Orlando Magic Rumors: Orlando Magic tried to trade for Paul Millsap before doing Serge Ibaka deal

BY Fansided and Muhammed Jumani/FanSided via Orlando Magic Daily • June 30, 2017

Fans and the national media heavily criticized the Orlando Magic when they pulled the trigger on a Victor OladipoSerge Ibaka swap. It appears that was not their first plan.

The Orlando Magic have been trying to do anything they can to improve their roster and lure a popular player to help them reach the Playoffs. The Magic traded Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and the 11th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Serge Ibaka on Draft night to start that process.

It appears that deal was not their first choice.

According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Magic tried to trade for Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap before they eventually pulled the trigger and traded for Serge Ibaka.

Orlando general manager Rob Hennigan has a long-standing infatuation with the star power forward: The team tried trading for Paul Millsap before the 2012–13 season, according to the Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins. Then, they offered him the max in 2015, and Millsap said he was their “first priority.” A league source familiar with the matter told me the Magic made another trade push for Millsap last summer (these talks happened before the Victor Oladipo trade for Serge Ibaka on draft night, according to the source). Instead, the Magic landed Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo, two all-in moves made with the hopes of making the playoffs this season. It’s led to a current record of 16–23, but they’re still only 3.5 games back from the 8-seed. The Orlando Sentinel reported in November that the pressure to win means Hennigan’s seat “couldn’t be any hotter,” which aligns with what I’ve recently heard: The team is desperate to make the playoffs, and with pressure mounting on Hennigan, it seems reasonable that he could try, yet again, to cash-in some of his younger assets for a proven star like Millsap.

The Magic were in the running to sign Millsap in the 2015 NBA Offseason. Millsap had to choose between Orlando and Atlanta, however, in the end, he chose to remain with the Hawks.

The Magic had the right idea in mind as Millsap is known as one of the best power forwards in the NBA. He would have really helped the Orlando Magic’s struggling offense, ranked 27th in the league.

Millsap is a prolific scorer Magic general manager Rob Hennigan has targeted numerous times it would seem. And rightfully so, due to Millsap’s ability to stretch the floor with his 3-point shooting.

Millsap also improved his ability to protect the rim, as he averaged a career-high 1.7 blocks per game last season. That was one of the concerns the Magic wanted to address in the offseason. They have lacked a true rim protector since former Magic superstar Dwight Howard departed.

Paul Millsap has been involved in a few trade rumors this past week, as his future is uncertain in Atlanta. Considering Millsap’s history on the market, it is not particularly surprising to believe the Magic offered a package in order to get Millsap’s services.

It appears those trade rumors can get put to rest though. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported Monday night the Hawks were done shopping Millsap and have decided to keep him and take him off the market.

The Magic, having missed out on Millsap, went to the next best option in Serge Ibaka. Ibaka, in fact, is very similar to Millsap. He may not be as good of a scorer, but he does protect the rim very well. The Magic may not have gotten the player they wanted. But Ibaka is undoubtedly a quality stretch-4 in today’s league.

The Magic certainly tried. But they failed to strike gold as they are struggling right now with an abysmal record of 16-23. It seems the next big move for the Magic is still right around the corner.

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