The second round of the NBA Draft has become a place where it seems either teams select international players, these so-called "draft and stash" players, or a blind shot at a college star but uncertain NBA potential. NCAA players that get this opportunity usually come in the form of upperclassmen as they are more of a proven commodity than a player who spent one or two seasons in college but has raw potential. Roy Devyn Marble, the Iowa Hawkeye's 2013-2014 MVP and best all-around player, is looking to use his experience in the nation's toughest conference to land him a spot on the Orlando Magic. With that, let's take a closer look at how Marble fits in Orlando.
In Marble's first action as a pro in the Orlando Summer League he showed pretty clearly that he could handle the pace of professional hoops. Marble averaged 9.4 points and 6.2 boards in four games and did a multitude of other little things to help fill out his stat sheet. At Iowa, Marble was their full time small forward and was asked to do everything from a playmaking standpoint. While he is big he enough to play the 3 in the NBA, don't be surprised if Marble sees some time at shooting guard. He shoots the ball well enough from outside to keep defenders honest and if the Magic are still looking to mold 2nd year stud Victor Oladipo into point guard, the two could see time on the floor together.
The enemy of any young player coming into the league isn't always their own abilities but rather a team's established depth at the position they seek to thrive at. While Marble may not be an ideal 2 guard, the frontcourt and small forward position for Orlando is so young and talented that it might be hard for Marble to see the floor. Nicola Vucevic is the Magic's center for now and hopefully the next ten years, he's a double double machine. He's joined/ spared from the bench by newcomer Channing Frye and Jason Maxiell adds depth up front as well. Tobias Harriswill likely be the opening game starter at the small forward spot and he will share time with the last two first round picks, Mo Harkless and Andrew Nicholson, both of whom have shown promise in their brief NBA careers. And then there's Marble. If he hopes to see the floor at the 2 guard he'll need to beat out the likes of Evan Fournier (acquired from Denver in the Aaron Afflalo trade) and an aging, declining Ben Gordon both as back-ups for Oladipo. However, if Oladipo sees more time as a combo point guard as this roster suggests he might, the path to playing time becomes easier for the former Hawkeye star.
While Roy Devyn Marble has shown throughout his career that he has the physical skills to compete in the NBA, in my opinion it's his mental prowess that gives him a legitimate shot to see time as a rookie. He embraced his alpha dog role on an Iowa team that saw its first tournament action in over a decade and Marble deserves much of the credit for keeping that team relevant through March. His time in Iowa City prepared him well for the ups and downs of a grueling NBA season. For anyone who watched this kid play the last few years, it's hard to ignore his abilities, even harder not to cheer for him.