Orlando Magic 2007 Draft Preview
(Sports Network) – Billy Donovan is not the the new general of the Orlando
Magic. After becoming the new head coach of the club, Donovan decided he
didn’t want the job. The team allowed him out of his contract to return to the
University of Florida.
Former Heat head coach Stan Van Gundy will be calling the shots from the
bench. Expectations are still very high for this team in 2007-08.
Orlando finished 40-42 in 2006-07 and was the eighth seed in the Eastern
Conference playoffs. The Magic were swept by the Detroit Pistons, 4-0, in the
first round of the postseason.
The Magic don’t have a first-round pick in this year’s draft, but do own three
selections in round two. They have salary cap room and could make a big splash
in free agency,
All-Star big man Dwight Howard continues to get better and is on the verge of
becoming a superstar. The 21-year-old Howard led the Magic in scoring (17.6
ppg), rebounding (12.3 rpg) and blocks (1.9 bpg) this past season. He was the
only Orlando player to play in all 82 regular-season games, and is the
cornerstone of the franchise.
Point guard Jameer Nelson averaged 13.0 points and a team-best 4.3 assists in
77 contests in 2006-07. Nelson is a pure point guard who, like Howard,
continues to develop as a player.
Howard and Nelson are the building blocks. Forwards Darko Milicic, who
averaged 8.0 points and 5.5 rebounds, Hedo Turkoglu and Trevor Ariza join
Howard in the frontcourt, while Carlos Arroyo is a solid guard and sharp-
shooting J.J. Redick will look to improve on a disapointing rookie campaign.
Redick played just 42 games and posted 6.0 points per game.
Veteran Grant Hill collected 14.4 points, 3.6 boards and 2.1 assists in 65
games. Hill has battled injuries throughout his career and could be ready to
hang up his sneakers. Either way, it would not be a surprise not to see Hill’s
name on the Magic’s opening-day roster.
Orlando’s most important player move will be made by way of trade or in free
agency. With the hiring of Van Gundy, the Magic are looking for big things in
the near future.
Key Player(s): Trevor Ariza (Forward), Carlos Arroyo (Guard), Tony Battie
(Center/Forward), Keyon Dooling (Guard), Grant Hill (Forward), Dwight Howard
(Forward), Darko Milicic (Forward), Jameer Nelson (Guard), J.J. Redick
(Guard), Hedo Turkoglu (Forward).
Team Needs: A scorer from the outside and rebounding help for Howard.
Draft picks: 2nd round (44th overall), 2nd round (54th overall).