Orlando Magic Rumors: Orlando Magic trade Bismack Biyombo, acquire Jerian Grant in three-team deal

Chicago Bulls guard Jerian Grant (2) drives past Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) at the United Center in Chicago on January 17, 2018. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls guard Jerian Grant (2) drives past Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) at the United Center in Chicago on January 17, 2018. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images) /

The Orlando Magic have found an answer at point guard. The team will add Jerian Grant and Timofey Mozgov while trading away Bismack Biyombo to the Charlotte Hornets.

The Orlando Magic will trade Bismack Biyombo for Timofey Mozgov and Jerian Grant in a three-team trade involving the Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports was the first to report the Magic would acquire Grant.

The Hornets will receive Biyombo. The Bulls will receive Julyan Stone from the Hornets to complete the deal.

This is a low-level trade, as the Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic are swapping underperforming 2016 signees — Mozgov originally signed with the Los Angeles Lakers that summer.

Meanwhile, the Bulls are helping to facilitate the trade by taking on Stone’s $1.65 million non-guaranteed contract.

The deal does little to improve the Magic’s cap situation. Biyombo is under contract for the next two seasons with a cap hit of $17 million per season. Mozgov has a cap hit of $16 million and $16.7 million during the next two seasons.

Acquired when the cap spiked in 2016, Biyombo failed to meet expectations in Orlando. While he gave hard minutes, his poor offense never caught up to his four-year, $68 million dollar contract. He will finish his Orlando career averaging a meager 5.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

More disappointingly, Biyombo had just 1.1 blocks per game. He never made the massive impact defensively the team imagined when they signed him.

Mozgov signed a similarly overpriced deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2016 and has since been traded to the Brooklyn Nets in a cost-cutting move. More recently, the Nets dealt him to the Hornets to acquire Dwight Howard.

Mozgov averaged 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds last year. He is essentially a nonfactor at this point in his career.

The real prize and motivation for this deal is Jerian Grant.

Grant is a solid fit for the Magic and fills a need at point guard. He is a former first-round pick who has been unable to find his place in the NBA. Last year, he averaged 8.4 points and 4.6 assists per game in 22.8 minutes per game. He started in 26 games, averaging 9.8 points and 6.3 assists per game. Grant posted a 47.5 percent effective field goal percentage. He is a career 31.3 percent 3-point shooter.

Grant is a bit of a tweener as a point guard. He still has to refine many of his skills coming off his rookie contract.

But there is limited risk in this move. Grant is on a cheap $2.4 million expiring deal and has shown flashes that he could develop into a rotation player at least.

He is a long athletic guard with a wingspan longer than 6-foot-7 with great defensive potential. It fits the profile Jeff Weltman and John Hammond prefer.

This move makes sense for the Magic on two levels.

First, the team brings in a point guard. The point guard position has been the team’s biggest need this offseason. After failing to address it in the Draft, the Magic needed to address it before the season. Here, at least, the Magic get a young prospect to try out.

The Magic signed Isaiah Briscoe to a three-year deal earlier in the week to help there. But Isaiah Briscoe is more of a high upside player and will be the third point guard on the team rather than the starter.

There have been rumors about the team signing Isaiah Thomas. But Thomas, coming off his worst season as a pro, is a defensive liability who does not fit into Weltman and Hammond’s plan. It would appear the Magic kicked the tires on signing Thomas and decided against it.

The Magic are in this deal for Grant. But acquiring Mozgov for Biyombo is another win for the team.

Biyombo plays hard and is a great character guy. He played all 82 games last season. But his effectiveness is a question mark.

Next: Orlando Magic display versatility to whet the appetite

Another season of Biyombo would take away minutes from first-round pick Mohamed Bamba. It is a smart move to acquire Mozgov, potentially buy him out, and clear up the frontcourt for Mohamed Bamba and Jonathan Isaac.