3 trades that would help the Orlando Magic hit restart

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Nikola Vucevic, Orlando Magic
Nikola Vucevic has long been a reliable rebounder for the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Orlando Magic sit at 12-18 and 12th in the Eastern Conference with the season almost halfway over.

While they are within striking distance of a playoff spot and even closer to having a legitimate shot at the play-in game, it seems to make more sense for the Magic to be sellers at the trade deadline.

The Magic will have until March 25th to make the decision on which way to push their franchise. So, obviously, they may vacillate between being a seller and a buyer in that timespan.

The Magic rightly feel they are not what their record says they are. Injuries have defined their season. But they also must feel like their team has reached something of a ceiling. Orlando likely was not going to do more than make a first-round cameo if they make the playoffs for a third straight year.

Yet, the Magic seem to be preaching patience. Zach Lowe of ESPN Insider reports the Magic so far seem to be projecting patience in the market with their healthy core.

The team certainly cannot stand still for long. Nor should the Magic accept the stagnation that has come with stalling out in the bottom end of the playoffs.

The Orlando Magic are at a turning point as they begin to enter the next phase of their rebuild. The trade deadline will present an opportunity for the team to hit reset at long last.

It just seems to make more sense to build for the future when this season has a low ceiling with three key starters from last year currently injured and only one likely back later this season. Having no Jonathan Isaac, Markelle Fultz and even Aaron Gordon, out for at least the rest of February if not later, are major blows. James Ennis, Michael Carter-Williams and Gary Clark are not good enough to pick up the slack with this next-man-up mentality.

Of course, the obvious move for the Magic is to deal Evan Fournier. His contract is set to expire and keeping him likely would push the Magic into the luxury tax, a place the team almost certainly does not want to be.

There is still always the chance the Magic retain Fournier. But even if the Magic are planning to keep this group intact, a Fournier trade still feels very possible and even likely.

Potential Fournier deals will deserve their own post because there will likely be a much more robust market for him and a lot more urgency and interest in dealing him.

So now that Orlando should decide to build for the future going forward, there are a plethora of trades that make sense for Orlando to pursue.