Orlando Magic get Justin Harper in trade with Cavs, draft Kentucky's DeAndre Liggins at No. 53

Orlando Magic General Manager Otis Smith hunkers down in the 'War Room' at the Amway Center. (Stephen M. Dowell, Orlando Sentinel)

Orlando Magic fans wanted the franchise to make a major splash during Thursday night's 2011 NBA draft. Even superstar Dwight Howard hoped something would be done to upgrade the roster.

Acquiring a pair of second-round selections, University of Richmond forward Justin Harper and Kentucky shooting guard DeAndre Liggins, will have to do.

For now, anyway.

"We look at any ways to make our team better, that goes without saying," Magic General Manager Otis Smith said. "But this team doesn't need to be imploded. It needs to be tweaked. It needs guys to have better years. Chemistry needs to be built. We need a training camp. There's a lot of things that we need."

And, now, the Magic hope Harper and Liggins are a part of the solution.

After the Cleveland Cavaliers selected Harper 32nd overall, the Magic acquired his draft rights by trading their second-round pick in 2013 and their second-round pick in 2014 to the Cavs.

In four seasons at Richmond, the 6-foot-9, 228-pound forward stretched the floor, making 38 percent of his 3-point attempts. As a senior, he averaged 17.9 points and 6.9 rebounds per game and shot almost 45 percent from beyond the arc, drawing comparisons to former Magic forward Rashard Lewis.

"I think I can give them kind of the same type of game, just being able to stretch the floor with my 3-point range and the same skill set," Harper said.

Smith said the Magic had ranked Harper somewhere in the 20s on their draft board, then were surprised to see him fall to No. 32.

"We like skilled big guys," Smith said. "We like guys who can shoot the basketball. He can rebound the basketball and he's got nice size and a good NBA body."

The Magic used the 53rd overall pick to select Liggins, a 6-foot-6, 205-pound shooting guard who played three seasons at Kentucky and earned SEC All-Defensive Team honors as a junior.

Smith envisions Liggins as someone who can guard opposing point guards, shooting guards and small forwards.

"Probably more than anything else he's a tough kid," Smith said. "He works. He's not afraid to work. He's one of those guys that we can throw into different situations. Probably the biggest thing about him, I think, is he can defend multiple positions."

Shooting is not Liggins' best attribute, but after dreadful long-range shooting seasons as a freshman and sophomore, he upped his 3-point accuracy to just over 39 percent during his final season.

"My toughness will carry on towards the Orlando Magic," Liggins said. "As you've seen at Kentucky, I bring toughness to the team. I competed. I was the reason why we won some games."

Magic fans, still stunned by a first-round playoff exit, probably wanted to see bigger moves on draft night.

As the draft approached the Magic reportedly had pursued trades for Golden State guard Monta Ellis, Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith, Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash and Philadelphia 76ers wing Andre Iguodala.

But, with Howard not available for a deal, Orlando almost certainly lacked the quality trade chips that would've been needed to complete a deal with the Warriors, Hawks, Suns or Sixers.

That didn't prevent some Magic fans from hoping a combination of point guard Jameer Nelson, power forward Ryan Anderson, power forward Brandon Bass and shooting guard J.J. Redick could be packaged for an all-star.