Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 17
LAC receives: C Nikola Vucevic
ORL receives: C Marcin Gortat, SG Jerome Robinson; 2019 second round pick, future second round pick
Nikola Vucevic is having the best season of his career; the 28-year-old is averaging career-highs in both points (20.5) and rebounds (12.0) per game. With that being said, how much leverage do the Magic have? Unfortunately for them, he is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July and there is a ton of speculation that he isn’t in Orlando’s plans moving forward.
This makes sense for LA in the sense that they are adding an all-star caliber player at the expense of an expiring contract, a young prospect, and a pair of second round picks. The Clippers are currently sitting in eighth place in the Western Conference standings. At 25-22, this move is necessary. Vucevic would be a definite upgrade over Gortat, but splitting ways with 2018 first round pick Jerome Robinson may be hard to do. However, the market for Vucevic may call for the giving up of a young player.
Orlando would really be banking on the development of Jerome Robinson. Unfortunately, there is only a small sample size. The former 13th overall pick hasn't cracked the crowded Clippers’ backcourt rotation. However, he is only 21-years old and was an explosive scorer in college last season. Robinson could be a huge addition to a struggling backcourt unit in Orlando and they also acquire a veteran on an expiring contract. Not to mention, two second-rounders give them additional assets. It’s time for Orlando to sell high on Vucevic, the value will not rise any more and it would be foolish to let him walk for nothing.