Who the Orlando Magic could target for a trade from teams in their own division

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Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, Evan Fournier
Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter has developed into a strong shooter early in his career. (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /

Atlanta Hawks: Kevin Huerter

When it comes to addressing the need for more 3-point shooting on the roster, Kevin Huerter is someone that would make an immediate difference.

The 22-year-old shot 38 percent from three this season, averaging 2.3 per game on six attempts. He is a talented shooter with a natural release and the ability to make shots from very deep.

Huerter did not perhaps develop as much as Hawks fans would have hoped this season. He showed signs of improvement from his first year in the league but still only managed 12.2 points per game on 41.3-percent shooting.

But Orlando would be getting a player with a high ceiling and the potential to be a big scorer. While his 3-point shot is his most potent offensive skill, Huerter can also take the ball inside to score and his 6-foot-7 frame makes him difficult to deal with.

This would make a trade with Atlanta very tricky. The Hawks have a ton of young talent on the roster thanks to a high number of draft picks in recent years and are currently developing them in the hope they can soon make it back into the playoffs.

The team has high hopes for Huerter. He was selected 19th back in 2018 and alongside Trae Young makes up a potentially deadly backcourt with a scary shooting range.

But Huerter has plenty of competition in Atlanta with the likes of De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish. Should they develop and grow at a faster rate, Huerter may find his game time limited somewhat.

This puts the Hawks in a tricky situation. They are eager to compete for the playoffs immediately after Young’s breakout season. And they may still be too young to do so. They could use some veteran presence to get there.

Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks /

Atlanta Hawks

Evan Fournier would actually make a lot of sense for them. But they are one of the few teams with cap room to go after him straight up. It would make no sense to trade for him. And giving up Hueter is a big ask without getting a major contributor.

Yes, the Hawks have a big weakness on defense. They ranked third-worst for defensive rating in the regular season, giving up 114.4 points per 100 possessions, as well for points given away off turnovers.

For all their offensive talent and potential, there comes a point where the Hawks must address their defensive weaknesses in order to start challenging in the postseason. Huerter is not bad defensively but is not good enough to improve his team’s defense enough to make them considerably better.

Mohamed Bamba and Al-Farouq Aminu are two defensive-minded players that could, however.

Mohamed Bamba could potentially act as a solid backup to Clint Capela, while Al-Farouq Aminu has made his name as a good defender and could help out when John Collins is not on the court. It also presents the team the chance to get rid of Dewayne Dedmon’s hefty contract.

But the thought of getting younger in this way or giving up a prospect for a still unknown Bamba and a player like Aminu coming off injury is probably too much for this team as it looks to steal the Magic’s playoff spot. And Orlando is certainly not going to be interested in helping an up-and-coming team like this.

Other than that, the Magic do not have a great deal to offer Atlanta at the salary Huerter earns except for draft picks. The Hawks are continuing to develop as an exciting young team and will probably want to keep Huerter around unless there is a trade that directly improves the team enough that means it is worth sacrificing one of their bright prospects.