This year’s Draft in the eye of the beholder

Joe Robbins/Getty Images/ZimbioThe NBA Draft is really the stuff dreams are made of. For 60 players it is the first step into the NBA. For NBA teams, it is the chance to add new talent.

This year's Draft is not full of the top-end talent that gets fans excited. The top prospects — Nerlens Noel, Ben McLemore, Alex Len, Victor Oladipo and Anthony Bennett — hardly do anything to excite the interest. These players are not going to be selling tickets from the moment they step onto the court. Some development is more than needed.

The lack of a top-end star has everyone down on this Draft. But that does not mean a team will not be able to find value and find something that will help them get closer to a championship. This Draft may not be precisely what the experts think.

"I think it's all in the eye of the beholder," Magic general manager Rob Hennigan said Wednesday. "What one team may value, another team may not. I do think this draft, more than drafts in recent memory, has more relative value attached to it.

"I think draft picks are a valuable commodity. Regardless of what the perception says about this draft, I think there are some good players in this Draft."

Tom Pennington/Getty Images/ZimbioThe Magic will have one of the first big decisions in this Draft. The Cavaliers, despite flirtations with Alex Len or Otto Porter, are still expected to select Nerlens Noel. The Magic pick next and do not have an easy choice themselves in selecting between Oladipo, McLemore or even somebody else. Decisions like this go on and on throughout the Draft.

There are a lot of things working in this Draft. Several teams are looking to move up and down in this Draft. The talent is that even, it would seem. A team looking for a point guard could easily select Trey Burke early on, but could also find Michael Carter-Williams or C.J. McCollum later in the Draft.

The prospect parity leads to difficulties in valuing what a pick is worth and makes the poker game all the more intriguing.

"I think it's relative, the value is relative to what each team is trying to do," Hennigan said. "That's the word that carries the day for me is the relativity of value and of opprotunities and what may make sense for some doesn't make sense for others. It's always a challenge to make trades as it is. When you talk about trading picks, especially picks this high in the Draft, a lot of thought and creativity has to go into that."

It will take a lot of creativity for sure. Hennigan said Wednesday there have been three or four "tempting" offers for the Magic's second overall pick. The Cavaliers also are looking at trading their top overall pick, even if the deal comes after they make their selection. This is a Draft for rumor-mongers, even if nothing happens.

That is no reflection on the players in this Draft. They may not be superstars in the making, but they are certainly still quality players.

McLemore has drawn comparisons to Ray Allen for his shooting ability, but likely will not reach those heights. He can still be a solid player though as a shooter and slasher. Victor Oladipo has been compared to anyone from Dwyane Wade to Tony Allen. Either would make for a solid career.

And then there is Noel. The player who compares favorably to Ben Wallace, but nobody is sure if he can recover from his torn ACL or if the NBA can still handle building around a player like that.

A lot of teams will still be happy with who they select though. And only history will ultimately judge this Draft.

"I would say just generally, the vibe that we have gotten this year is there are a lot of good kids in the Draft," Hennigan said. "There is a lot of character in the Draft. I think from the first pick all the way into the latter stages of the first round. We really enjoy that part of the process. We look at it as an opportunity for this draft and future opportunities that may come up in trades or free agency."

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

Quantcast