|The Orlando Magic obtained the 10th pick from the Denver Nuggets. Their Net GM is Robert Dell-Ross. With the 10th pick Orlando selects:|
Draft History/Major Trades
Team Needs/Free Agent Situation
John Amaechi, Michael Doleac, Ben Wallace
With the surprise output of John Amaechi in the 99-00 season, the Orlando Magic had 3 capable centers of which all could play 20-30 quality minutes per game. Amaechi's strength was an outside touch ala Sabonis. Coach Rivers has been quoted in the Orlando Sentinel several times in stating he likes Amaechi the most because his jump shot also forces the opponent's big man to play away from the basket and work on defense. Michael Doleac was entering his 2nd season as a member of the Magic. Whether it was a nagging injury or just a case of lack of confidence, Doleac did not live up to the expectations placed on him at the beginning of the season. He has a game similar to Amaechi, except he is a slightly better rebounder and slightly worse distributor of the ball. Ben Wallace is the defensive specialist that Amaechi and Doleac are not. Wallace is a better fit at PF (he's 6'9"), but I decided to list him here. Wallace's defense triggered a lot of momentum shifts last year and he was able to shut down a surprising amount of people. That being said, his offensive ability consists of dunks and tip-ins. Outlook - I would expect Orlando to keep everybody here, unless Duncan signs. Amaechi and Wallace are FA's. Look for Wallace to be renounced and then later resigned after Orlando has acquired several other FA's.
Pat Garrity, Matt Harpring, Bo Outlaw, Derek Strong, Johnny Taylor, Monty Williams
Coming over from Phoenix in the Hardaway deal, Pat Garrity was known as an offensive threat that needed to work on his defense. Still relatively young though, he is showing signs of improvement. Matt Harpring battled an injured ankle for a very large portion of the 99-00 season. He is known for his consistency on both sides of the court. Most of you have heard of Bo Outlaw, and you are correct in stating that he is in the game for defense. During games last year, Rivers would very infrequently have 5 guys on the floor that didn't include Outlaw or the other defensive specialist, Wallace. Of the 6 forwards I have listed, I would say Outlaw's value in a trade would be the highest. Derek Strong was signed to a long-term in 98 and has responded with lackluster performance and relatively little playing time. When motivated, he is a big body who will rebound effectively and not hurt you. His offensive skills are halfway between Outlaw and Harpring. Drafting Johnny Taylor in 1997, the Magic never saw much of him in action because he was traded off to Denver. Late last year he was traded back to Orlando in the Mercer deal. He still has an abundance of raw athletic talent, but hasn't had enough time to develop just yet. Monty Williams was a great pickup for Coach Rivers, signing for the minimum and giving Orlando close to 20 minutes of hustle every game. There are no noticeable weaknesses in his game, but there are no outstanding strengths. Outlook - Taylor is gone. Williams will be most likely be renounced and later signed back for the minimum again. Of the remaining 4, I am guessing at least 1 or maybe 2 of them will be involved in some sort of trade. The Magic has an abundance of people that can play SF. Gabriel has said on multiple occasions that he is entertaining offers for Derek Strong and I would expect him to be involved in a trade. If Orlando is able to sign Grant Hill, I would expect a major overhaul of the SF position. Garrity, Taylor and Williams all might not return.
Darrell Armstrong, Chucky Atkins, Chauncey Billups, Corey Maggette, Ron Mercer
Darrell Armstrong is the cornerstone of Orlando, well liked by the entire city and his teammates. He emerged as the team's emotional leader last year after being a bench player in previous years. Chucky Atkins was a very talented backup PG this past season, coming from virtually nowhere to score ~10 points in 20 minutes a game. Chauncey Billups was another part of the Mercer deal with Denver; he never played a minute for Orlando due to injury. After being labeled a huge draft bust by Pitino and the Celtics, Billups has tried to establish himself as a quality player. Corey Maggette entered his rookie season last year with the expectations of GM John Gabriel looming over him. His raw ability is obvious to anyone that watches him play. Being a rookie, things didn't come to him as quickly as everybody has hoped. Maggette still has a long way to go; patience is needed. Outlook - Armstrong and Maggette will be back. Billups will most likely not be back. Orlando would love to retain Atkins, but also have to keep in mind how much money they want to allocate. They may be happy with using their #10 or #13 picks in the 1st round to pickup a backup PG to learn from Darrell. Mercer falls in the same boat, a talented guy who might not be worth the money it takes to resign him. I would place Ron in the same category as Amaechi and Monty Williams, a wait-and-see approach after the FA period has completed. If Orlando is able to sign Eddie Jones or Tracy McGrady, I would expect Atkins and Mercer to hit the road.
Courtney Alexander - 6'6" SG/SF from Fresno State
DeShawn Stevenson - 6'6" SG from Fresno Washington Union High School
Jerome Moiso - 6'11" PF/C from UCLA
Eric Barkley - 6'0" from St. Johns
With the 10th overall pick in the 1st round, the Orlando Magic selects Courtney Alexander. Alexander dropped slightly below where some people might have thought he would be selected due to minor off-the-court problems. I felt he was the best player left on the board. In my eyes, Alexander is similar to a Corey Maggette but may develop quicker due to being 3 years older than Corey. Alexander averaged 24.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game last year at Fresno State, while shooting 44.7% from the field, 78.1% from the line and 33.1% from behind the arc.
What will Orlando do?
I would be surprised if Alexander falls to #10. In the actual draft, I would expect Orlando to include this pick in a trade, take Stevenson or take Barkley. I like Stevenson a lot and am hoping he falls to #13. Moiso obviously has talent, and may be a candidate for the #13 pick. He might be just the type of player that responds to Coach Rivers' system.
|Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner|
|Visit My Home Page|