FEBRUARY 17TH: The Magic are hesitant to give up Nicholson if they can’t get much in return, as sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who writes amid a larger piece.
10:44am: It’s unlikely a trade partner will emerge, but Dallas owner Mark Cuban was at one point high on Nicholson, according to Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel, who suggests it’s possible the Mavs will pursue him before the deadline (Twitter links).
FEBRUARY 12TH, 9:23am: The Magic are making Andrew Nicholson available to other teams if they want to trade for him and are working with agent Mark Bartelstein to try to find a new home for the 25-year-old power forward, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Nicholson’s playing time is down sharply this year, and he hasn’t played since January 10th. He’s seen only 8.9 minutes per game across 18 appearances this season as he sits behind Channing Frye and Kyle O’Quinn on the team’s depth chart at power forward, with Tobias Harris and Aaron Gordon jockeying for playing time at both forward positions.
Nicholson is making close to $1.546MM on year three of his rookie scale contract, which calls for him to receive nearly $2.381MM next season in the final year of the deal. He’ll be eligible for an extension this summer. The 19th overall pick in the 2012 draft was in the rotation for the Magic his first two seasons, averaging 16.0 MPG, but offseason additions Frye and Gordon have crowded him out. However, it’s somewhat surprising that GM Rob Hennigan and company would seek to pivot on Nicholson with the team’s coaching situation in flux, since a new coach might value him more than former coach Jacque Vaughn or interim boss James Borrego have.
The Magic are about $7MM under the cap, so they have plenty of flexibility to make a trade. They have all their own first-round picks plus one coming their way from the Lakers in 2017, and at least one second-round pick in each upcoming draft, though it would seem unlikely they’d have to send Nicholson out with a pick unless it was part of a larger deal.