We've reached the middle of our five-part series breaking down the 2013-14 Orlando Magic by position. After looking at the guard spots, we're moving on to the forwards and arguably, the Magic's most secure position, small forward. The Magic have a talented tandem of guys that can play the three-spot as Orlando looks to build on the second worst season in team history. The Magic do not have big expectations this upcoming season, but with big contributions from young guys at this position, Orlando may just turn some heads. Here's a look at how the Magic will look at the small forward position:
Orlando has a good problem to have at small forward and that's deciding who to start. Second-year man Maurice "Moe" Harkless, a former 15th overall pick by the Philadelphia 76ers, came to Orlando in the Dwight Howard deal and came on strong at the end of last season.
From January 30th on last season, Harkless averaged 12.4 points-per-game for Orlando including a career-high 28 on 10-for-18 shooting against the Houston Rockets on April 1st. Harkless will probably get the nod as the starter for the Magic to open the season and will give Orlando athleticism and an uncanny ability to defend for such a young player.
Also filling in for the Magic at small forward will be Tobias Harris, a 21-year-old in his third season. Like Harkless, Harris is 6'9" and was acquired by the Magic in a trade. Harris came over from Milwaukee last season in the J.J. Redick trade and upon his arrival in Orlando, was arguably the Magic's best player.
Harris averaged 17.3 points-per-game and 8.5 rebounds in 27 games with Orlando a season ago which included nine double-doubles. Although Harkless and Harris play the same position, the two will spend plenty of time together on the floor. Harris' size and ability to rebound will allow the Magic to use him at the power forward position when Orlando goes to its small lineup.
Both Harris and Harkless will be intricate pieces of the Orlando rebuilding effort as the Magic move forward. The two provide the Magic will tremendous upside and athleticism at the small forward position. Harris has proven that he can be a legitimate scorer in the NBA while Harkless has shown signs of being a threat offensively, but does need to become a more consistent jump-shooter.
Also in the mix at the three-spot could be rookie forward Romero Osby. Osby, a second round pick out of Oklahoma, is similar in style to Harris with his ability to stretch the floor and rebound.
Osby may spend much of his playing time however at the power forward position. Despite lacking in height at 6'8" for the power forward position, Osby is 240 pounds and is as blue collar as they come on the glass. An All-Big XII selection last season at Oklahoma, Osby led the Sooners in scoring and rebounding while taking them to the NCAA Tournament.
The small forward position for the Orlando Magic looks to be the brightest despite being the youngest. The trade with Milwaukee last season turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Orlando with the acquisition of Harris while Harkless' improvement as the season went on was evident. Throw in Romero Osby to the mix and the Magic have a trio of young players that could be provide the Magic the opportunity to go small and present mismatches for bigger opponents.