Dec 1, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) dribbles up the court during the first half against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
Article continues below ...
NBA Trade Rumors: The Orlando Magic will head to the trade market in order to bolster their scoring punch. Here are four names to watch
During the summer, one thing was apparent. Well, many things were. However, for the Orlando Magic, there was one that stood out – they wanted to make the playoffs. This was a team, after trading Victor Oladipo on NBA Draft night, that clearly wanted to break their four-year postseason drought.
After trading Oladipo and the draft rights to Domantas Sabonis, the Magic went on to free agency to sign Bismack Biyombo, Jeff Green and re-signed Evan Fournier to a fat new deal. They also hired Frank Vogel as the team’s new head coach.
The Magic had one thing in mind for the 2016-17 season, to make the playoffs. However, at 10-14, sitting in the 11th slot in the East, that’s kind of the opposite that Orlando is on their way to doing this season.
Instead of making that return to the postseason, the Magic are well on their way to another trip to the draft lottery. Not acceptable, apparently.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the Magic will head into the trade market in an attempt to find help on the offensive end.
The Orlando Magic will sift through the trade market in an effort to add a scorer, a league source with knowledge of the situation told the Orlando Sentinel.
Perhaps even more interestingly, ESPN’s Marc Stein suggests that the Magic could dangle Mario Hezonja in an attempt to get the right deal done.
More evidence to suggest that the Magic, who are openly seeking a scoring boost via trade, are willing to move Hezonja in the right deal … https://t.co/IJunuX9cFk
Nov 11, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Sacramento Kings forward Rudy Gay (8) shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless (4) in the first half at Moda Center at the Rose Quarter. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings
Rudy Gay is far and away the guy most believe will be moved sooner or later this season. He’s already let it known that he plans on opting out after this season, and will most likely take his talents away from Sacramento – or Basketball Hell, as he calls it.
Interestingly enough, Gay is actually having quite the season. Gay is averaging 19 points, six rebounds and three assists on 46 percent shooting from the field and 36 percent from three-point range.
Gay is a guy that will come in and produce on the offensive end. He’s often been criticized for the lack of efficiency in his game, but he will put up numbers. And if the Magic are simply looking for offense, they can’t exactly be picky – especially when shopping in the trade market.
Dec 9, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) shoots the ball against the Los Angeles Lakers during a NBA basketball game at Staples Center. The Suns defeated the Lakers 119-115. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns aren’t going anywhere this season. Phoenix barely won their 7th game of the season, and are ranked 12th in the Western Conference. Despite some optimism in the summer, especially with the expectation that Eric Bledsoe would return from injury, the Suns have fizzled out through the first few weeks of the season.
Phoenix could be a natural trade partner for Orlando, who have youthful talent on their roster. If the Magic would be willing to move a guy like Aaron Gordon, along with Mario Hezonja, perhaps that would be enough to peak Phoenix’s interest.
Again, Bledsoe’s name hasn’t come up in trade rumors yet but this seems like a matter of when and not if.
The Suns are a few years away from competing. They’re just too young right now.
Nov 25, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Brandon Knight (11) celebrates a second quarter three pointer against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Brandon Knight, Phoenix Suns
Of the two Phoenix Suns on this list, Brandon Knight has probably the higher probability of being moved in season. However, don’t be surprised if both these players have new addresses by the end of the year.
Knight, though, is the preferred move. Even though the Suns have said they aren’t actively trying to move Knight at the moment, most around the league believe it will eventually happen. Knight is in the sixth season of his career and has already played for three different teams.
After having the best season of his career last year with the Suns, the return of Eric Bledsoe and emergence of Devin Booker has Knight on the outside looking in. This season, in a much lesser role (compared to 2015-16), Knight is averaging 13 points in 24 minutes per game – 12 less than he averaged last season.
Perhaps the biggest concern with Knight is the fact that he’s having his least efficient year of his career this season. Knight is only shooting 37 percent from the field and 32 percent from three-point range.
With that said, Knight is an interesting name that will be available for the right deal.
Dec 7, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) shoots over Atlanta Hawks forward Mike Muscala (31) during the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Goran Dragic, Miami Heat
It should be noted that it would be highly unlikely for the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic to do this level of a swap, but we’ve seen stranger things in the NBA before – and both these franchises are, clearly, in different spots.
The Miami Heat won’t be competing for a playoff spot this season, unless something drastically changes soon. The Magic are trying to do the exact opposite. Orlando could be a logical landing spot for Dragic, who doesn’t appear to be a part of the Heat’s future.
Dragic will be traded at some point this season, why not to the Magic?
Apart from the Magic and Heat being brutal division rivals, this exchange would actually make sense. The Heat need picks (assets) or young talent – the Magic have both.
Perhaps something along the lines of Mario Hezonja, first-round pick(s) and contract fillers for Goran Dragic would work. Again, this is a long shot, but it might actually make sense for both teams.