The Orlando Magic have been looking ahead to the 2014 NBA Draft point guard class for more than a year. While the Victor Oladipo point guard experiment has been a mixed bag, the team could fall back on the knowledge that the upcoming draft was brimming with enticing point guard prospects. But with top lead guard prospects dropping left and right as a result of poor decisions and poor play, Orlando is going to have to reevaluate their position.
The latest blow to the class came when Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy reported that many scouts believe Syracuse freshman Tyler Ennis is strongly considering returning to school for his sophomore season. An unknown commodity coming into the year, Ennis has been the NCAA’s most reliable ball handler and has moved firmly into mock draft lotteries.
Ennis has even overtaken Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart as the top college point guard prospect. The Magic were strongly considering Smart with their second overall selection if he had decided to declare for last year’s draft. Instead, he chose to return to school where his flaws have been exposed. He can’t shoot from outside, has a noticeable penchant for flopping, and was suspended three games after pushing a fan in the stands during a game. His stock has fallen enough that he might actually be in play When the magic make their second first found selection in the latter half of the lottery.
The carnage doesn’t stop there. Kentucky twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison are two more prospects who have struggled mightily this season. If they are mentioned in mock drafts at all anymore, it’s late in the first round as risky speculative selections. Sean Deveney of Sporting News reported that the Kentucky coach John Calipari has been telling people the the Harrisons will return to Kentucky for another year. While they want to turn pro, their poor play may not have left them a choice.
This attrition leaves Dante Exum as the only point guard prospect who hasn’t yet faltered. Of course he has the advantage of staying out of the public eye as he graduated from high school in Australia this fall and has been working out privately since. His status as an international star gives him leverage that he can us to force his way to a specific team. Luckily Orlando is one of the teams on his radar along with the Los Angeles Lakers. Exum is more of a combo guard, but his skills would complement Oladipo well. And you know the old saying: a combo guard + a combo guard = who the heck knows.
Should the Orlando Magic be concerned about the lack of 2014 NBA Draft point guard prospects? Let us know what you think in the comments section below. Want more Magic? Sign up for our newsletter!