Courtney Lee: First Round Magic
Courtney Lee (Orlando Magic)
Courtney Lee (Orlando Magic)
Posted Jun 26, 2008

With two freshman big men on the board (Kosta Koufos and DeAndre Jordan) and two notable, championship winners in Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur, the Orlando Magic played it safe and took a proven player in Courtney Lee from Western Kentucky.

The four-year senior isn’t the most attractive prospect but at the end of the day, he is perhaps the most consistent and the best fit for Orlando.

With Keyon Dooling and Maurice Evans both potentially leaving the team as free agents, shooting guard seemingly was Orlando’s biggest need heading into the draft, and the Magic didn’t stray from that logic. Lee has averaged at least 14.9 points per game throughout college, and this consistency will likely translate to the NBA.

Aside from being reliable, Lee also fits in Orlando’s system perfectly. He is a deadly three-point shooter (40% from behind the arc this past year) and can get the ball out of his hands quickly. On defense, Lee also brings good fundamentals, which is typical in Orlando’s two other primary shooting guards, Evans and Keith Bogans.

Where Lee separates himself from current Orlando two-guards is his ability to create. Aside from Jameer Nelson and occasionally Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis, Orlando lacked a player who could take his opponent off the dribble and finish around the basket. Lee does just that, using his 6’5”, 200 lb. frame to carve out space. Another trait Lee will bring is the ability to hit a pull-up jumper from inside the arc. Evans and Bogans both struggled scoring if they weren’t shooting from the corner of the floor, but Lee can score all over the court in a magnitude of ways.

As a four-year starter, Lee doesn’t have much potential, but that suits the Magic fine. With a record setting amount of freshmen taken in the draft, Orlando played it safe and selected a player who filled a need and who could contribute immediately. While Lee may never dominate in the NBA, consistency, maturity and a silky-smooth shot have been hallmarks of Lee’s game for the past several years, and the Magic are surely happy to have those attributes on their roster.

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