Wesley Iwundu proving he belongs on Orlando Magic regular season roster

Wesley Iwundu, a second round pick out of Kansas State, is showcasing the talent that made the Orlando Magic select him in the second round with the 33rd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Orlando Magic general manager, John Hammond, stated before the draft that the team would prefer length and versatility in any player selected and Wesley Iwundu is proving to be a huge combination of both. He is displaying those characteristics in full this week in the Orlando Magic Pro Summer League and

Wesley Iwundu has shown his potential as a defensive ace as well as a capable offensive threat. When asked about his defense, he stated he felt comfortable guarding positions one through four on the court. He cited the key to his defense abilities is using his length to his advantage.

Magic summer league head coach, Chad Forcier, reiterated that the team was very pleased with Iwundu’s play during league play.

“Wesley’s a really nice player. He is going to come along nicely. I really like what you see with his length, he’s got real active hands. He’s got great anticipation.” Forcier said. “He’s a big guard and he cares about playing defense. Forcier also commented that he is looking forward to watching him continue to grow”.

When asked if he believes Iwundu could play the point guard position, Forcier sounded confident of the idea in the future. Iwundu seems just as confident reiterating he had played the point position before in the past.

“The defensive length that I have, I feel like that helps me fit in with the Magic,’’ Iwundu said. “I played point guard in college and high school and a lot of my career, so it’s something I’m comfortable with doing and I feel comfortable guarding them and using my length to my advantage. I feel I can get out there and make a difference with my defense.’’

Coach Forcier reinforced those comments after Tuesdays game against the Dallas Mavericks.

“I think he is going to be able to. He handled it a bit more comfortable today. I thought he deferred to other guys. He wasn’t comfortable initiating the offense. I had to jump on him a little bit [at] one time. Try to boost him up and tell him I want him to play the game and not just get across half court and look for someone else. I thought it was a great experience for him to go through that his second game.”

Orlando Magic second round pick Wesley Iwundu answers questions about his defense and ability to play point guard after a summer league contest. Kenneth Oliver/The Oliver's Twist
Orlando Magic second round pick Wesley Iwundu answers questions about his defense and ability to play point guard after a summer league contest. Kenneth Oliver/The Oliver’s Twist

As a four year college player, the Magic believe those type of players bring a bit more to a team as rookies. Forcier commented that four year college players tend to show a bit more poise. With Iwundu, that’s something that should help bolster his positioning with making the regular season roster.

During his senior year at Kansas State, Iwundu averaged 13.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists while shooting 37.6 percent from downtown on a 48.1 percent total shooting average. The Magic could choose to add him to their regular season roster after the team lost veteran guard Jodie Meeks to the Washington Wizards earlier this week.

He is proving to be one of the Magic’s best summer league players. His most highlight worthy defensive play thus far was a nifty chase down block during the exhibition game against the Miami Heat Sunday afternoon.

As versatile as he is on defense, his offense is powering through as well. Against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, Iwundu went up and through a defender to convert on a difficult dunk attempt. The end result, two points for the Magic.

If anything, he is proving he is tough, versatile, and willing to accept any role the team designates for him.

And that should be enough to earn him a roster spot for the regular season.


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