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

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T.J. Warren, Indiana Pacers
T.J. Warren’s breakout performance in the NBA campus has him at the top of everyone’s trade lists. (Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) /

Indiana Pacers: T.J. Warren

T.J. Warren was one of the big surprises of the Orlando Bubble. He was named in the All-Bubble first team after hitting 53 points against the Philadelphia 76ers and had three more games where he finished above the 30-point mark before the postseason.

He had an impressive regular season too, averaging 19.8 points per game and going 40.3 percent from three in his first season as an Indiana Pacer. Remarkably, the Indiana Pacers were able to get him for only cash considerations from the Phoenix Suns.

A year later and Warren’s trade value is sky-high. The small forward is a very efficient shooter, shooting 53.6-percent from the field this season. He was a big reason behind the Pacers finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference.

Indiana would be unlikely to want to lose Warren but a disappointing 4-0 first-round series defeat to the Miami Heat has left the franchise wondering how to take the next step.

Evan Fournier shot well from three for the Magic this season, a skill which is not prevalent enough on the roster, but another lackluster postseason leaves doubts over whether he can be the guy to help take Orlando past the first round.

Fournier would have to take up his player option for next season for this trade to work and his salary of $17 million is bigger than Warren’s $12-million deal, which lasts for another two years. Fournier averaged 18.5 points per game last season but makes more threes a game at 2.6 compared to Warren’s 1.4, though does take over three more a game.

Warren would likely make more by taking more as he showed when the season restarted, going nine-for-12 from beyond the arc against the 76ers.

Given the choice of the two, Indiana would most probably prefer to keep Warren. But offering up a young prospect like Bamba for a role player like Jeremy Lamb could make the deal more appealing. It would also give them more options after next season, with Fournier’s player option only for another year.

But, for now, with Victor Oladipo’s uncertain future and injury history, the Pacers are likely to make Warren their featured player for the 2021 season.