Orlando Magic rumors: Charlotte Hornets and San Antonio Spurs have most to offer for Nikola Vucevic

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LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Pascal Siakam
San Antonio Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge provides a lot of the same skills as Nikola Vucevic. But he has slowed down signifcantly. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

This deal is geared heavily towards the future, with two exciting young players and two draft picks certainly a tempting proposition for Orlando to consider.

LaMarcus Aldridge’s contract, which expires at the end of the season, makes a deal with San Antonio far easier given that it matches up almost perfectly with that of Nikola Vucevic’s. Now in his 15th season as an NBA player, he would provide Steve Clifford with plenty of experience at the center position while taking less pressure off Mohamed Bamba so he can continue to develop.

Having Aldridge act as a short-term replacement in Vucevic’s absence is a big bonus and allows a deal to go ahead, but the real prize for the Magic concerns what would come with the former second overall pick.

The Spurs have plenty of young talent to offer, but also plenty of draft picks.

If it is the latter Orlando is primarily interested in, then this deal provides that. The Spurs are currently on course to be a low-to-mid playoff team this year, giving them a pick in the 2021 draft that is in either the late teens or early 20s.

It is not hugely exciting, but the reported strength of this year’s draft class means the Magic could at least draft an effective rotation player for the future alongside their own high (hopefully) pick.

San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs /

San Antonio Spurs

Future picks certainly come with a lot of uncertainty. If the Spurs are able to trade for Vucevic, it puts the emphasis much more on the now rather than the future. They would have to give up a decent part of their future to get the All-Star in the first place. But doing this deal without giving up high-level young prospects like Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson or Derrick White would be a huge win.

The Spurs would be much more competitive in the short-term with that group plus veterans in DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic, at least for the rest of the season. San Antonio currently sits at seventh in the Western Conference. This would solidify the team’s playoff standing.

Picks and Aldridge alone would not be enough, for the Magic however.

Offering up a rookie with tons of potential in Devin Vassell certainly sweetens the deal a lot. Many Magic fans hoped he would fall or that the team would trade up to take the former Florida State wing but it was not to be as he was selected 11th overall by the Spurs.

He has not had an enormous impact so far, averaging 5.5 points, but has shown glimpses of being a really good player in the future. He is a confident three-point shooter, making 39.7-percent of his attempts, and also plays good defense. He is the biggest prize in this deal.

Throw in Luka Samanic, another reliable shooter that can stretch the floor from the 4, and there is plenty here for the future.

Nonetheless, this deal still involves a great deal of uncertainty and could backfire. If the front office is looking for something safer, this next proposal would be better.