It’s unclear how serious the Dennis Smith Jr. trade talks between the Magic and Mavericks have gotten, writes Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. However, at least one rival NBA front office official believes Smith would make a lot of sense as a target for Orlando.
“Their priority should be a starting point guard,” the official said of the Magic. “Those guys don’t grow on trees, and Dennis Smith is pretty alluring because when are you going to get (a starting point guard otherwise)?”
As Robbins observes, there will be a couple intriguing point guard prospects – Murray State’s Ja Morant and Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland – near the top of the draft, but it’s not clear if the Magic will pick high enough to have a shot at either one — and the point guard class isn’t particularly strong after those two. Currently, Orlando ranks seventh in our 2018/19 Reverse Standings.
Robbins doesn’t go too in-depth on potential free agent targets for the Magic, but suggests it seems “unrealistic” that the team will land a marquee point guard in free agency. Most of 2019’s top free agent point guards are either restricted free agents (like D’Angelo Russell and Terry Rozier) or aren’t expected to consider Orlando (Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker).
Here’s more on the Magic from Robbins:
- Within his discussion of the DSJ rumors, Robbins notes that the Mavericks were interested in Jonathan Isaac in 2017, but Orlando remains “strongly disinclined to give him up.” The Magic also haven’t shown any signs that they’re willing to trade Aaron Gordon, sources tell Robbins.
- Exploring the possibility of a Nikola Vucevic trade, Robbins wonders what sort of impact a Vooch trade would have on the long-term development of Isaac, Gordon, and Mohamed Bamba. Robbins also questions whether the Magic would trade Vucevic in a deal for a first-round pick that falls outside of the lottery and wouldn’t necessarily change the club’s long-term outlook significantly.
- In a separate story on the Magic, Robbins posits that the franchise hasn’t found a “star-quality player” to replace Dwight Howard since losing him back in 2012. Head coach Steve Clifford drew attention to the star-shaped hole on Orlando’s roster after Wednesday’s loss to Brooklyn, pointing out that the Magic don’t have a player who can be relied upon to score a basket or make a play in crunch time. “It’s the most important thing that you can have in any NBA game: a guy that can go get a shot or create help so his teammate gets a shot,” Clifford said. “It’s the No. 1 thing that you want.”