The Orlando Magic will have the second overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft which takes place on Thursday night.
With a class seemingly deep with size, the Magic will most likely look to shore up one its weaker positions, shooting guard.
For Orlando, the position currently has a lot of uncertainty with Arron Afflalo possibly on the move. Behind Afflalo, the Magic really have no one as E’Twaun Moore is more of a point guard/shooting guard hybrid. Moore showed a lot of maturity last season, but still had consistency issues and is perhaps best suited for a sixth-man role.
Up front, the Magic appear set for years to come with center Nikola Vucevic and forwards Maurice Harkless, Tobias Harris and Andrew Nicholson all 23 years old and younger. The point guard position is still a question mark for Orlando, but the Magic are actively looking to make a deal which could bring Los Angeles Clippers’ reserve Eric Bledsoe to central Florida.
Unless the Magic trade down and grab Michigan’s Trey Burke or Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum, Orlando should and likely will take a shooting guard. And for the Magic, there seems to be really only two options: Kansas’ Ben McLemore and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo.
Both stand 6’5″ and both are incredible athletes and it’s hard to see the Magic going wrong by picking either.
Oladipo seems to be the more polished of the two, but McLemore has more upside.
A junior last season, Oladipo averaged 13.6 points-per-game for the Hoosiers and shot 60 percent from the field, a remarkable number for a perimeter player. While he didn’t shoot a lot of them, Oladipo was also a 44 percent shooter from beyond the arc, which was a vast improvement from the earlier parts of his Hoosier career.
Oladipo is also a lock-down defender and averaged better than two steals-per-game last season while grabbing 6.3 rebounds-per-contest.
Kansas’ Ben McLemore spent just one season in Lawrence, but excelled scoring just under 16 points-per-game while shooting just shy of 50 percent from the field. McLemore has the look of a prolific scorer at the next level and like Oladipo, McLemore can defend and knows how to do so without fouling.
McLemore also averaged 5.2 rebounds-per-game, but his ability to score may be what sets him apart. McLemore shot 42 percent from behind the three-point line last season and 87 percent from the charity stripe and looks to already be a pretty complete offensive player.
While Orlando already has good young pieces in place, McLemore could become the centerpiece of the franchise and is probably the Magic’s best option with the No. 2 pick.
Drafts are often unpredictable and until Thursday and perhaps even after, nothing is concrete, but it’s hard to see the Magic going wrong with either Oladipo or McLemore. Either would give Orlando athleticism at the two-guard position unlike the Magic have had in years and perhaps that franchise player that the team needs to build around.
While Oladipo appears to be the more NBA-ready option, McLemore carries a bigger reward which likely makes him the better option for a team rebuilding like Orlando.