The Magic, like every other NBA team, didn’t have a chance to scout prospects in person for most of this year. But Orlando has one tool at their disposal that other teams don’t, writes Josh Robbins of The Athletic: an Artificial Intelligence system called AutoStats.
AutoStats works similarly to the tracking program Second Spectrum, but without requiring the same specialized set-up, instead working off a basic broadcast to compile physical data and analyze it. Because of an agreement reached with the team in 2019, the Magic have exclusive rights to the technology.
“It helps us get a better read on everything that the naked eye may miss,” said President of Basketball Ops Jeff Weltman. “It’s very powerful information. It’s what drives most of NBA analytics. So to have the next best thing applied to colleges, where it’s typically unavailable to most teams, we believe that is a significant competitive advantage.”
How it will effect the Magic’s draft decision-making process remains to be seen.
We have more from around the Southeast Division:
- In the view of David Aldridge of The Athletic, it’s time for either Bradley Beal or the Wizards to be the bad guy and throw in the towel on this partnership. Aldridge contends that there’s no realistic path for Beal to contention as long as he stays in Washington, and despite his continued loyalty to the franchise he’s been with since he was 19, competing at the highest level is still a priority. Aldridge touches on the reported interest from the Warriors and Raptors, and adds that a Beal trade would almost certainly necessitate moving Russell Westbrook as well.
- The Hornets held a pre-draft workout for center Day’Ron Sharpe today, per a team PR tweet. Sharpe is considered a fringe first/second-round pick, and though the Hornets only have two very late second-round picks, it’s possible they could consider a move into the first half of the second round to try to address their glaring hole at center.
- The Hawks have hired Steve Gansey to be the head coach of their G League affiliate, the College Park Skyhawks, reports Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Gansey spent the past five seasons as the head coach of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.