Who the Orlando Magic could target for a trade in the Central Division

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Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
Zach LaVine is one of the most dynamic scorers in the league. And the Chicago Bulls’ future seems to be in doubt. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine

The Orlando Magic need an offensive-minded wing with big scoring ability and good shooting range. Zach LaVine fits the description perfectly.

He is coming off his best-ever year as an NBA player, averaging a huge 25.5 points per game as well as 3.1 threes made per game, going 38 percent from beyond the arc.

The 25-year-old possesses tremendous athleticism, something we know Steve Clifford looks for in a player and he is at the age where he is still getting better.

There is plenty of positivity surrounding the future of the Chicago Bulls. They are not likely to move LaVine for anything short of a starring player.

Chicago was one of the big winners in this year’s draft lottery, getting the fourth overall pick, and have just hired Billy Donovan as head coach. The Bulls hired Donovan because they seemingly know they are close to the playoffs and just need the right element in their coaching to get there.

Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls /

Chicago Bulls

Despite LaVine’s excellent offense, his scoring has not had a huge impact when it comes to boosting the team’s win percentage. Chicago has not made it to the postseason for three straight years and the pressure is on to build a team that is capable of at least making it into the top eight of the Eastern Conference.

To get a player of LaVine’s quality, the Magic would have to give up a big asset in return. Realistically, Nikola Vucevic is probably the only player that would at least get the Bulls to listen.

Vucevic does not offer as many points per game as LaVine but nonetheless is a hugely talented offensive player. He has proven himself as a guy that can lead a team into the playoffs and showed against the Milwaukee Bucks that he can make a big impact in the postseason.

It would undoubtedly cost Vucevic to get a player of LaVine’s caliber. But a deal with the Bulls is exceedingly unlikely. Chicago is still invested in Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. Both on rookie contracts, the Bulls are unlikely to give up on them so soon. Or bring in a player like Nikola Vucevic — or Aaron Gordon for that matter — to clog that part of the rotation at that salary.

The Magic might also look into trying to acquire Otto Porter in a deal involving Aaron Gordon, but that too might run into the same problems. The Bulls, like the Magic, have a lot of their investment at power forward. That would make it tough to swing any kind of deal.

This trade would see both teams move in very different directions and is a big risk on both ends. But with both Chicago and Orlando seemingly stuck in their current positions, a trade of this magnitude and risk might be what is needed.