It’s hard to get excited about 2nd round draft picks. It’s just reality. For every Gilbert Arenas and Rashard Lewis, there are 15 Stanley Robinson’s. Rarely do these picks “pan out” and even if they make rosters, it’s not likely that they stick around longer than a year or two. So it’s no surprise that Orlando Magic fans haven’t exactly been rushing out to get custom-made Justin Harper and DeAndre Liggins jerseys.
Something seems different with these guys though. They both have unique talents that can provide value to the roster and after hearing Stan Van Gundy speak glowingly about both prospects, it’s hard to imagine that both guys won’t end up making this team’s roster.
Let’s take a look at some notes from today’s introductory press conference. Starring Otis Smith, Stan Van Gundy, Justin Harper and DeAndre Liggins:
General Thoughts on Both Guys
- Both players mentioned during their introductions that they spoke with Gil and know that he was also a second pick success story.
- Both guys have been talking to Gilbert Arenas and acknowledged they use his path as motivation. Read into that what you will.
- On the lockout and their potential tougher path, both guys seemed just to acknowledge that is was out of their hands. On top of that, neither guy even knows anything besides what they are going through right now.
- Being that he was always much bigger than the guys around him, he always played the 5 growing up. That all changed in 8th grade when he started expanding his game and turning into the player he is now.
- In the last 3 days that he has been in Orlando he has been going through a lot of workouts with the staff and has spent a large chunk of time working with Patrick Ewing on refining his post game.
- If the lockout comes, Justin will likely workout either back in Richmond, here in Orlando or up in Boston with some of his trainers he worked with prior to his Senior season.
- There was a loose rumor floating around the draft that Harper had some medical issues that were causing him to slip. Harper addressed it head on when asked and cited a minor shoulder injury that happened prior to his Senior season during a pick up game. Obviously it didn’t hold him back and the Magic training staff found nothing wrong either.
- Justin also got a chance to meet Dwight Howard and Gilbert and Dwight shared some of his own rookie stories with him. I asked Justin if he was the secret photographer behind the “Plank Off” and he laughed and said he wasn’t around for that one.
To continue reading notes from Stan Van Gundy (he REALLY likes these guys), DeAndre Liggins (he was even tenacious in his nervousness) and to watch Otis Smith speak about the picks, click HERE.