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

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Lonnie Walker, San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets
San Antonio Spurs forward Lonnie Walker has struggled to find his footing early in his career. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /

Again, LaMarcus Aldridge’s hefty contract can form the basis of a deal between the Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs. But instead of draft picks forming a big part of any agreement, the Magic could instead demand more valuable, better players coming back.

Keldon Johnson has been excellent for the Spurs this year. He is averaging 14.1 points per game, he is shooting 47.2-percent from the field and he plays with tremendous energy and hustle on the defensive end too. He is still a work in progress, but Johnson is already playing at a high two-way level and has so many years ahead of him to grow.

San Antonio would be extremely reluctant to lose him, but the team will have to make enormous sacrifices if it really wants to get Nikola Vucevic.

Another player the Magic could look to acquire is the former 18th pick Lonnie Walker IV, a third-year shooting guard who is currently averaging 11.3 points per game.

The Spurs have done a superb job drafting late in the first round and Walker has continued to improve during his time in the league. He is taking way more threes this season, resulting in a dip in shooting percentage from deep to 35.8-percent. But he possesses excellent speed and agility which allows him to get to the rim and finish.

Walker, like Johnson, is another player who can both contribute plenty right away but also continue to get better given that he is only 22. Add in Luka Samanic again and the Magic are getting a hefty return for Nikola Vucevic, though still no one that can currently play at his level, which might be a sticking point.

Trading Vucevic to the Spurs would mean having to accept that no one currently as good is coming back despite the possibility they might be getting someone (or more than one player) who can play at, or at least near, his ability in the future.

For San Antonio, a decision would have to be made over whether they are ready to part with so many promising young players that have developed so well in order to get a better player in the short-term.

This is a decision the Charlotte Hornets would also have to make . . .