Orlando’s Plan At The Trade Deadline Remains Unclear

The Magic, with a record of 21-31, remain just five games back in the loss column of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and most of the league doesn’t have a feel for what Orlando is going to do before the trade deadline, ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes.

While many in the organization feel pressure to make the playoffs this season, the Magic’s front office doesn’t appear to be under a playoffs-or-bust mandate. Despite being within an arm’s length of a playoff spot, the team could consider making moves with the long-term in mind.

Aaron Gordon‘s descending contract was designed to make him a more attractive trade piece. With the Mohamed BambaJonathan Isaac looking like team’s frontcourt of the future, the 23-year-old combo forward, who’s best suited to play the four, may find himself on a new team. The Mavericks inquired on Gordon’s availability before pulling the trigger on Kristaps Porzingis, Lowe reports.

The Pacers had interest in signing Gordon to an offer sheet when he was a restricted free agent, though it’s unclear what Indiana’s position is on trading for talent before the deadline with star Victor Oladipo out for the year. Lowe speculates that the Jazz and Trail Blazers would be good landing spots for Gordon should Orlando ship him out.

The Magic would likely deal Terrence Ross, who will be a free agent after the season, for a future asset, Lowe adds, though he cautions that Orlando may not be able to get even a heavily-protected first-round pick for the swingman. If the team does deal Ross, it could be for a pair of second-round picks.

The Magic have to consider trading Nikola Vucevic, Lowe contends. The team drafted Bamba to man the five and with Vucevic’s looming free agency, Orlando will either have to sign him to a massive deal or watch him walk for nothing.

Lowe doesn’t anticipate a Vuvevic trade. though he touches on a pair of hypothetical deals with one involving Orlando shipping the big man to the Lakers for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Los Angeles’ first-round pick. The Lakers’ pick is expected to fall somewhere in the middle of the draft and that may not be more appealing than simply keeping Vucevic for the Magic’s front office.

The other hypothetical involves a swap of Ross and Markelle Fultz. While the deal would seem to benefit both the Sixers and Magic, it’s unclear whether Philadelphia would require an additional asset, such as a second-round pick. Lowe notes that Fultz’s injury and trade value remains a mystery.

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15 thoughts on “Orlando’s Plan At The Trade Deadline Remains Unclear

  1. Z-A

    Magic Tank for Ja Morant.

    Trade Vucevic + Ross + Grant for Gordon Hayward money works… hasn’t exactly worked out in Boston and doesn’t prevent the Celtics from trading for AD in the offseason as they can still swap Horford + all of their 2019 picks are on the table.

    Try and use Mozgov & Augustin’s expiring contracts in the 2019-20 season.

    You either have to draft the right players or find someone looking to maybe get out of a contract.

    • hiflew

      Tanking is a horrible idea now. There is no way they are catching the bottom 5 teams as of now and Morant is definitely not falling below the top 5. Probably not past the top 3.

      They’d be better off trying to sneak in and sell some playoff tickets.

      The Hayward trade you suggest…I don’t really see any benefit for the Magic. It’s incredible for Boston, but trades have to benefit both sides.

      • Z-A

        Magic are 7th in reverse standingsm. 10.5 GB from worst record. (Tankathon).

        You’re buying low on Hayward. What would you get for Vucevic? 1st in the mid-late 20s?

        Who are they signing in FA to bring in? Overpay Russell/Rozier? They’ll have ab 20M in cap space after the draft if they do not stretch Mozgov and do nothing. Not going to land any premium or mid level FA, there is no premium FA the following year. So wait until the premium FAs are 2 years older in 2021 and hope Bamba and Gordon and Isaac are good enough to lure in a FA?

        Or, bring in an All Star caliber player on the mend who needs to get his feet under himself still. And it costs you a potential 1st rounder you could get for Vucevic and a 2nd youd get for Ross.

    • imindless

      Hayward has negative value and would require i trove of 1st rounders to take on that terrible contract. Celtics arent getting ad his dad even said he wont be resigning with how they treated IT….moving on knicks and lakers appear best suited for his services more likely knicks because of the picks and cap space. Celtics can use pick to clear cap space to sign stars or use picks and tatum to possible clear haywards terrible deal.

      • Ptn18

        Danny Ainge said he isn’t deterred by any of this westcoast propaganda. He has the best package. Kyrie reiterated to the team this week. Ainge says AD spending a year with his buddy Kyrie should get him to sign. Lakers know if they don’t get AD this week, they’ll have to wait and hope he doesn’t pull a Paul George.
        I wish the Celtics could do Z-A’s trade. He “may” improve.
        For the draft, does Phoenix take Morant or Zion if they get the top pick?

        • hiflew

          Draft is a LONG way off. You won’t know the #1 pick until after the combine most likely. Especially in a year like this where there isn’t really a franchise changing type player. Zion and Morant and Barrett are good players and will probably have fine careers, but none of them are Anthony Davis or KAT or Ben Simmons or Andrew Wiggins or other no doubt #1s. This draft will probably end up a lot like the 2013 where the #1 will be any of 3-4 guys depending on who gets the #1.

          • Z-A

            Zion is the hype machine that will be the #1 overall unless the Suns pick first and went need over BPA. I like Barrett to be the best of the bunch. Reddish looks a lot like Richard Lewis tho. Everyone says this is a weak draft, yet you can go almost 8 or 9 deep with guys that should end up with decent careers.

        • hiflew

          It’s all well and good that Ainge thinks he has the best package, but he is not the one trading Davis.

          That’s a lot like thinking you are the best looking guy at a club. Your opinion really doesn’t matter, it’s all up to the other person whether or not you go home alone.

  2. x%sure

    The Weltman/Hammond FO is conservative even if longtime (longsuffering) FO employees are not. They can easily match any offer for Vucevic, who is not unhappy there. And that’s the only FA threat, given that Ross is not that great.

    They are not going to trade Vucevic for Hayward. Hayward is dead money right now, Boston’s problem not Orlando’s.
    More from the Lowe link:

    “Bamba is not ready; the Magic over the last month have split up Bamba and Jonathan Isaac because teams are destroying Orlando with those two on the floor.
    I’d bet against a Vucevic deal…”

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