1. Orlando Magic

Welcome to the 1993 Usenet mock draft.  The lottery was held yesterday
and the Orlando Magic (a 1 in 64 longshot) was the big winner.  The
GM for the Magic is:


So with the first pick in the draft the Orlando Magic select: Chris Webber, PF, 6-10. University of Michigan ========================================================================== Team Needs Although the Orlando Magic were the most improved team in the NBA, and although they exceeded the pre-season expectations of most experts (most experts predicted the Magic would finish the season with 35-40 victories and finish fifth or sixth in the Atlantic division), this was somewhat of a frustrating season for Orlando. The team continues to play inconsistently, capable of beating the best in the league one night, and incapable of competing with the worst in the league the next. Center: O'Neal has all the physical gifts, and knows what he needs to do to improve. He's stated that he will be working on an outside jumper this summer, and has already made plans to attend Pete Newell's camp again. The coaching staff will be working hard to help him reduce his fouls and turnovers. Greg Kite is an adequate backup He plays solid and generally rugged defense but lacks offensive skills. However, Kite is a ten year veteran with two years remaining on his current contract. IMHO, the Magic are already scouting for his successor. Power forward: Orlando was hoping to have a healthy Brian Williams and a rejuvenated Terry Catledge battling for the starting 4 assignment. Instead, Williams fought clinical depression for most of the season and rebroke the same hand that forced him out early last year. Catledge, meanwhile, suffered a series of nagging injuries (he ended the season on IR with patella tendinitis) and even when he was healthy showed little inclination to adapt his role to the presence of O'Neal. Turner and Tolbert are capable backups. Turner's strength is his outside shot; he needs to pay more attention to the inside battle and rebounding. Tolbert does everything and anything he is asked, but for all his effort, as a starter, he is often outplayed. Small Forward: Dennis Scott and Donald Royal complement each other almost perfectly. Scott has the skills to be one of the best outside shooters in the league, but needs to improve his defense and round out his offensive game by driving to the hoop more. More importantly, he has also been hampered by a series of leg injuries and weight problems, which have reduced his effectiveness. Royal has one of the quickest first steps in the league when he goes to the basket (and is very adept at drawing a foul on the way in), and is a defensive scrapper. He needs an outside shot to keep defenders honest. Although he is a free-agent, I expect the Magic to work hard to keep Royal in Orlando. Shooting Guard: Nick Anderson continues to improve. He needed to develop an outside shot to round out his game and has done so. Now he needs to remember that he is most successful driving to the hoop, not shooting from the perimeter. Speed is not Anderson's strength, so he can still be victimized by quicker 2's, and needs to improve his defensive game and ball-handling. Nick was preoccupied with contract extension negotiations for most of the season, and should be more focused next year. Anthony Bowie struggled this year. I'm not sure whether that was just due to a let down after signing a (relatively) big contract, or if was because he had trouble adjusting to coming off the bench rather than starting. Point Guard: Skiles played >= 48 minutes 13 times this season and averaged almost 40 minutes per game when he played. While Skiles performed well this season and deserved the time on court, his numbers are disturbing. Skiles plays "Timex" basketball - he takes a licking and keeps on ticking. It great to see him out there every night no matter what, but the Magic have to be wondering how long his body can take the punishment. Also, as he becomes more and more bruised and battered, he becomes less and less able to recover from defensive lapses. Litterial Green has great athletic skills, and performed well enough to earn another chance to win the back-up PG slot, but not so well that he has locked up a roster spot. Summary: The Magic's three biggest needs are a starting power forward, an understudy point guard for Skiles, and a reliable outside scoring threat. I expect Orlando to concentrate on finding a power forward and point guard in the draft, hoping that Dennis Scott will put his injury problems behind himself next year. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Our selection: Chris Webber -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other possible selections: Shawn Bradley - to trade him. -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Other possible moves: The first pick is a mixed blessing for Orlando. By choosing Webber, the Magic have resolved their number one problem - the void at power forward. The problem is how to make room for Webber. Nine Magic players (O'Neal, Kite, Catledge, Williams, Turner, Scott, Anderson, Bowie, and Skiles) have guaranteed contracts for next year (Jerry Reynolds - on IR after a neck operation - is expected to retire); of those nine three are power forwards. So Orlando will once again be trying every trick in the book to get their draft picks in under the salary cap. In addition, at least one of the current 4's would need to be moved. An obvious idea that would help to resolve both problems would be to trade down, leaving the team in a position to choose either Mashburn or Rogers, and making Terry Catledge (who just has not been willing to adapt himself to the team's new identity) part of the package. ==========================================================================

Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner