What is the biggest task for the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline? What must they accomplish by Thursday?
Patrick Flynn (@PFlynn33): It is tough honing in on one specific objective that stands out among the rest. But if I had to choose, I would say the biggest task the Magic face this deadline is creating cap space. Making a decision on Elfrid Payton, Mario Hezonja and, basically, the entire roster outside of Jonathan Isaac at this point is a close second. Creating cap space is going to be a lot easier said than done as the Magic have several unfavorable contracts and are not willing to deal valuable draft picks. If the Magic are not able to move Evan Fournier‘s contract, the contingency plan should be to move a mid-level contract such as D.J. Augustin or Jonathon Simmons.
Zach Palmer (@FmrTankCommandr): The biggest task facing the Magic at the trade deadline would have to be whether or not they will trade Evan Fournier. For the Magic, there really is no reason to rush a Fournier trade given his production. The Magic do not have much in terms of viable NBA rotation players, but Fournier certainly is one. Outside of the decision on Evan Fournier, I would say that moving Elfrid Payton for anything would be an ideal move. The Magic know Payton is not the point guard of the future and he likely will not be back. If you can get anything for him that does not add long-term money, it is a good deal.
Jonathan Treadway (@JTMagic1989): For me, the biggest task for the Magic at the trade deadline is to not be too quick to make a decision or execute a trade based on impulse. At a time when many outside the front office are speculating and talking trade left and right, the Magic cannot afford to go off impulse. We have seen what has happened with that before (i.e Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis for Serge Ibaka). While there has been a myriad of names thrown out for trades, some that could theoretically bring a solid return for the Magic, they cannot jump to pull the trigger without getting something viable in return. At a crossroads for the roster, front office, and cap space, every move at this point in the rebuild has significant impact whether positive or negative.
Philip Rossman-Reich (@philiprr_omd): I do not think they have to accomplish anything necessarily at the trade deadline. It would be nice to flip out some assets that no longer fit the team as constructed. No doubt about that. Elfrid Payton and Mario Hezonja are really the only players with any urgency to move. So I would like to see the team try to get something of value for them. But I do not think the Magic have to settle. If they have any inkling of keeping them, that is. It is hard to figure out what the Magic want to do. Freeing up logjams so young players can get their due time to end the season would be nice too. But everything has to be with the long-term in mind. If there is no move, there is no move. And the Magic can do their work in the offseason.