When word Kyle O'Quinn began his rookie season, he didn't have much of a role. The Orlando Magic used the 49th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft on the big man from Norfolk State, but had Glen Davis, Nikola Vucevic, Gustavo Ayón, fellow rookie Andrew Nicholson, and Josh McRoberts ahead of him on the depth chart. As a result, O'Quinn only played in low-leverage situations, with the game's outcome not in doubt.
Fast forward to the end of January and O'Quinn secured a larger role with the club. An injury to Davis and McRoberts' inconsistency gave him an opportunity, and the opportunity grew larger on Thursday when Orlando dealt Ayón to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a six-player trade. The Magic also dealt McRoberts to the Charlotte Bobcats for cash, which trade opened even more time for O'Quinn.
O'Quinn didn't imagine he'd have such an important role so soon. "Of course not," the 22-year-old said Saturday night as he prepared for that night's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. "You never predict injuries and trades like this, so you didn't know that in the beginning, but as the coaching staff says, you never know what's gonna happen. You sorta kinda wanna be ready and just accept the challenge, and as a team I think we're doing that."
Magic rookie Kyle O'Quinn rewarding coach Jacque Vaughn's faith in him
Orlando Pinstriped Post | Feb 24