The Magic would like to find a taker for center Nikola Vucevic, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN. Appearing on a podcast with Zach Lowe, Windhorst said Orlando is hoping to make major changes that may also include point guard Elfrid Payton.
After trading for power forward Serge Ibaka over the summer and signing center Bismack Biyombo, the Magic are off to a disappointing 14-18 start. Coach Frank Vogel made some lineup changes last month that included sending Vucevic to the bench. Vucevic, who protested the demotion, is now averaging 27.8 minutes per night, the fewest in his five years in Orlando. His scoring has dropped dramatically, from 18.2 points per game a year ago to 12.8 this season.
Vucevic signed a four-year extension in 2014 and still has two more seasons and $25MM left on his contract.
The Magic are also “down” on Payton, Windhorst adds. The third-year point guard lost his starting job to D.J. Augustin in the November shakeup. Payton is still on his rookie contract and is under team control through the 2017/18 season.
Windhorst says Payton caused a lot of friction between the Orlando front office, which traded two first-round picks to acquire him, and former coach Scott Skiles, who didn’t believe he was good enough to play. The reporter adds that the Magic could be a potential destination for Goran Dragic if the Heat decide to move him.