in last week’s NBA Draft. Nicholson was selected with the No. 19 pick in the first round, while O’Quinn was chosen with the No. 49 pick in the second round.

You can excuse Magic fans if they know little to nothing about Nicholson and O’Quinn. Both went to unheralded schools (St. Bonaventure and Norfolk State respectively) to play college basketball and even though they each played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, with O’Quinn and No. 15 seed Norfolk State making noise by upsetting No. 2 seed Missouri in the second round, neither player has the national profile of an Anthony Davis entering the NBA.

Enter Sebastian Pruiti of Grantland, Brett Koremenos of HoopSpeak, and Alton Clark of NBA Playbook. They’ll shed light on what Nicholson and O’Quinn bring to the table and what their ceilings might be in the league.

What is Nicholson’s ceiling as a player?

Alton Clark, NBA Playbook: What Nicholson will immediately provide to the Magic will be his ability to pop off of ball screens. According to Synergy Sports Techology, Nicholson was the 2nd most efficient shooter amongst all post players in the 2012 NBA Draft (1.096 points per possession). With Ryan Anderson, Glen Davis, and Nicholson, the Magic will have three legit bigs who can stretch the floor with their shooting. 

Brett Koremenos, HoopSpeak: Nicholson’s ceiling could be very similar to a potential teammate of his; Ryan Anderson. While Nicholson holds a slight edge as an athlete, both pair a smooth outside stroke with excellent rebounding numbers — a rather efficient combination. He’ll likely never be a star, but a solid starter on a good team is definitely possible.

Sebastian Pruiti, Grantland: I’m pretty high on Nicholson and his post game. He’s got a good body, a very nice touch around the basket, and solid footwork. For my Grantland article looking at his game, I described him as a smaller Al Jefferson. It might take a year or two, but he could be a guy you can dump the ball into and expect a bucket.

What is O’Quinn’s ceiling as a player?

Clark: O’Quinn will be called upon to bring toughness and physicality on the offensive end for the Magic frontline. At 6-foot-10, O’Quinn might be deemed a tad bit undersized for his style of play, but his 7-foot-5 wingspan will help him compete against taller posts in the league. If utilized correctly, O’Quinn can be a more interior-oriented DeMarcus Cousins.

Koremenos: I don’t see much that tells me O’Quinn has what it takes to stick in the league. Despite decent size and length, he is a middling athlete with a poor feel for the game who basically made his name off two monster performances in the NCAA Tournament. At best, O’Quinn has a makes a career as a fourth or fifth big on whichever roster will have him.

Pruiti: I’ve seen O’Quinn twice in person (once at Portsmouth, where he was the MVP, and once at the Nets’ workouts) and he performed pretty well both times. He’s more of a below the rim guy than someone who can explode through a defender and finish with a big dunk. Not the worst thing, but that limits what he can become in my opinion.

Hennigan felt that Nicholson and O’Quinn were the best players available when the Magic selected them. Agree or disagree?

Clark: Agree. When it comes to acquiring talent, both the Spurs and the Thunder place an emphasis on high character and being able to contribute immediately. It is no coincidence that in Hennigan’s first draft as the Magic’s general manager, he picked two 22-year-old college graduates from mid-major programs who were the primary focal point of their opponent’s scouting report every night. 

Koremenos: Agree. Perhaps Quincy Miller was worth considering over Nicholson at No. 19 but it certainly was far from something widely viewed as an egregious oversight. O’Quinn seemed like a solid choice near the end of the second round. Definitely hard to fault the selection of a kid with the size to stick when pickings are so slim.

Pruiti: Agree. Orlando needed bigs, especially because of the whole Dwight Howard situation, and in my opinion Orlando got two good ones who should be able to be productive on their roster.

Jul 03

Magic sign first round draft pick Andrew Nicholson

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have signed rookie forward Andrew Nicholson, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

Nicholson was selected in the first round (19th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft. He will participate in the upcoming 2012 AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League, taking place at Amway Center from July 9-13.

Jul 03

Magic announce roster for 2012 AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic will host the AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League at the team’s practice court at the Amway Center from July 9-13, 2012. The 20-game event will feature the Magic, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons.

Due to space limitations, the event is not open to the public and will be open only to media and professional team/league personnel. Games will begin at 11 a.m. from July 9-12, and at 8 a.m. on July 13. Fans can access box scores, game recaps and cumulative statistics by visiting

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Jul 02

Thank you Danny Nowell; Welcome Sean Highkin and Noam Schiller

490 days.

That’s the number of days in which Danny Nowell has been a part of Magic Basketball. However, today, on the 491st day, I’m here to announce that Danny will be stepping down as a contributing writer of MBN. He has taken his talents to the TrueHoop Network’s sister site, Portland Roundball Society, where he’ll be covering the Portland Trail Blazers moving forward from here. He recently moved to Portland from North Carolina, so Danny will not only write about the Blazers but cover the team as well.

Over the past 16 months, I’ve gotten to know Danny and I can safely say he’s the best writer I’ve ever worked with (by far) and he’s a good person, too. I consider him a friend and MBN was blessed to have him opine about the many wonders of Stan Van Gundy.

PRS and the Blazers’ fan base is in good hands.

Fortunately, even though MBN bids farewell to Danny, I’m happy to announce that Sean Highkin and Noam Schiller (both of Hardwood Paroxysm) will be joining MBN as the website’s two newest contributing writers. If you’re unfamiliar with either of their work, all you need to do is take a quick peek at Sean’s take on Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and his pursuit of Dwight Howard or Noam’s take on the validation of LeBron James’ transcendence after he captured his first NBA title with the Miami Heat and realize they’re tremendous writers with a seemingly never-ending passion for the NBA at large.

Sean’s and Noam’s roles at MBN will be similar to what Nate and Matt do — they’ll provide both an aerial view as well as a zoomed-in look at the Orlando Magic and NBA in general.

I think highly of Sean and Noam as writers. I hope in time you — the readers — will, too.

Jul 01

Earl Clark changes mind, opts in

Via Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD:

Earl Clark has changed his mind and opted in to the final year of his contact with the Magic, according to sources close to the situation.

Jun 29

Jameer Nelson opts out

Via Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel:

Hearing that Jameer Nelson has informed Magic he is opting out [of the final year in his contract and become an unrestricted free agent].

Jun 29

Magic select Kyle O’Quinn in second round of 2012 NBA Draft

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic selected forward-center Kyle O’Quinn in the second round (49th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft.

O’Quinn (6’10”, 240, 3/26/90) appeared in 129 career games at Norfolk State University, averaging 12.5 ppg., 8.5 rpg. and 2.2 bpg. in 27.3 mpg. and shot .553 (610-1,104) from the field during his collegiate career. He was the 2012 Lou Henson recipient as the nation’s top mid-major player. O’Quinn was the 2011-12 MEAC Player of the Year and a two-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Year (2010-11, 2011-12). He was also named MVP of the 2012 Portsmouth Invitational, averaging 11.7 ppg., 11.7 rpg. and 3.7 bpg. in three games.

Jun 28

Magic select Andrew Nicholson in first round of 2012 NBA Draft

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic selected forward Andrew Nicholson in the first round (19th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft.

Nicholson (6’9”, 250, 12/8/89) appeared in 123 career games at St. Bonaventure University, averaging 17.1 ppg., 7.2 rpg. and 1.98 bpg. in 29.9 mpg. and shot .575 (809-1,407) from the field during his collegiate career. He earned All-Atlantic 10 Conference honors all four seasons and was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year as a senior in 2011-12. Nicholson also earned All-American honors by The Associated Press in 2011-12. Nicholson led the Bonnies in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots for three straight seasons (2009-12).

“We are excited to have Andrew (Nicholson) join our Orlando Magic family,” said General Manager Rob Hennigan. “We feel he embodies the types of values that will put him in a position to achieve success here. He’s a humble, high character player, who’s committed to working hard and playing within a team concept. We are intrigued by his cerebral, instinctual approach to the game.”

Jun 28

Earl Clark opts out

Via Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD:

Earl Clark has opted out of the final year of his contract with the Orlando Magic, sources confirm. He’ll be an unrestricted free agent.

Jun 28

Magic extend qualifying offer to Ryan Anderson

Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

Via Orlando Magic press release:

The Orlando Magic have extended a qualifying offer to forward Ryan Anderson, General Manager Rob Hennigan announced today. Per team policy, terms of the deal are not disclosed.

By extending a qualifying offer to Anderson prior to the June 30 deadline, Orlando owns the right to match any offer sheet he may sign with another team. Anderson will become a restricted free agent on July 1.

Anderson (6’10”, 240, 5/6/88) played and started in 61 games last season with the Magic, averaging career-highs of 16.1 ppg. and 7.7 rpg. in 32.2 mpg. He shot .393 (166-422) from three-point range and .877 (150-171) from the free throw line. Anderson led the NBA in both three point field goals made and attempted, and captured the 2011-12 NBA Most Improved Player award.

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