4 Trades That Make Sense For The Orlando Magic
As Christmas approaches, NBA teams begin to have a feel for who they are and where they’re going. What are their strengths and weaknesses and can they be addressed with a deal? Should a team be a buyer or seller? The Magic moved from rebuilding to win now in the offseason, but aren’t in win now to win a title mode obviously, so they have some wiggle room with their decision-making. The Magic have a losing record so I’m sure they’d like to take a step forward, but could be willing to take a small step backward in order to make 2 steps forward next season.
I present 4 trades that make sense for both the Magic and the team they’d be making the deal with.
Jeff Green (1-$15) to Dallas for SG Wes Matthews (3-$53)
Why it works: The Mavericks are clearly going down in flames this year, and would be better served to escape Matthews deal to free up cap space to spend elsewhere. The Magic desperately could use more outside shooting and Matthews toughness defensively on the wing. Fournier and Matthews could start together and be interchangeable at SG and SF, moving Gordon back to the bench and likely flipping Payton and Augustin for better balance.
Serge Ibaka (1-$12) to Phoenix for G Brandon Knight (4-$56)
Why it works: The Suns have been using Knight as their super-sub behind Bledsoe and Booker in the back-court. Rookie Marquis Chriss has been starting, supplanting an iffy signing in Jared Dudley. Ibaka would better complement the starting unit, and moving Knight would allow for Tyler Ulis to carve out a role. Knight, who is more of a combo guard, could slide in as the Magic’s starting point guard, but give them flexibility in more potent 2-PG lineups. It also reinserts Aaron Gordon as the starting PF.
Elfrid Payton (2-$6) and Jeff Green (1-$15) to Miami for PG Goran Dragic (4-$70) and SF Luke Babbit (1-$1.2)
Why it works: The Heat don’t want to be, but they’re in full-tank mode now. Moving on from an older Dragic gives Pat Riley (ever confident) plenty of money to spend this offseason, plus he secures another trade chip in Green (until the deadline) and a young point guard in Payton. The Magic could really use the offensive punch Dragic could provide, and his contract, although not great, isn’t bad by today’s new CBA standards. Babbit gives the Magic a shooter off the bench.
Nik Vucevic (3-$37) and Jodi Meeks (1-$6.5) to Boston for SF Jaylen Brown (4-$21) and PF/C Amir Johnson (1-$12)
Why it works: The Magic logjam in the front-court doesn’t need to be sorted out necessarily, but if a deal presents itself where they can strengthen themselves on the wing then they have to look at it. Landing the 3rd pick in the 2016 draft would be a great catch. The Celtics would be able to play with Horford more at the 4, and Vucevic would add scoring. Meeks would give Boston a shooter and a wing replacement.