Three Possible Trades for the Orlando Magic
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The Orlando Magic currently have a record of 14-16 and are sitting in 8th place in the Eastern Conference standings. Although they’ve continued to add lottery picks and have shown improvement, the Magic are still a couple pieces away from being true contenders in the postseason. After taking Jonathan Isaac and Mohamed Bamba in back-to-back drafts, and re-signing Aaron Gordon to a 4 year/$80 million deal this offseason, Orlando will turn their focus to their struggling back court. Despite being projected to take a top college point guard in the 2019 NBA Draft, they should still explore the trade market. Here are three possible trades the Orlando Magic should look into:
Option 1: Take a risk on an all-star caliber point guard
ORL receives: PG Jrue Holiday
NOLA receives: C Nikola Vucevic, SG Terrence Ross, 2020 First-Round Pick
The 28-year-old point guard is averaging career-highs in both points (20.7) and assists (8.8) per game. Holiday is regarded as one of the best two-way guards in the NBA and he would be a homerun acquisition for Orlando. The only problem is that he is under contract until 2022, which would mean that the Magic would have to increase their offer. The good news is that Vucevic is having a quality season and Terrence Ross offers quality guard depth. Throwing in an appealing 2020 first round pick along with no long-term financial commitments could persuade New Orleans to agree to the deal.
Now, I understand that Nik Vucevic has been pivotal for the Magic this season and it may seem foolish to dish him, but Orlando is focused on the future. Also, he is set to become a free agent in the offseason and there are many uncertainties (contract demands, interest in returning, etc). It would be smart for Orlando to take advantage of his good season and use him in a package to obtain a desperately-needed guard.
Option 2: Use the Washington turmoil to their advantage
ORL receives: SG Bradley Beal
WAS receives: C Nikola Vucevic, SG Terrence Ross, PF Jonathan Isaac, 2022 First-Round Pick
It is no secret that nobody on the Wizards’ team is safe from getting dealt, besides maybe John Wall. Beal makes the most since in Orlando, even with Fournier on the roster. At 25 years old, Beal is averaging a career-high 23.5 PPG in 2018-19. Adding Vucevic allows Washington to address their front court problem along with a promising young two-way forward in Jon Isaac. Terrence Ross is thrown in to match salaries, but he also brings effort and leadership, something the Wizards lack. The 2022 first round pick serves as the deal breaker and could lead Washington to pull the trigger.
Option 3: Revisit the 2017 draft
ORL receives: PG Dennis Smith Jr, PF Dwight Powell
DAL receives: C Nikola Vucevic, PG Jerian Grant, 2021 First Round Pick
There was talk back in June of 2017 that Orlando was fixing on drafting Dennis Smith Jr, but elected to take Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac instead. They have a chance to make it right by acquiring the young point guard. This trade could’ve been done straight up, but Vucevic and Grant’s contracts don’t give them any leverage. The first round pick should be more than enough to compensate for the contract matters, especially with Smith Jr’s fit in Dallas being questioned.