The Orlando Pinstriped Post, an Orlando Magic news source, recently conducted a fan survey asking the community to vote on which players the Magic should select in the upcoming NBA Draft. After selecting the first five picks as (1) Ben McLemore, (2) Nerlens Noel, (3) Victor Oladipo, (4) Trey Burke, and (5) Otto Porter, the OPP asked fans to select the sixth pick and results so far show the top two candidates to be C.J. McCollum and Anthony Bennett. Although this is strictly the fans’ opinion in an ideal draft, many of their prospects coincide with head coach, Jacque Vaughn and general manager, Rob Hennigan’s strategy.C.J. McCollum, a senior point guard from Leigh University, was considered a top NBA draft prospect his junior year, but wanted to complete his education and remained at Leigh for his final season. Averaging about 24 points per game and ranked at number eight in the top 100 prospects, McCollum could make a powerful impact on the Magic as the team is in desperate need of a shooting guard.
McCollum has been reported to have practiced with six NBA teams including the Portland Trail Blazers, the Philadelphia 76'ers and the Detroit Pistons. It is doubtful that McCollum will be selected by the Magic as they have their eyes set on other candidates for the first pick and it is unlikely McCollum will be available by their second pick, but he is definitely a player to keep in mind.
Anthony Bennett, the power forward slightly ahead in the OPP poll with 36% of the votes, is a freshman from UNLV and is believed to be the best power forward available in the 2013 draft. With an average of 16 points and 8 rebounds per game and a projection to be the 6th pick, it is likely that Bennett will be drafted early. Because of his pure size and strength, Bennett would greatly benefit any of the teams looking to select him in the draft, such as the Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans, or the Phoenix Suns.
Similar to McCollum, it is unlikely that Bennett will end up with the Magic because the team’s needs may take them in another direction. Even if they do go after McCollum, there is high likelihood of him being selected by another team before the Magic snags him. Because of his young age and recent injury, Bennett has certain areas that need improvement which will make him an interesting player to watch for during his first NBA seasons.
While the OPP survey results are from the Magic fans, it reveals a lot about what they are looking for and expecting during the next season. Although it is unlikely to see McCollum or Bennett on the Magic during the 2013 season, they are not players to rule out completely as they have much potential to continue to improve during their first few seasons in the NBA.
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