Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 6/26/13
ORLANDO --If the Orlando Magic hold tight and keep the second pick in Thursday night's NBA Draft, it won't because they haven't been getting many trade offers in what is generally perceived as a down year for incoming players. General manager Rob Hennigan said Wednesday that "at least a half-dozen or so" teams have called him with "legitimate ideas to consider" and that there are "three or four we're considering pretty sincerely." So while history suggests there won't be any 11th-hour deals and the Magic will probably address their needs at one of the guard positions, Hennigan remains open-minded. "Draft picks are valuable commodities," he said. "Regardless of what the perception says about this draft, I think there are some good players." One idea Hennigan shot down was the Magic being on the verge of acquiring Los Angeles Clippers backup point guard Eric Bledsoe in exchange for Arron Afflalo, Orlando's leading scorer last season. He described trade talks with the Clippers and several other teams as "exploratory at this point," and the coaching vacancy which was only filled Tuesday with the hiring of Doc Rivers has apparently had an effect. "We haven't had a drop or an ounce of communication with the Clippers for almost three weeks," Hennigan said. "So if we're about to make a trade with them, I guess I've missed that memo." Asked whether a trade for Bledsoe might be pulled off Thursday night, he replied, "I would be stunned." Even if Afflalo is not moved, the Magic could be leaning toward adding a shooting guard by drafting Ben McLemore of Kansas or Victor Oladipo of Indiana. Both players came to town for separate workouts in the past month. McLemore is regarded as the more accomplished offensive performer, while Oladipo's defensive prowess has caused him to shoot up the board in many mock drafts. Then again, all bets could be off if the Cleveland Cavaliers do what was unimaginable after they won the draft lottery by deciding to pick someone other than Kentucky center Nerlens Noel. "The good thing for us is we only have to figure out what one team is doing," Hennigan said. "That makes it a little bit easier, but it also makes it difficult." Concerns remain over the torn ACL in Noel's left knee that he suffered Feb. 12 in a game against Florida, an injury that prevented him from working out for the Magic or any other team. There are also questions about his physical readiness and how much he can contribute on offense. Maryland's Alex Len, who the website NBAdraft.net is projecting to be taken ahead of Noel, was diagnosed with a stress fracture in an ankle after making himself eligible for the draft. "It's a challenge. It's certainly not ideal," Hennigan said. "You'd like to have everybody in the draft to be healthy. That's just a hurdle." Although the Magic appear set at center with Nikola Vucevic, they brought in Oladipo's teammate at Indiana, Cody Zeller, for a workout Tuesday. Since the Magic's only other scheduled pick isn't until toward the end of the second round (51st overall), their interest in Zeller would likely be only if they were able to move down in the first round by way of a trade. "We've explored a lot of different things," Hennigan said. "And I would say that anything's possible. If we see someone that we think makes sense for us at any range in the draft, and we have the means to acquire that pick or that player, then we'll look to do that." The Magic are coming off a 62-loss season and haven't had this high of a draft pick since taking Dwight Howard first overall in 2004. Afflalo and Vucevic were among the players they obtained in a multi-team trade weeks after Hennigan was hired that sent Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers to signal a rebuilding plan that still appears to have at least another year to go. "Where we're at right now, we'd probably take a little longer view than a shorter view," he said. "But that's open to debate and constant evaluation." You can follow Ken Hornack on Twitter @HornackFSFla or email him at khornack32176@gmail.com.
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