The Orlando Magic were relatively quiet at the trade deadline with one move to bring in a minor piece. The change appears to be ahead. I preview that road.
The Orlando Magic are still picking up the pieces after the trade deadline. Or maybe they are not. Fans are certainly scratching their heads over the Orlando Magic’s decision to trade Elfrid Payton to the Phoenix Suns for a mid-second round pick. And Payton was too.
There is a reason behind these decisions though. There always is. And they usually have to do with money.
The fact of the matter, as it has been explained almost everywhere, the Magic had decided they were not going to resign Payton and so they moved on.
Of course, many Magic fans expected the team to do a whole lot more. The team, sinking toward the bottom of the standings, knows it needs to make a change. And major change.
President of basketball operations Jeff Weltman said it best: The team did not want to make a long-term investment in the same group of players that were not working. They knew it was time to change the team and begin looking for new answers to the big questions.
Thus the decision to move on from Payton. And, thus, the likely change that will come will have to wait for the summer. Orlando will have its work cut out for it and will have a lot to do in the coming months.
Now that the trade deadline has passed, the focus turns toward the summer and what the Magic will do.
The trade market will open again at that point. This will provide the Magic a big opportunity to trade players as contracts flip over a year and perhaps players become a bit more marketable. Teams are more willing to make big changes in the summer. And that is what the Magic will hope for.
They will have plenty else to do. Aaron Gordon and Mario Hezonja‘s future comes into sharper focus. And a keen look at the Magic’s books also reveals the team has little maneuverability or cap flexibility again. That might explain why the Magic were willing to take so little for Payton in the end.
This will be another offseason where the Magic will have to recalibrate. The team will have to find a way to improve in perhaps some unexpected ways.
That is why I wanted to get Keith Smith of RealGM on the latest episode of the Orlando Magic Daily Podcast to talk about the Magic’s cap situation and where the team may head this summer.
On this episode, we discuss the options the Magic have this offseason and where they might go now that the trade deadline has passed.
On This Episode:
- How will Elfrid Payton fit in with the Phoenix Suns? And why the Orlando Magic only got a second round pick for him.
- What does the future free agent market look like? Why do so few teams have cap room this summer?
- Should the Magic have kept Elfrid Payton and played things out another year? What were the benefits or disadvantages of doing so?
- Why did the Orlando Magic not move other players on the team at the trade deadline?
- What does the summer hold for Aaron Gordon? What will his free agent market look like?
- What is Jeff Weltman’s free agent strategy this summer? How will he handle Aaron Gordon’s restricted free agency?
- How does restricted free agency work?
- What tools are available for the Orlando Magic to add new players in free agency this summer?
- What restrictions are on Mario Hezonja in his unrestricted free agency?
- The shell shock of losing Victor Oladipo and how that has transferred to Mario Hezonja’s free agency
- The change we are seeing behind the scenes from the Orlando Magic and what effect that could have
- Why I am against tanking and relying on the Draft Lottery
- How much cap room do the Orlando Magic have?
My thanks to Keith Smith for joining the show once again and giving us a breakdown of the Magic’s cap situation. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @keithsmithNBA and read his work over at RealGM and Celtics Blog.