3 players the Orlando Magic should target in the trade market

The Orlando Magic are getting a much-needed break thanks to a postponement this week. Mandatory Credit: Michael Wyke/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
The Orlando Magic are getting a much-needed break thanks to a postponement this week. Mandatory Credit: Michael Wyke/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /
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P.J. Tucker, Houston Rockets, Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic
P.J. Tucker has become an odd fit for the Houston Rockets as they explore the next phase of their rebuild. Mandatory Credit: Michael Wyke/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /

Now that NBA teams have had the chance to assess their rosters, trade rumors have begun to rise through the cracks. The trade deadline will be on Mar. 25  and the Orlando Magic are in the position to make small moves to improve their roster.

So far, this season has been underwhelming. Markelle Fultz finally began to hit his stride but soon tore his left ACL putting him out for the season.

Additional injuries to Michael Carter-Williams and Evan Fournier earlier in the season also hampered the Orlando Magic’s progress. Fortunately, Fournier has returned to the lineup like he never left, but it is clear the Magic are in need of some help.

Their current roster has relied on the developing passing of Aaron Gordon, the scoring of Nikola Vucevic and the consistency of Evan Fournier. But these three players can only take the Magic so far.

Sixth man Terrence Ross and role players including Khem Birch and Gary Clark have all played well to varying degrees but are only able to provide a certain amount of value on the floor.

Even Cole Anthony, the Magic’s first-round draft pick, has played well considering he was thrust into the starting lineup shortly after Markelle Fultz was injured.

Unfortunately, the true potential of this squad will not be on full display until at least next year as the Magic await Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac’s return. But the Magic are still in playoff contention despite the early setbacks.

In order to assess who or what kind of players the Magic need to trade for, it is important to understand what exactly the Magic are struggling with and why.

Last year the Magic were ranked 22nd in offensive rating and 11th in defensive rating. They were a team that had begun to finally see the fruits of their labor as they established themselves as a top-10 defense for a second straight year.

But their offense caused them problems last season as they struggled to hit shots from behind the arc (25th in three-point percentage) and struggled to put up points (24th in points scored per game).

Orlando Magic
Orlando Magic /

Orlando Magic

This year the Magic have regressed in defense and have remained mostly inconsistent offensively. The Magic are currently ranked 20th in defensive efficiency while they are No. 12 in the league in opponent points per game.

One can expect that the team’s defense will improve once Fultz and Isaac return to the lineup. In regards to this season, Steve Clifford will have to work to optimize the players he has and improve their defense into a coherent and most importantly consistent defense.

Their offense has improved over the past few games but they are still struggling from behind the arc (24th in 3-point percentage) and are tied for 25th in offensive efficiency.

Unlike their defense, an improvement on offense may not come from within. When either Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic or Aaron Gordon leave the floor, the Magic’s offense becomes stagnant.

Despite the career-high three-point shooting and passing from Gordon or the all-star level production from Vucevic, the Magic are in need of more options.

Knowing the Magic’s weaknesses, the team will most likely need a dynamic scorer or a three-point specialist. It would also help to have a player who cannot only shoot but has a positive impact on the defensive end.

3-and-D players or capable 3-point shooters are in high demand and contenders will be looking to snatch up these players when made available.

While they do have more appeal than a team like the Magic, it would be in the Magic’s best interest to pursue these players.

Even if the Magic are not looking to buy, their focus at the trade deadline should be in looking to find shooters to boost this team beyond this season.