The Orlando Magic seem ripe for change right now with the trade deadline coming up. While the Magic will be active, they are not going to sell everything.
There is no secret at this point, the Orlando Magic are looking to deal ahead of the Feb. 23 NBA Trade Deadline. They have said so publicly. And it does not take a genius to know the Magic’s roster could use some improvements.
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Even in the early parts of the season, as early as December, the Magic were publicly saying they would aggressively look for a deal to improve their team. They knew they were an incomplete team and could use some general improvements throughout the roster.
Those calls are only going to get louder with the Serge Ibaka decision upcoming.
But one thing general manager Rob Hennigan has said and the Magic will not do is tear everything down and restart. The Magic are not going to go into firesale mode, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. The hope, it would appear, is to set up the next stage of Magic basketball by resetting their rebuild and finding a way forward after this season seems to have flopped so much.
A deal, though, is still a little ways from happening, according to Kyler.
The Magic are not holding a fire sale, at least according to sources close to the talks. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The Magic seem to be valuing most of their trade chips too greatly, which is why they haven’t triggered a deal.
The Magic are also not looking at cosmetic change, they’d like to land a major player and have been after the Miami HEAT regarding Goran Dragic and the Chicago Bulls about Jimmy Butler, but neither seems to be obtainable at this point in the trade cycle.
This seems to be the natural point for these negotiations at this stage. Without deadline pressure, the Magic appear to be asking for more than they can get, hoping a team will bite. Similarly, teams are hoping to get a player like Serge Ibaka for as little as possible.
The Magic undoubtedly have some assets they can move. Ibaka is the most likely because of his expiring contract. But the Magic have expiring contracts in Jeff Green and C.J. Watson they can move. And they have Nikola Vucevic‘s team-friendly contract to shop around.
There are plenty of opportunities to make deals. Just what the Magic are looking for is going to determine what kind of deals they make.
For now, it seems like the Magic are biding their time. They are not going to sell everyone off and rebuild around young Aaron Gordon or someone else and to start from scratch. It does seem like the Magic are trying to reset their rebuild and get back on track.
That approach should focus on finding players that complement each other. And, it should be noted, may be an approach that lasts beyond the trade deadline.
The clear message is the Magic are not restarting. They appear they believe they can rebuild with some of the pieces they have and retake the progress they made last year before pushing all in on the Playoffs in 2017.