Seven Potential Orlando Magic Trade Partners
It’s not secret that the current Orlando Magic roster will look different by the end of the year. With the team in rebuild mode, they are searching for ways to shed salary and hopefully simultaneously pickup assets. As the season creeps towards the trade deadline, injuries will take place and needs will arise. Keep an eye on the following 7 contenders who have assets to offer and either have a need now or will likely have one in the next few months.
Orlando trade pieces: $17.8M trade exception, J.J. Redick, Al Harrington, Josh McRoberts, Hedo Turkoglu, Glen Davis, Gustavo Ayon, Fran Vazquez draft rights and DeQuan Jones’ unguaranteed deal.
1) LA Clippers – Key Assets: roster flexibility, Eric Bledsoe, Lamar Odom’s expiring contract, $3M in cash
The Clippers front court depth is adequate to awful depending on how much you believe in Lamar Odom this season. Backing up DeAndre Jordan is Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins, who both happened to be released from their initial teams last year. The Clippers released Travis Leslie recently and have 1 open roster space that could allow them to take on someone like Josh McRoberts without having to send a player in return. If Lamar Odom chooses to not try again this year, a straight swap for Al Harrington would make sense for both teams. Eric Bledsoe, despite being buried behind Chris Paul, is highly unlikely to be pried away from Lob City unless the Magic offered something significant.
2) Minnesota Timberwolves – Key Assets: Memphis 1st round pick (lottery protected), Derrick Williams, Chase Budinger, roster flexibility, $3M cash
The T’Wolves have openly shopped Williams and the Magic were once involved in those talks. If Minny sees a legit shot at the trade deadline to make the playoffs, perhaps they get desperate to appease their fan base (and Kevin Love) and send off one of their young pieces or a potential mid-round draft pick via Memphis.
3) Utah Jazz – Key Assets: Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Mo Williams expiring contracts, Warriors 1st round pick (top 7 protected), roster flexibility, $3M cash
The Jazz will certainly be players in the trade market as they try to obtain value for either Al Jefferson or Paul Millsap who are unlikely to return next season with Kanter/Favors waiting in the wings. Utah has a full salary cap this season but has a significant drop off coming next season. With Hayward, Favors and Kanter the core base of the future, they could be looking to add veteran depth for another playoff run or to fill in short-term holes for next season to bridge the gap. At the very least, they surely look like a great 3rd party trade partner. They also have the ability to waive DeMarre Carroll and Kevin Murphy for roster space.
4) Miami Heat – Key Assets: 76ers 1st round pick (lottery protected), LeBron James, roster flexibility,$3M cash
Do the Heat REALLY want to keep LeBron James? Bad joke, sorry. The FLYING DEATH MACHINE looked tremendous on opening night with Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis showing that they “still got game” (another bad joke), but can they be trusted to make it through the season without being hurt? The Heat can waive Jorts and Terrel Harris for roster space.
5) Oklahoma City Thunder – Key Assets: roster flexibility, Hennigan’s phone number memorized, Eric Maynor, multiple 1st round picks
Maynor will become a RFA after this season and depending on how he bounces back from injury this season, he could easily price himself out of the Thunder salary cap. Widely considered as one of the best backup PG’s in the league, he would be an ideal upgrade as Jameer Nelson slowly fades away. Maybe they will trade DeAndre Liggins back? I miss him.
6) Chicago Bulls – Key Assets: Bobcats 1st round pick (top 12 protected in 2013, top 10 protected in 2014, top 8 protected in 2015, unprotected in 2016), Taj Gibson, roster flexibility, $3M cash
Chicago is thinnnnnnnnnn in the backcourt and if Rip Hamilton goes down, the Bulls will no doubt be calling about the services of J.J. Redick who they signed to an offer sheet as a free agent a few years ago. The Bulls own an extremely valuable Bobcats draft pick that was originally acquired in a trade for Tyrus Thomas. Some NBA team will have a top-3 pick in 2016 thanks to Tyrus Thomas… Chew on that. The Bulls also have just 13 players under contract and have room to take on pieces. Chicago may look to move Taj Gibson in order to get something in return for the soon to be restricted free agent. With Chicago currently in the tax, they certainly won’t be looking to take on salary unless they decide to amnesty Carlos Boozer next Summer. ///UPDATE 10/31 – Chicago has signed Gibson to a 4-year, $38M extension///
7) San Antonio Spurs – Key Assets: roster flexibility, $3M cash, unsigned 2nd-round foreign players Davis Bertans and Adam Hanga (who I’m assuming will be good because San Antonio drafted them), Stephen Jackson expiring contract
San Antonio just seems like the perfect fit to bring on a veteran player like Al Harrington who can come off the bench and score. Complicating the matter is that San Antonio is painfully close to being tax payers under the current salary cap. However, if Captain Jack struggles or gets hurt, Harrington is a natural replacement at a smaller per year cost.
This list could easily be expanded to include teams like Memphis (Rudy Gay), Milwaukee (Jennings/Ellis) or Atlanta (Josh Smith) but I’d be surprised if Rob Hennigan would be that quick to make a giant splash before better knowing what he has in his young guys. As injuries arise throughout the league and guys either excel or struggle, the list of partners will fluctuate. But rest assured, the Orlando Magic will not be silent.