Finding a framework for Orlando Magic to move up in the Draft

Evan Fournier led the Orlando Magic in scoring for a big win over the Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Evan Fournier led the Orlando Magic in scoring for a big win over the Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings, Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic
Buddy Hield has seemingly fallen out of favor with the Sacramento Kings and seems ripe for a trade this offseason. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Negligible Moves?

12th Pick — Sacramento Kings

Potential Targets: Kira Lewis Jr., Aaron Nesmith, R.J. Hampton, Cole Anthony, Tyrese Maxey

At a certain point, what the Orlando Magic would be giving up would not be worth what they are getting back. What is the difference between picking 12th and 15th? There is a difference, but that difference likely gets a lot smaller.

And herein lies the problem with the Magic’s roster. They have a lot of above mid-level salaries that we have bandied about a lot here — Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon mostly. What they lack are mid-level contracts to get deals done.

Terrence Ross is probably the only one of real value the Magic have to offer. And he would be really tough to let go because of what he adds to the team. Other than that, they have Al-Farouq Aminu.

That is not exactly the most enticing package. But a lot of teams struggle to put together solid packages involving mid-level contracts.

The Sacramento Kings are an interesting team because of their frustrations with Buddy Hield. They have signaled they do not want to trade him at this point. And his salary is about to bump up to $24 million in 2021 (although his cap hit for the Draft is $4.9 million). That seems like they should be shopping him now trying to get off that money.

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

Magic fans have been very interested in Hield for sure. And there is something to it. Hield has a big-time scoring ability (or shooting ability) the Magic need. But he is not a primary creator. The Kings are souring on him some for his wild forays as a creator rather than sticking to a spot-up shooter and escape-dribble shooter.

The Magic could still use that. Although Hield may only be marginally better than Fournier. And at that price, it would be difficult to justify giving up so much.

In either case, Hield’s artificially low salary (at least until free agency starts) makes him difficult to trade for. A framework for a deal is not readily apparent.

13th Pick — New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly open to trading Jrue Holiday and they have every contending team lineup up to try and get him.

Even though Holiday does not fit the Orlando Magic’s profile for size and length, his defensive grit would be a great addition to the team. But Nikola Vucevic is the only player on the Magic with a matching salary. And that would not be enough to get Holiday and the 13th pick.

There is not really a deal to be had between these two teams. The Pelicans are not trading away J.J. Redick after just hiring Stan Van Gundy. They certainly want something substantial if they are trading away Holiday. And the team is going to have to keep some flexibility with a big contract coming for Brandon Ingram.

14th Pick — Boston Celtics

Potential Targets: Kira Lewis, Saddiq Bey, Tyrese Maxey, R.J. Hampton, Cole Anthony

Things get interesting again with a team like the Boston Celtics. They have had an on-again, off-again interest in Nikola Vucevic. And the Magic might be the kind of team willing to take the one-year risk on Gordon Hayward with his massive contract.

That would be about the only thing of interest that could get either team to move. And even then, that might not be a whole lot.

At this point, trading up for just one spot is probably not a position where the Magic want to give up a ton. This is where the team should be focused on periphery players and trading away players on the back end of their cap sheet.

And this is the problem. Outside of Mohamed Bamba, they really do not have anyone like that. There are no mid-tier or mid-level contracts that are likely to get anyone excited enough to deal.

So the Magic would be stuck talking with the Celtics about Gordon Hayward. The only way to swap for players like Daniel Theis or Enes Kanter would be to involve Mohamed Bamba unless they want Al-Farouq Aminu.

That is a tough place to be. And one spot is probably not worth the cost.

Remember these are all merely frameworks. This is just looking at what a deal would look like as a starting point for the Magic to move up in the Draft.

What should become clear is how difficult the Magic would find it to swing a deal. Especially if they want to bring a veteran into the mix.

Next. OMD Mailbag: The winds of change. dark

Trading up in the Draft will cost the Magic something. And doing so might well be an admission the team is going through a more formal rebuild.