We are about a month away from the trade deadline and so trade rumors will begin to really pick up.
The Magic figure to be at the center of a lot of trade discussions as they try to continue this transition and position themselves to get back into title contention. Nobody is quite sure what that means yet or how that will come about.
The proven routes are to find a star in the draft or find a star through trades.
So one thing Orlando is exploring — and has to explore — is bringing in that player to build around through a trade. There are a few available in this upcoming trade market and one has already had his name attached to Orlando.
That would be Memphis' Rudy Gay. But, it is not likely the Magic will eventually acquire him, although they could be involved in the deal.
The Grizzlies are competing for a championship this year, but are trying to get under the luxury tax line and avoid paying the tax. A big way to do that would be to trade one of their big stars like Rudy Gay or Zach Randolph.
Several reports have tied Orlando to Gay. And why not? J.J. Redick would be a great player to add to that Memphis team as a shooter and veteran player that could help get the team over the top. If not him, then Josh McRoberts would help them shed some salary. And then there is that large trade exception.
But Orlando acquiring Gay does not make a whole ton of sense, as Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel explains in his trade deadline primer (a must read):
Memphis apparently has told teams Rudy Gay is available, so would the Magic have interest?
Almost certainly not.
Gay is a good player, for sure, but he's owed about $17.9 million next season and has a player option of almost $19.3 million for 2014-15.
It's unlikely that the Magic would want to clog up their salary cap for a player who isn't an elite-level star, especially at a time when the Magic aren't contenders.
That about sums up the reasons not to acquire Gay. But that does not mean Orlando will not be involved if Gay gets moved. Remember the team has that large trade exception to use by August. That could help another team acquire Gay with the Magic acquiring young players or draft picks for their trouble. That is what Orlando really wants.
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld believes that is what the Magic are likely doing when it comes to Gay.
RT @cb1115: Are the Magic at all interested in Rudy Gay? —> Won't surprise me to see Rudy Gay traded THROUGH Orlando, but not to Orlando
— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) January 19, 2013
Kyler said he spoke with Magic CEO Alex Martins for an article in USA Today and reported the Magic have a detailed plan of how they want to build and intend no shortcuts to get there. That means, in Kyler's estimation, the Magic's next All-Star will come through the draft or their own development.
Hold on tight for the next month.