5 questions for the third quarter of the Orlando Magic’s 2021 season

3 of 6
Evan Fournier, Orlando Magic, Precious Achiuwa, Miami Heat
Evan Fournier’s expiring contract may become a huge trade chip for the Orlando Magic. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Who gets moved at the trade deadline?

Obviously, everyone is counting down to the trade deadline on March 25 as the next big decision point for this franchise. The team feels like it is at a crossroads and the trade deadline is the first point where the team will stake a course one way or the other.

The biggest decision involves Evan Fournier. He will become a free agent this offseason and it feels like his time with the team has come to an end. It feels unlikely the Magic will commit to him long-term at the same price he fetched five years ago.

With the Magic sinking down the standings, it seems more and more likely the Magic will try to sell Fournier for whatever the team can get. They are likely hoping for some young prospect who needs a chance.

A Fournier trade feels like it is a better-than-50-percent chance it will happen. There is already plenty of rumored interest in adding him as he continues his career season (even through a bout of back spasms throughout this season).

The question then is just how far is the Magic’s retooling going to go at this juncture? Are the Magic going to engage in a more complete rebuild now and what will that say for the team’s offseason?

More from Orlando Magic Daily

Is this where the Magic decide to move Nikola Vucevic, signaling the stomach to undertake a longer-term rebuild? Is this where the team makes the inevitable Aaron Gordon trade to free up room for Jonathan Isaac when he returns?

The team is clearly shopping. There are numerous rumors of teams inquiring about Nikola Vucevic’s availability.

It feels unlikely the team moves him at this point. He is the only thing keeping the Magic competitive at this point. And teams are not likely to give the Magic the kind of return they want to move their All-Star.

What about Gordon then? Is this the time the Magic make a move with him? That trade feels inevitable. But his injury status probably keeps him on the team past the deadline and into the offseason.

Terrence Ross and Khem Birch could also be valuable players the Magic shop around at the trade deadline.

Like previous years, Orlando is likely listening to offers on several players. What they actually do at this juncture will be limited. The real question is whether their standard and what deals they are willing to take has changed because of their fall in the standings.

My guess is that the team finds a taker for Fournier before the deadline. Maybe one other minor deal gets done. But the team saves the biggest of its reshaping for the offseason.