Jan 5, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Atlanta Hawks guard Kyle Korver (26) sits on the bench during the first quarter of a game against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The pot is officially stirred and the wheels are turning around the NBA. The trade this week of Kyle Korver kicked off trade season in the NBA.
The NBA trade market is beginning to heat up. It just needed a little push to get over the edge.
The reality, of course, is a lot can change in the course of a few weeks. That is how these things go. And it will only speed up as the Feb. 23 trade deadline creeps ever closer.
Nothing concrete has emerged on what the Magic are looking to do. But it is safe to assume the team is working on something — perhaps something big.
Orlando entered the season with one goal. They made no illusions, their goal was to make the Playoffs. The moves they made this offseason were done to achieve this seemingly simple goal, abandoning in some ways four years of slow growth to speed things up for a restless fan base.
The process has not been clean.
Rebuilt with defense in mind — both on the roster and the coaching staff — the team is a middling defensive team, at best. And the Magic sit five games below .500 and out of the Playoff spot by three games with a daunting six-game road trip ahead.
It may not take long for the Magic to get involved in some trade rumors or for their discussions to leak and become public knowledge.
With the Korver trade going through, the trade winds appear to be open. And there are more than a few serious rumors that may have some effect on the Magic moving forward.
Apr 16, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) looks to pass the ball back inbound against the Boston Celtics during the first half in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
The best place to start is the Atlanta Hawks.
After the Kyle Korver trade quickly and surprisingly came together, the rumors started flying about Paul Millsap. And there appears to be at least some discussion of trading the All-Star forward. That would ultimately signal a complete restart for the Hawks.
There are some reports suggesting the Hawks are still split about what to do. There were some who believed the Hawks would resolve all their trading and set their direction by the weekend, but they certainly may still wait.
Millsap should have plenty of suitors. And the Magic may very well be one of them.
Before Millsap signed his three-year deal — which he can opt out of following this season — he nearly signed a contract with the Magic. Whether Millsap used Orlando as a bargaining tool to get a more favorable deal from Atlanta is still a matter for debate.
That interest could still be there. But Millsap will also be a free agent this summer. He is not a likely target for the Magic.
But what could be intriguing is what Millsap will do to the market for power forwards in the league. Whoever does not get Millsap could very well call the Magic next to inquire about Serge Ibaka.
The Magic are not in a position to trade him quite yet. Not unless they get a big return.
Should the Magic fall out of the Playoff race, though, Serge Ibaka could become very available as the Magic try to recoup some value on the asset before he leaves in free agency.
Ric Bucher of Bleacher/Report reports the Chicago Bulls are fielding calls for Buter. About this time last year, there were a few reports circulating that the Magic had some conversations with the Bulls involving Butler and Victor Oladipo.
That scenario is obviously out the window. But Butler is very much the kind of star player the Magic are hungering for. These are the opportunities that teams with young assets sometimes have to wait for. The Magic cashed in that chip.
Nov 3, 2016; Orlando, FL, USA; Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) looks to pass the ball in the first quarter as Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) and forward Serge Ibaka (7) defend at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
The star player that seems most likely to move is still DeMarcus Cousins with the Sacramento Kings.
The organization and the relationship with their star are still very possibly dysfunctional. And the moment the Kings turn south, the sharks will start circling.
There are plenty of signs, though, the Kings are not likely to move the big man. The first being Sacramento is actually in the Playoff race for the first time in nearly a decade. Entering Sunday’s games, the Kings are tied with the Portland Trail Blazers for the final Playoff spot.
Considering Sacramento has not been to the Playoffs in 10 seasons, giving up the team’s best player when that goal is in reach would seem a bit silly.
And Sacramento reportedly is planning on keeping Cousins around for a very long time too. Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports the Kings plan to offer Cousins an extension this summer that could be worth north of $200 million. That would be hard to pass up. And Cousins has shown no signs he would turn it down. Or that he wants to leave Sacramento.
Apr 13, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) shoots over Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) during the first half at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Orlando Magic have reportedly been in the market for a point guard. Or at least they are thinking about an upgrade considering Elfrid Payton’s general inconsistency and D.J. Augustin better fitting as a backup.
The Miami Heat seem ripe for a rebuild and to begin spurning their veteran players to sink lower into the draft. The post-Dwyane Wade era has not gotten off to the strongest start.
That should make Goran Dragic the most sought-after point guard on the market come mid-February.
And the Magic need a point guard. There is already suggestions, at least from fans, the Magic should bolster their point guard position and stabilize it with a veteran like Dragic.
The reality is Miami still holds all the cards. And the Heat are not quite ready to deal. Not yet.
That is not too uncommon for this time of year. The Heat do not have any deadline pressures to make a deal. They are right to ask for a lot at this point. As the February deadline gets closer, that asking price may go down.
Or the Heat could decide to stay the course and try to win quickly again as they sometimes do. They do not have to do much of anything. So they still control all the cards.
We will do these NBA rumor roundups periodically as they pile up ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Hear anything interesting or want to shoot us a trade idea? Leave them in the comments below or tweet them at us @omagicdaily!