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

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Russell Westbrook, Houston Rockets, Aaron Gordon, Orlando Magic
If the Orlando Magic want to go all-in now, helping the breakup of the Houston Rockets might be their path. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports /

Houston Rockets: Russell Westbrook

If the Orlando Magic want to make an enormous, blockbuster trade this offseason then this would be just that.

The Houston Rockets failed to bring the city a championship with James Harden leading the team again last season, exiting the playoffs in the conference semifinals to the Los Angeles Lakers. With changes in the front office and coaching team following the departures of Daryl Morey and Mike D’Antoni, there is speculation there could too be changes made on the court.

Russell Westbrook is still one of the league’s leading point guards. He endured an up-and-down year last season, but he still averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 assists and 7.0 rebounds per game in 57 regular-season games.

The former MVP would not necessarily address the Magic’s lack of three-point shooting having only made one per game on 25.8-percent shooting last season but he still displayed the intensity and athleticism that has characterized his time in the NBA.

Russell Westbrook would still be the kind of star the Magic have lacked since Dwight Howard left in 2012

It is not yet clear which direction Houston will decide to go in next and whether Westbrook will be a part of that. The team ultimately could not improve on the Chris Paul and James Harden seasons and the franchise’s next steps will likely be signaled by their head coach appointment.

One thing is for sure, if the Rockets do decide a reset, they will need to reset their cupboard, after spending most of their draft capital to acquire Westbrook.

Markelle Fultz showed huge signs of promise last season in his first full, proper year as an NBA player following his dismal spell at the Philadelphia 76ers. Orlando would probably have to give up two significant players like Markelle Fultz and Aaron Gordon to get Russell Westbrook as well as some draft picks and even that might not be enough.

The chances of getting Westbrook are slim and would require the team to give up a huge amount for a player approaching the end of his career. The front office would have to be extremely confident that he can help the team better compete to the extent that it is worth tearing up what they already have in place.

Orlando has needed a true star since the departure of Dwight Howard all those years ago and while Westbrook would fill that gap, it is not the type of big trade we have come to expect from the Magic.